Are you struggling to feel confident in life? Maybe you fell short on a goal you set for yourself, or you wished you could be more productive? You are not alone. 85% of people worldwide reported feeling a degree of low self-esteem. A low image of yourself can be more destructive than you think. For example, it can lead to negative behavior that includes dropping-out from school, low performance in your job or not looking after yourself. A great way to combat this is with self-confidence positive affirmations that you can repeat throughout the day. It has been shown to be effective in combating self-sabotaging thoughts and making you feel more confident. In this article we will go over the impact of low self-esteem and how self-affirmations can help you deal with it.
The Impact of Low Self-Esteem
Having low self-esteem is more consequential than you think. People who have low-self esteem often report having anxiety, stress, loneliness and an increased likelihood of depression. It can affect your daily life and can cause you problems with your friendships and romantic relationships, as you may be willing to tolerate more and more unwanted behavior and harbor resentment in the long run.
Low self-esteem reinforces a negative image that you have about yourself, and having these thoughts can form a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, you may have a fear of going out and socializing because you fear that people will sense you are not sociable. Avoiding activities may in-turn fulfill a thought you had about yourself about being boring.
There is also the fear of judgment that can impede doing the activities mentioned above. For example, if you want to go bowling, you may think you will fail miserably in front of others, and that would make you not go. Or, if you want to go to a party, you may fear harsh criticism from others about the way you look, the way you socialize or the way you dance.
Low self-esteem can impact the way you handle yourself in life, and degrade the quality. People with lower self-esteem tend to give in to vices as well, and may drink excessively, smoke often or spend large amounts of time without exercise. They may also neglect themselves which can contribute to problems with physical health over the long-term.
What causes low self-esteem?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to low self-esteem. Some of them include:
It is often the case that self-esteem issues can occur early in childhood. It can be formed from the perceptions that others have about you. These can include experiences from home, school or other places. For example, parents might be overly critical of anything you do, like not washing the dishes right. An individual could also have low grades in school, which can make them feel unworthy or inferior to other, better performing peers.
Having a happy childhood can decrease the chances of having low self-esteem
It can also stem from medical problems like mental illness or chronic pain that can greatly contribute to feeling out of place or not normal. Someone with a mental illness may feel that they do not belong in society because of their defect, and may be looked at differently than a normal person.
Trauma often causes feelings of low self-esteem. There might have been times where an individual suffered physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and might have been forced in a position against their will. These experiences can make somebody feel powerless and make them question their abilities. This can also impede their abilities to trust others.
Belief systems can contribute to feeling inadequate or that they are committing wrong. For example, there may be some beliefs that you enjoy doing on a regular basis like dancing, reading comic books or listening to music that may be forbidden or looked down upon from a certain religion or culture.
Authority figures from these cultures or religions can contribute greatly in stoking the feeling of unworthiness and may evoke shame, guilt or self loathing. Many belief systems also offer two paths, one of goodness and one of evil, and it may be confusing to someone who gets caught up in the middle.
Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem
There are a lot of symptoms to watch out for and determine if you truly have low self-esteem.
Some internal symptoms include:
- Feeling unworthy and unloved
- Having impostor syndrome
- Negative self-talk
- Feeling like a burden
- Doubting or second-guessing yourself
Some external symptoms include:
- Saying yes to everything
- Difficulty making friends and connections
- Hard to grasp new abilities and work on new skills
- Social Anxiety
- Social Withdrawal and not attending events you would otherwise enjoy
How else can I find out if I have low self-esteem?
If you feel you have low self-esteem, there are also other ways to diagnose it to be truly sure. One of the most useful tools for this is the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale. It was created in 1967 by a social psychologist and psychologist named Morris Rosenberg as a way to measure self esteem. The chart is divided into 10 items, and each item is to be scored from 0 to 4 with 0 indicating that you strongly disagree and 4 indicating that you strongly agree. The categories include:
- I feel that I’m a person of worth
- I feel that I have a number of good qualities
- I am inclined to feel that I am a failure
- I am able to do things as well as most other people
- I do not have much to be proud of
- I take a positive attitude toward myself
- I am satisfied with myself
- I wish I could have more respect for myself
- I feel useless at times
10. I think I am no good at all
Poor vs Healthy Esteem
People with low self-esteem often rely on the present to judge their value rather than looking in the past or planning about the future. The focus is more on their weakness rather than their strengths and often overlook any skills that they might have. People with high self-esteem, however, feel good about themselves and that they are worthy of praise from others. They have a more balanced way of viewing themselves, and accurately know their strengths and weaknesses.
Benefits of Healthy Esteem and Self-love
People with high self-esteem often feel great about themselves and feel secure and confident in their abilities. They have realistic expectations and are more resilient and able to weather whatever stress and setbacks they might have and have plenty of self-love.
Self-love is the state of appreciation for oneself. It means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness, and that you actually care about taking care of your own needs. It is about how you treat yourself, and what your thoughts and feelings about yourself are. People with high amounts of self-love will feel confident about themselves and not sacrifice themselves to please others if it goes against their interests.
