If I could wave a magic wand and cure everyone of one thing, it would be feelings of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is a contributing factor, if not the root problem, in most psychological disorders as well as in general feelings of dissatisfaction. It wrecks relationships, it hinders growth and it can be the number one stumbling block on the path to success, but are there signs of low self-esteem?
Possibly one of the most well known psychological problems is the “inferiority complex,” which popularized by Alred Adler.
There are many reasons why people perceive themselves as inferior to those around them, but the core issues involved are those of self worth and significance.
Many times, low self-esteem is the result of being put down by others or the experience of not measuring up in some way to those around them.
Signs of low self-esteem most commonly exhibit themselves in one of two ways:
- Where someone becomes self-conscious and even gives the appearance of being socially awkward and inhibited.
- Conversely, someone may try to compensate for these feelings by acting just the opposite of how they feel. They may come across as demanding and arrogant and strive to do great things to impress others.
In almost all cases, these tactics are simply a misguided attempt to combat the feelings of low self worth. If you keep trying these tactics and they don’t work, it will likely lead to depression.
We all feel down from time to time, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I am referring to is a constant, persistent state of low self worth—feelings that remain for extended periods of time or come and go with frequency.
If you are showing signs of low self-esteem, there are a few things you can do to help turn this around:
- Understand that the root of the problem is a perception based upon a comparison—it’s not an absolute fact that you are inferior to others.
- Recognize that attempts to gain the approval of others or to protect yourself from rejection are an effort to manage the feelings of low self-worth and are likely counter productive—for example, your withdrawing or exhibiting excessive neediness actually pushes people away.
- Realize that how you interpret your environment needs to be changed.
- Admit that low self-esteem is the result of a constant focus on one’s self. Instead, turn your focus to the needs of others.
- Understand that envy and self evaluation may always be a temptation but like any other temptation, you can resist.
- Put your relationship with God first and believe what He says about you; that’s what will begin to turn people’s opinions about you around.
Low self-esteem is a trap in which many find themselves, and very few people will openly talk about feeling inferior since it is either met with rejection or abuse.
But this is a trap with an easy escape. Taking these 6 steps will help you to begin to overcome those feelings. The journey is well worth the effort and having a healthy self-esteem feels too good to deny yourself the chance to experience it.
If you find that you are having trouble taking any of these steps, it may be beneficial be to work with a professional counselor. A professional will help you gain a new perspective, as it’s likely that your thought process is faulty. They will also support you while you go through the process of changing your words and actions towards yourself and others.