Take a second to value everything you have for a moment. Look around you. Look at yourself.
What do you feel? How do you feel about yourself?
Listen to your answer… out of everything you took in during this moment.
Do you ever think about how your own self-esteem impacts your view?
Having low self-esteem is nothing to be ashamed of or upset about.
It’s natural. And yea, it sucks.
But the thing about esteem… it can be changed.
You may not recognize every single reason why you’re destroying your self-worth.
Sometimes it’s because they have been ingrained in your everyday life for so long, you wouldn’t think to see them as a threat.
Sometimes taking a step back from the things you perceive to be normal can help you see them for what they really are, a detriment to your self-worth.
We’ll take a look at the effects of low self-esteem before discussing 7 everyday things that you may not realize are probably harming your self-esteem.
The Effects of Low Self-Esteem
Having low self-esteem can twist your entire being into a source of negative thoughts and attitudes.
You lose sight of your own interests. You stop caring about yourself.
Your needs are put aside to focus on everyone else’s. You begin to care too much about what other people think.
Or, you have absolutely no interest in what they think because you’re taking out your frustrations passive-aggressively.
You try to please everyone else because you’re desperate for an ounce of approval because you don’t give it to yourself.
Your worth depends completely on how you think people feel about you.
If you’re never good enough for yourself, then why would you expect others to see you that way?
More often than not, low self-esteem drives people into finding “easy” distractions from their problems.
They quickly fall into habits and routines that sacrifice the positive parts of themselves without even realizing it.
Self-empowerment is affected by internal factors just as much, if not more so, than external factors.
The way that other people talk to you actually holds nowhere near the amount of power than the way you talk to yourself.
Of course, when you’re the one receiving the short end of the stick, it hurts.
But, no matter what other people say or do to you, your self-esteem takes the biggest blow when you hurt yourself.
It doesn’t even have to be physical, it can be entirely mental. It happens to the best of us and it truly is tragic.
Sometimes you need to reach out for help and DON’T EVER let anyone shame you for doing so.
But, other people aren’t always going to be there. So let’s bring attention to 7 everyday things that may be hurting your self-esteem that you may not even realize.
7 Things Destroying Your Self-Esteem
First and Foremost: I would like to ask you to reach out for professional help if you are struggling with depression.
There are options for you to choose from if you are suffering inside.
More people reach out for help than you may think, and you shouldn’t think that your feelings are any less important than anyone else’s. You are important.
Even if you may think you’re not an essential part of someone’s life right now, you might be overlooking how important you are to someone right now, or how important you will be to someone in the future!
Now to look at 7 things destroying your self-esteem.
1. Dopamine Overdosing
Dopamine overdosing is the most common and impactful item on this list.
It can be directly applied to the next 6 items either as the cause or continuation of your low self-esteem problems.
It’s able to affect us so subtly and regularly because it’s been ingrained in our daily lives. You’ve probably never even considered exactly how much it affects you.
We crave the sensations that dopamine gives us when it is released in our brains.
The chemical is responsible for our feelings of pleasure and reward. It drives our motivations, our thought processes, and our overall mood.
We seek it out because it is one of the best “feel good” chemicals we can naturally experience.
Despite it being organically released when we accomplish a goal or experience something pleasant, it is constantly force-fed to us by the world around us.
People regularly induce the easy release of dopamine with triggers like social media, video games, gambling, caffeine, drugs, alcohol, pornography, television, music, gossip, etc.
The list is endless.
We have become so accustomed to using these sources that we don’t realize how addicted we’ve become.
And, just like any addiction, a tolerance eventually builds.
We rely on these external sources to increase dopamine levels.
We persistently consume them to satisfy our cravings until we burn out and crash.
Following the crash, we subconsciously experience a wave of depression.
Our minds have spent so much time away from reality and being in the present moment, it causes a shock to our system.
Our self-esteem crumbles because, deep down, we haven’t earned a true dopamine rush.
We’ve done nothing but consume instead of producing or being active.
By consuming so much so easily, our depleted nervous system can not provide us with good feelings naturally for a period of time after our overdose.
Try taking a break from it all with a dopamine detox to improve your overall mood and self-esteem.
Remove yourself from consuming things like social media, alcohol, drugs, media, music, porn, etc.
Center yourself in the present moment. Soon you will find solace in the world around you being absent of cheap dopamine sources.
Without being occupied with so many distractions, you’ll find it easier to focus on self-improvement.
You’ll have more time to complete tasks.
And you’ll feel a sense of clarity when concentrating on the things that matter most in life.
Your low self-esteem will be left behind with the rest of your addictions.
2. Comparing Yourself to Others
Always keep this in mind: Companies profit off your insecurities, and they depend on your low self-esteem.
You are fooled into comparing yourself to the unrealistic standards of others.
Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter mainline a constant feeling of insecurity in the average user.
It’s natural for you to admire other people’s lifestyles and achievements.
But all too often I bet it causes you to set overinflated goals and standards to achieve.
And, when if you can’t meet those goals, you tell yourself you’re not good enough to have what they have.
Whether it be looks, wealth, or whatever your eye beholds.