Having positive self-esteem also allows you to:
- Be Assertive
- Set boundaries
- Create healthy relationships with others
Of course, having high self-esteem does not mean that you adore absolutely everything about yourself. There are times when you can self-criticize and improve areas where you think you need to. For example, you may feel confident in your abilities to play basketball, but you notice that you don’t shoot a perfect three-pointer every time. Having self-confidence means that you know you will get it right with practice.
On the flip-side, someone who excels at something may not always have high self-esteem. For example, an olympic runner may be one of the best in the world at what they do. However, if they constantly compare themselves with others, they may feel inferior no matter how many awards and gold medals they win.
What are self-affirmations?
Self-Affirmations are statements that you say to yourself to increase your self-esteem. They can help you overcome self-sabotage, but they have to be repeated frequently. Think of them as little exercises for your mind: The more reps you do, the better you get at thinking positively about yourself. Then, if you repeat it long enough, the thoughts would become automatic.
Think about any fact that was drilled in your head. Do you know who the 1st president of the United States was?
The answer would be George Washington!
Do you know who the 20th president was?
The answer is James Garfield.
Not so easy now, was it? (I had to Google it myself) You did not have to make an effort to know the answer to the first question because the fact was drilled in your head. The second question was harder simply because James Garfield is not mentioned as much as Geroge Washington! The same applies to self-affirmations. Once you drill them into your head, the thoughts become automatic, and you would start to believe it, no matter if it was true or not. Self-affirmations condition your brain to think positive thoughts, and there have been studies done on this that say they affect the brain’s neuroplasticity, or the ability for the brain to change their connections and behaviors based on new information. This can only be achieved if an activity is practiced frequently. and there are various categories to use them for including:
Self-affirmations in your everyday life
Affirmations generally work to shift your mindset from negative thinking to positive thinking. It might not have an immediate effect, but if you train your brain to say it once a day at a certain time, you will see results. Your brain mixes up reality and fiction at various times, and even if your affirmation is not true, your brain would perceive it so, and boost confidence. Think about a situation where you felt challenged:
- Taking a test
- Breaking up a fight
- Firing someone
- Entering a competition
What is the thing that you say to yourself? We usually tell ourselves positive affirmations such as “You can do this” “You got this” “You’re the boss” What about when we do something we don’t like such as breaking an important item, or accidentally offending someone? We usually tell ourselves “I’m so stupid” “I’m an idiot” “Why am I so clumsy?” You might not think much of it, but you are giving yourself negative affirmations. We use these in our everyday lives to create an ideal (or unideal) version of ourselves when the situation calls for it.
Now try fitting some new affirmations to the mix! You should avoid using any stock affirmations that you may have seen somewhere and focus on creating your own tailored to your situation. We will go over some affirmations that you can you in your day to day depending on what you want to accomplish.
Types of self-confidence positive affirmations
Affirmations for Career Success
These are for when you want to pursue a career or change course:
- I am perfect for this job
- My career is a journey, not a destination
- I am committed to creating my career on my terms
- I will use my voice to lift myself and others
- I know I deserve career success, and others will see that too.
Affirmations to take on fear
Taking steps to transform your life for the better can be intimidating. Here are some affirmations to help you out:
- I am excited and happy to embrace my future
- I am creating the life of my dreams
- I persist until I succeed
- I have the power to change my life
- I am not afraid today
Affirmations for relationships
These are for when you want to commit into a relationship or strengthen it:
- I am attracting the perfect partner for me
- I am in a wonderful relationship with someone who treats me right
- I only attract healthy relationships
- Love starts with me
- I am lovable
Affirmations for Attractiveness
Everyone is attractive in their own way:
- My inner-self radiates positive energy into the world
- I am beautiful inside and out
- I am satisfied with how I look
- I praise and love myself
- I am enough
These are for when you want that extra motivational boost to get through a challenge:
- I don’t sweat the small stuff
- I can handle anything that comes my way
- My presence is my power
- I am in charge of how I feel today, and I choose to feel happy
- I am successful in whatever I do
There are ways that you can use self-affirmations to better your life. Here are just some methods that you can use:
Use a Mirror
You can use a mirror to practice your self-affirmations. When you do so, make note of any facial expressions that you have, and that it matches the tone of the affirmation. For example, if you are using motivational affirmations, you want to make sure you look determined.
Using Self-Confidence Positive Affirmations can help you overcome anxiety and achieve your goals like passing an exam
Another action you can take is to record yourself saying these affirmations, then play it back at certain times of the day. You can even play it back while you are sleeping to make sure these affirmations seep into your unconscious.
Create a WallPaper
You can also create a wallpaper and insert some motivational objects. These can be photos of historical people, your favorite objects and your self-affirmations. You can then print out a wallpaper to hang in your room, or create a digital version to use as your computer background. You might even share on social media.
Having low self-esteem is more damaging than you think. It can affect your daily life and block you from reaching your goals and improving the quality of your life. A healthy amount of self-esteem can not only boost your quality of life, but also make you achieve great things, and self-affirmations are great at developing that. It may take a while for them to take effect, but the payoff is worth it. Check out coach.today/blog to learn about more life coaching topics!