Effects of a low self-esteem on your life can be huge.
Understanding the effects of a low self-esteem begins with understanding self-esteem itself. What is it? Why is it so important? And why can its lacking be so damaging?
In a nutshell, self-esteem is the way you think about yourself. It is confidence and satisfaction in yourself. Essentially, it is self-respect.
When you have self-respect and a healthy self-esteem, you feel self-confident, purposeful and self-motivated; and when you do not, your self-esteem will suffer, dragging a list of consequences in its wake. You will feel as if “the fire has gone out” of your life.
These are the 10 most common effects of a low self-esteem:
- Negative feelings
Self-esteem is closely linked to mood, so when it is diminished, you may experience a slew of negative feelings — sadness, shame, anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness, stress, even depression.Everyone experiences periods of negative emotions; but a person suffering from low self-esteem will have an especially difficult time shaking them, and will often experience them in combination.
Hating yourself will cause you to loathe your own thoughts and actions, and have difficulty forgiving yourself.Hating your body will end up being reflected in how you behave in relationships and at work, as feeling unworthy of self-care will give you license not to take care of yourself.
- Believing you have nothing to offer
This is a biggie, and reflects a deep-rooted sense of worthlessness. You may perceive others’ traits and gifts as being superior to your own — even “heroic,” and therefore unattainable.If you are struggling with the effects of a low self-esteem, you may believe that no one cares what you think, how you feel, or even what you have to offer. And believing those things can lead to loneliness, hesitation to reach out and engage, and eventually increasing repressed anger.
- Difficulty getting motivated
A low self-esteem can make every day feel like a Monday morning in heavy traffic…after driving off with your coffee mug on the roof of your car.There is a pervasive assumption that “I am going to fail anyway, so why bother?” This undertow of being “stuck” and “out of gas” can wreak havoc with your performance at work and at home.It can also easily leak over into your willingness to try new things that may help both your mood and your bank account.
- Obsession with perfection
Believing you have to be “perfect” in all you do will lead to a constant sense of failure and never being “good enough.”If you are suffering from the effects of a low self-esteem, you may find yourself confusing “making a mistake” with “being a mistake.,” and therefore unable to forgive yourself for simply being human and making “human” mistakes.And that is the tell-tale sign of toxic shame. There are many ways to cope when you do not feel like you are good enough.
- Lowered resilience
Because the effects of a low self-esteem are imbued with a sense of futility — “there is no hope,” “things can’t get better” — you will have difficulty bouncing back from setbacks that should only be temporary.
- Lack of self-care
When your self-worth is suffering, it’s likely your self-care is, as well. Because there is an underlying assumption that “things can’t get better, so why waste my energy,” it’s easy to then ignore essential elements of well-being, like sleep, good nutrition, and exercise.Low self-esteem will also increase your vulnerability to fear-based distractions like drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive sex, eating, and shopping, all in an effort to avoid conflict, pain, and failure.
- Struggling relationships
Relationships inevitably suffer when low self-esteem is onboard. You may not believe you deserve or can maintain a healthy relationship, so you don’t put forth your best effort or present your best self.
- Being a “people pleaser”
Wanting to make the world a better place isn’t the problem here; not having clear boundaries and not being able to say “no” are.If your self-esteem is at the bottom of its well, you will feel unworthy of receiving goodness from others and you will feel obligated to make sure they feel good.
- Believing you are powerless to change anything
This falsehood naturally leads to fear and anxiety, and when compounded by the belief that your own thoughts don’t matter to others, will deepen your repressed hurt and anger.
Tragically, all of these effects of low self-esteem will only reinforce your negative self-image and can lead to a further downward spiral. The hopeless thinking drives fatalistic behavior, and the two feed off one another.
By now you should be recognizing a common thread running through the effects of low self-esteem: What you believe about yourself radiates outward into all other aspects of your life.
The good news is that this horrible and debilitating cycle of low self-esteem can be broken. You can feel good about yourself. In fact, you deserve to.
If we can help you on your journey, reach out to us. We are here to serve you.
You can find more helpful tips on loving yourself, letting go and improving your self-esteem by calling 1-844-FINEtoFAB, emailing us at [email protected] or Pick up a copy of my book, Fine to Fab here!