Over 45 Worrying Signs of Low Self-Esteem. Part Two

Over 45 Worrying Signs of Low Self-Esteem. Part Two

Elliot L'Angelier Nov 30, 2018 2 comments

Part one of this blog post can be found here.

45 Indications of Low Self-Esteem

25) You compare yourself to others

I have another interesting fact I want you to remember and accept. There will always be people who are smarter, more qualified, and more attractive than you. After all, more than seven billion people live on this planet today, and it’s impossible to be better than each one in all aspects. 

Don’t let your low self-esteem make you feel depressed or miserable about it. On the contrary, many people won’t measure up to you, and to many others, you will be attractive and capable.

The most important thing to remember is that the only person you need approval from is yourself. All those people you compare yourself to may be better than you today, but it doesn’t mean you cannot outshine them tomorrow.  

No one’s abilities or skills came as a gift. You have to earn them with practice, effort, and dedication.  

26) You are not doing personal development

By now you have probably noticed that all the signs on my list are linked or very similar. This is not an accident, because it all comes down to being more aware of yourself and practicing personal development. 

The people who are not doing personal improvement are, unsurprisingly, those with low self-esteem. Most of them believe it’s a waste of time because they are used to the idea that life is all about the luck of the draw. 

The truth is that successful and well-grounded people never stop undertaking personal development; they read a lot of self-help books and they aim at becoming better no matter how successful they are.  

27) You let people push you around

If you let others decide what’s best for you and if you are used to putting their wishes above yours, then obviously you need to work on your confidence. Being pushed around could also fall under the section of pleasing people and being unable to speak your mind.

There are many ways to define being pushed around, but the core reason for it is always low self-esteem and not valuing your opinions and beliefs. If you are always an easy target, people will consciously and unconsciously take advantage of you. 

What makes things worse is that it can quickly become a habit for you and everyone involved which makes it difficult to stop and fix the issue. My recommendation is to be more aware of your actions. Objectively observe your behavior as you would if you were watching someone else make the same mistakes. This advice applies to the complete list in this article. 

28) You dwell on the past 

We all get nostalgic sometimes, but if you dwell on the past and would do anything to go back, that could be a sign of low self-esteem. It’s easy to think of our past as a time when we were happier and felt safer. 

The reason is not that it’s true, but because of how our brains perceive the previous experiences we had. The past is familiar, well-known, and it cannot surprise us anymore. We know what kind of mistakes we’ve made and how to avoid them if we could. But if you think about it, even if you could go back to the year 2010, you’d feel nostalgic for 2005. 

What you need to change is your mindset. You should abandon your beliefs that the present is more difficult or unpleasant and have faith in your capabilities to deal with what’s coming. The problem is not the time you live in but how you perceive it. 

29) You are ashamed of yourself

In everyone’s life comes a moment when we screw up big time. Maybe you’ve misjudged a situation that caused a lot of suffering and embarrassment to you or someone close to you. What are you going to do now—move on, or focus on not repeating the same mistake? 

It’s not easy to move on if you have low self-esteem or if you have self -limiting beliefs. Stop reminding yourself that you screwed up, but accept it and continue living your life. Most of the things we feel ashamed of won’t matter in a few months, and people often forgive and forget. 

But if you cannot forgive yourself, you will never forget, which will only bring more misery into your life. We all make mistakes—no exceptions. No one is perfect, so don’t try to be. People will be mad at you only if you cannot admit your mistakes, not because you made them in the first place. 

30) You have a bad posture

Confident people show it not only with their actions and words but also with their body language. If you slouch and look at your feet, people will know they cannot count on you. Why? Because this is the message you’re giving them.

Our non-verbal communication is just as important as the way we speak to each other. Always have your chin up and your back straight, and you will soon realize that you’ll start to feel more confident. 

31) You are self-sabotaging

Self-sabotage is one of the most damaging bad habits you should pay attention to. It has many forms and faces, but whenever you are engaging in something that causes problems in your life and limits your personal development you are harming yourself.  

If your behavior doesn't lead to positive results, you’re self-sabotaging. Sometimes sabotaging oneself is clear and identifiable, but often it can be very subtle and complicated. We have all experienced it at some point—when we are afraid to leave our comfort zone, thinking we’re not good enough, procrastinating at school or work, and—my favorite– failing to be ourselves. 

You might want to skip doing your homework to play video games, but eventually, if you don’t do it, you’ll fail at school or receive an undesirable grade. People with low confidence tend to forget about their long-term goals for the sake of quick satisfaction and pleasure.

32) You don’t admit your mistakes

When a person is capable of admitting his mistakes and wrongdoings, he opens a world of possibilities for himself. Our greatest enemy is the human mind, which is persistently trying to mislead us to protect the Ego. 

