Do you feel guilty for enjoying yourself? Do you keep giving chances to people who have let you down? Do you say yes to others out of obligation? Do you neglect your own needs? Do you feel disgusted when you look in the mirror? Are you unable to accept compliments? Do you criticize yourself when you make a mistake or apologize for things that really aren’t your fault?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, the way you love yourself or even like yourself, could use improvement. Having low self-esteem or a negative self-image damages your foundation for healthy functioning, strong relationships and success in life.
When no one is listening, do you love yourself?
Signs of low self-esteem or self-hatred include:
- Irrational fears and anxiety over doing or saying the wrong thing or feeling incompetent/inadequate.
- Inability to communicate feelings, wants or desires.
- Hypersensitivity to everything around you especially the actions of others in relation to you.
- Thinking of yourself in negative, self-deprecating kinds of ways.
- Being needy by constantly seeking out approval from others due to your negative self-image.
- Jealousy in relationships caused by feeling threatened by the presence of others.
- Depression, Anxiety, Addiction and OCD.
So how does this negative self-image affect your daily life?
We adapt to negative thoughts by treating it like a coach and listening to its destructive advice.
So it goes a little something like this…
If it tells us we are worthless, we choose people who treat us as if we are insignificant. If it tells us we are stupid, we believe we’re not intelligent enough and we take fewer risks. If it tells us we are a failure, we believe we aren’t good enough to have successes, so we don’t even try. If it tells us we’re disgusting, we may resist putting ourselves out there or we may get involved in unhealthy, destructive relationships because we believe it’s all we deserve.
There is no quick fix for not liking yourself. Therapy takes on issues of low self-esteem or self-loathing by helping people gain a stronger sense of self. Through therapy, you face your fears rather than avoiding them. Because of this, many times you will feel worse before you feel better. There are remarkable benefits when you can see it through.
Want to know where you stand? Take my self-esteem assessment here.