You fabricate reasons to justify a false sense of inferiority to others.
This self-installed negativity drops your self-esteem like a microphone at a rap battle between you and yourself, and you just got booed off the stage by the lies you tell yourself.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on the things within your control that you can change.
And then put forth the effort to making those changes.
It’s easier to make the progress towards what you want than you think.
Instead of asking yourself why can’t you be like them, ask what you can do for yourself to improve your own life.
Eventually, you’ll be so content with yourself, you wouldn’t trade who you are for what they are at all!
3. Being too Critical of Yourself
Along with comparing yourself to others, you need to stop comparing yourself to “the perfect version” of yourself.
Stop criticizing your efforts towards self-improvement.
Sure it’s beneficial to aspire to something greater, but never giving yourself validation is self-abuse. It’s easy to scrutinize everything about yourself.
If you feel unimpressed by your own goals and actions, then how the heck are you ever going to see the progress you make?
Take a step back now and then and realize you might be too harsh with your self-judgment.
If you consider yourself a perfectionist, then you probably elevate those thoughts to the point of self-harassment.
Your progress will never be perfect, but it will always be an improvement.
Accept the fact that the progress you make is, potentially, at least good enough.
Or it’s extraordinary and you just can’t see it.
Don’t exchange self-esteem for self-destruction. When you only perceive yourself in a negative light, you’re blind to the success you achieve.
If you criticize yourself for not even starting something… well, you know how easy it is to fix that problem.
Believe in yourself.
Not everything you are or what you do is perfect, but be proud of yourself for taking the time to work for it.
4. Living in Toxicity
When you were looking around yourself at the start of this blog, did you like what you saw?
Did you have a quick thought about cleaning?
Did you feel the need to relocate?
Whether it be at home, work, or even at a friend’s house, your environment is an incubation chamber for low self-esteem issues.
The disorganization of your living space disrupts your train of thought and mental stability.
Clean your living space to experience a subconscious feeling of clarity and order.
Once those are in line not only will you be more comfortable in your area but you will have an easier time working on your low self-esteem.
5. Associating with Toxicity
You may consider the people you hang out with to be friends, but misjudging someone’s character makes you an easy victim of exploitation.
Reevaluate your social circles to see who your real friends are.
Weed out the people who take advantage of you to quickly reduce the number of snakes who impact your esteem in a harmful way.
I know people don’t like to be alone or they find it difficult cutting ties with friends they’ve known for a long time.
But, it’s like ripping off a bandaid. You’ll find out that not having a steady supply of negativity blasted at you, by a so-called “friend”, is far better than keeping them around because you’re too self-conscious about “hurting their feelings."
And if you feel trapped and threatened by that person, reach out for personal help.
Your health and safety are much more important than your social confidence.
6. Retaining Assertion
Running off of toxic people and environments, if you’re not asserting yourself and speaking your mind, you’re not doing anything to stop your self-esteem from coming under their thumb.
This by no means is telling you to turn into a bully. It’s to help you understand that expressing yourself changes the way people interact with you in a positive way.
When you have an assertive attitude, you express your abilities in leadership and decision-making.
It’s a social power that leads people to naturally start listening to you.
Not only is assertion a great tool to boosting your social self-esteem, but it reduces internal conflict.
When you’re vocal about your thoughts and opinions it gives you the chance to hear yourself say what you are feeling.
There is a huge difference between thinking about something and hearing it out loud.
It gives you the opportunity to question your confidence and belief in what you are feeling or how strongly you feel about what you say.
This helps reaffirm your true feelings about important ideas and separates the matters you internally struggle with.
7. The Sacrifice of Self
One of the most common characteristics of low self-esteem is sacrificing your happiness for the approval of others.
Since your brain is starved of the rewards you should be giving yourself, it tricks you into thinking you need the approval of others.
This tendency leads to a decline in personal care, establishing independence, and self-belief.
It’s easy to defend your actions as being selfless or generous, but consider the underlying truth behind the intentions.
You want to make people happy because you don’t know how to make yourself happy.
The addition of feeling like “a nice guy” is a title you can extort when avoiding dealing with your low self-esteem issues.
Stop trying to impress other people with what you can offer them.
You wind up losing more than your time and finances when you do.
Focus on improving yourself first before trying to improve the happiness of others.
You will feel a lot more accomplished and independent when you take steps towards investing in your future self first.
Take the time to focus on your hygiene, your daily routines, your finances, your health (mentally and physically), etc.
You’ll occupy so much of your time improving yourself that by the time you revisit those people you were desperately trying to impress, they will be impressed by your level of success and feel comfortable to be around you again.
Your New Everyday Life
Step number one is to always identify the problem.
If you were never able to recognize these causes beforehand, you were subconsciously living in an incubation unit for low self-esteem issues.
But if you had a self-revelation regarding an item on this list, then you’re able to recognize that you need to change the issue.
It takes a little bit of work but you can become the more confident version of yourself that you always wanted to be!
Change something now can be scary, but a future where you never decided to change yourself is bleak.
You know that you can do it. I know that you can do it.
Believe in yourself to make the change and you’ll kiss your low self-esteem goodbye for good!