Being unable to admit when you’re wrong could ruin friendships, families, and perfect relationships. People will not stick with you for very long if you are always too stubborn. 

When people try to hide their mistakes, it’s often because they are afraid of judgment and rejection. They also think that  admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness when, in fact, it shows confidence and strength. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you are capable of acknowledging them. 

33) You try to be perfect

No one is perfect, not the people you compare yourself with, not even your partner in life. It can seem counterintuitive, but people with low self-esteem are those who try the hardest to be perfect. They realize there’s a lot of things they should improve on and they try to do everything at the same time.

Being perfect is not a goal of confident individuals. Their goal is becoming better at one single task, and being able to feel comfortable in their own skin. If you strive to please everyone and be good at everything, it will only bring you sadness. 

Find your calling, focus on realizing your life’s purpose, and you won’t ever feel the need to be perfect or know everything. 

34) You live in a fairytale

It is time to wake up. The world is not always a fun ride, and the universe doesn’t care about you. In fact, it doesn’t care about anybody, so why don’t you stop complaining and realize you need to work to achieve your goals?

Years of wishful thinking won’t get you anywhere if you don’t do the necessary work. You need to forget about “not being good enough,” and believe in your abilities to improve and complete what you’ve started.

Be your own mentor, find your life’s purpose, and spend whatever time is needed to succeed. Often people with low self-esteem will give up early, and expect that success will arrive with express delivery. I’m sorry to break it to you, but most successful people have worked for years, even decades, to get what they want. Are you ready to follow in their footsteps? Do you want to succeed that badly?

35) You often oversleep 

People with low confidence sleep late, procrastinate and have trouble finding motivation. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to make some serious changes in your life and rethink your strategy.

How do you expect to be productive when you wake up at noon when most people have already finished half of their work for the day? Even if you work for yourself or have an online business, you need to create the habit of waking up early.

When I had troubles waking up in the past, I used to put my alarm clock in the other room. The only way to stop it was to go there which automatically made me feel more awake and ready to get going. Early showers do help, and I suggest you take one even before brushing your teeth. There’s no better way to wake up in the morning!

36) You eat junk food

As I said before, if you lack enough confidence you are chasing short-term pleasures instead of looking at the big picture. I know that Big Macs, ice cream, and soda are tasty and there’s nothing wrong with consuming them. The problem comes when they are a big part of your daily diet and not just something you eat infrequently. 

I love junk food, but I only allow myself to eat it once a week and I believe even that’s too much. Each time I get the urge to eat something like that, I tell myself that I have to think about my health and my future. 

Now and then I allow myself some “cheat meals,” but I’m always aware of how much I eat and how I feel when I’m done. Do not allow your emotions and depression to control your diet. Ice cream does make you feel better, but it’s not a permanent solution. 

37) You are uncomfortable around strangers

Unconfident people are shy, and they avoid meeting new people or talking to strangers. Some of them are unable to ask a random guy on the street for directions even if they are entirely lost. 

I’ve been in their shoes, and I know that your mind will think of half a dozen reasons not to communicate with strangers, but you must do it anyway. Most people are kind, helpful and compassionate, so the chances that you’ll end up talking to a jerk are slim.

Even if you meet people who are rude or offensive, why would you care about what they have to say? Don’t be too sensitive to others’ opinions and push yourself to go out more. This will help you to boost your confidence and improve your social skills. One step at a time and you will soon be a well-grounded, confident person. 

38) You Cheat

Why do people cheat? This question has bothered millions of people over the years, especially those who have been deceived and felt betrayed. You’d think that a person with low self-esteem would never cheat, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Most people who cheat have low self-esteem, they don’t like who they are, and they cheat to hide their problems. When we do something behind our partner’s back, it’s often because we feel frustrated with who we are, and we seek admiration from people we don’t know that well.

Cheaters do it not because there’s something wrong with their relationship, but because there’s something wrong with them—a lack of confidence and self-awareness. If you cheat and lie to your partner, you are most likely trying to fill a hole, forget a past trauma, or simply escape from your own mind. It’s sad to see how people will even destroy marriages only because they can’t face their demons and deal with low self-esteem. 

39) You are jealous 

Jealousy is another sign that we think we are not good enough. It can be subtle, quick or hidden; it can hit you hard and yet remain undetected. Next time you wish you had your neighbor’s car and you become angry and jealous of him, stop and observe your emotions for a moment. 

Don’t blame yourself or be ashamed of how you feel. Simply accept it and start asking questions. Ask yourself, isn’t this behavior a bit childish, even meaningless? Why does it matter what kind of car he drives? It doesn't change your situation one bit, so try to be happy for him. 

Tell yourself that you’re glad he’s doing well and wish him continued success. Know that one day you'll also achieve this and even more. Others’ success and well-being should only inspire you and show that achieving your goals is possible.

