1. A lack of self love. Believing that, deep down inside, you are inadequate and inferior.
2. Feeling guilty all the time. Torturing yourself about everything you said or did – even although it is relatively small or insignificant.
3. Lacking a sense of belief in yourself. Always thinking you are going to fail, or “get it wrong”.
4. Living with a constant feeling of self-rejection and self-loathing. Sometimes this is related to secrets you are burying about yourself. But, more commonly, it is because the person is trying to ‘be perfect’ so that others will like and accept them.
5. Having unrealistic expectation of others – then being angry and disappointed when they fail to live up to those standards.
6. Not trusting others to be there for you, to keep on liking you and being your friend, or to be faithful, loyal and reliable.
7. Being focused on your limitations and inadequacies instead of your areas of growth and development. Feeling you will never change, be happy, or make any progress in life.
And how to overcome it:
2. Replace your harsh inner critic with a kinder, and more balanced, inner voice: After identifying and discarding your harsh inner critic, make it a habit to regularly thinking good, and affirming, thoughts about yourself. That is, be your own best cheerleader. Say, for example, you do badly on a test and start to describe yourself as a loser, stop and refuse to accept that thought. Instead, deliberately replace it with a more balanced and positive thought.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others: Remind yourself that every person is unique. It doesn’t really matter how you compare to other people. The only thing that matters is whether or not you are good at being you.
4. Seek to love and respect yourself more. Also, remember that if you don’t respect yourself, then it’s going to be hard for other people to respect you. That means choosing to accept yourself for who and what you are – regardless of how you look and feel, or what you have done, or not done.
5. No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission: If somebody was going to empty a garbage can on top of your head, would you just stand there and let it happen? You have a choice over how to act. In the same way, we can’t stop others from being nasty and mean – but we can choose to reject their comments, and refuse to take them personally. Also, be careful and wise when it comes to accepting advice. Ask yourself if the advice seems reasonable and is actually helping you. If the answer is “yes” then accept the advice. If the answer is “no”, then discard the advice.
6. Hang out with genuine, positive people: That is, with people who encourage you to feel good about yourself.
7. Keep a journal. Write something positive about yourself in your journal every day. Then, when you find yourself suffering from low self-esteem, open up your journal and encourage yourself.