The best practices to deal with jealousy and envy include considering all aspects, clear-thinking, awareness of yourself, and not comparing yourself to others.

40) You are not yourself

Your cards have already been dealt, and there is no point to hate yourself or pretend to be someone else. Success is not measured by the way you look or how wealthy your parents are. It’s a matter of personal development, self-awareness, and commitment. 

No one can stop us, no matter how high our goals are, as long as we learn to feel great in our own skin. If you don’t like the person you see in the mirror, then change the way you think and act. You can even easily become more attractive if you practice good hygiene and do some basic grooming each day. 

Not being yourself is a sign of weakness and low self-esteem. Before you can love others and enjoy their company, you need to love yourself and learn to be alone without feeling lonely. Those two things can indeed make a person happy if he sets his mind to achieve it. 

41) You avoid eye contact

Avoiding eye contact is one of the quickest ways to see that you’re dealing with a less confident person. People with low self-esteem usually have their chins down and don’t keep eye contact while speaking with someone.

It’s possible that our primitive brains recognize the power of eye contact and they avoid it so we don’t appear weak. However, if you have ever seen a scared dog, you have noticed how his eyes gaze at the ground. It shows submissiveness that is very easily recognizable.  

The same behavior is seen in humans with low self-esteem, as they usually are very passive and vulnerable. If you want to appear more confident, make sure you look people in the eyes but don’t stare. 

42) You procrastinate 

It’s very easy nowadays to get distracted and put off doing what’s necessary. Not surprisingly, with all this technology around us, we find it difficult to focus on a simple task for longer than fifteen minutes. 

Another reason why people procrastinate is that they feel incapable, insecure, and unconfident. You need to face your fears of failure and find the motivation you need to complete your assignments. 

Use reminders, alarms, friends’ help, and make sure you take frequent breaks so you don’t overwork yourself. Procrastination can be beaten, but it won’t go down without a fight. Be prepared for your mind’s tricks and avoid doing it “tomorrow.”

43) You don’t trust anyone

We have all met people who seem very friendly and loving, only to find out they are manipulative and unfaithful. Unfortunately, there are people like this, and none of us is immune to falling for their charm and dishonesty.

However, this should not make us lose trust in people and think that everyone wants to hurt or deceive us. This is a limiting mindset and can only bring us more disappointments and push away genuine and kind people. 

Confidence has a lot to do with trust, because if you lack self-esteem, you are more susceptible to lies and false claims. This is precisely why people with low self-esteem have trust issues and live their lives expecting everyone to be dishonest. 

Accept the fact that not everyone is being authentic, but allow yourself to see the good in people and have trust in their kindness. Sometimes you have to let down your guard and face the risk of being hurt, but that’s the only way to build meaningful relationships.

44) You don’t exercise

Your body is your temple; it’s your car engine that requires frequent maintenance and care. Unfortunately, when we feel depressed and we lack confidence, taking care of our bodies is the last thing on our minds. 

Physical exercise is just as important as meditation and self-awareness. Confidence comes not only with character but also with health and well-being. Most people do not realize the enormous impact that healthy food and movement have on their bodies. 

Walking, lifting weights, skipping rope, and other activities increase the blood flow to the brain, which causes the brain to produce more testosterone. In both men and women, testosterone is linked to higher confidence and leadership. Naturally, building the habit of exercising fifteen minutes a day will boost your self-esteem and make life much more enjoyable. Try it!

45) You cannot handle breakups

Sometimes in our lives, relationships end, friendships don’t last, and people change. It’s normal, and we shouldn’t take it too seriously or even personally. We are not the same people we were two years ago, and this applies to our partners and friends as well. 

Dealing with breakups is a part of life, and it’s not a good idea to spend too much time wishing things were different. If we are confident in who we are we would know that we are capable of building new bonds and meeting a lot of interesting people. 

Folks with low self-esteem don’t realize that every breakup is an opportunity to learn and also discover new friends. They choose to cry and feel sorry for what they lost instead of exploring all the possibilities a breakup could present to them. 

You never know what life has in store for you, and a painful breakup could turn into a blessing if you manage to see it that way. I would never have met my wife if I didn’t go through a very painful breakup and betrayal. Life has its ups and downs, and it’s never only one way or the other.

I will keep updating this post with more signs and symptoms of low self-esteem so make sure you come back or join my newsletter. Comments are greatly appreciated and I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject.

Elliot L'Angelier.



1 year ago

You are truly amazing! You helped me discover myself. I agree with almost all your statements. Are you a psychologist?


Elliot L'Angelier

1 year ago

Hey Fez, Thank you for this comment. I am not a psychologist but I am deeply interested in the field of philosophy and the human psyche which I study and explore each day.

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