Common Patterns of Low Self Esteem

Self-esteem is an important aspect of an individual’s mental health. It is defined as the confidence and belief in oneself, and the value that one places upon oneself. Low self-esteem can be crippling and can lead to various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. It is important to recognize the common patterns of low self-esteem so that one can work towards improving their self-worth and mental health.

Negative Self-Talk

A common pattern amongst individuals with low self-esteem is negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is the negative internal dialogue that goes on within an individual’s head. It is characterized by negative self-judgments, self-criticism, and self-doubt. Individuals with low self-esteem tend to have a constant dialogue in their heads, which is full of negative statements such as “I’m not good enough,” “I’m a failure,” or “I’m not attractive.”

Negative self-talk can be automatic and habitual. It can be challenging to stop negative self-talk, but it is crucial to recognize when it is happening and work towards changing it. One way to change negative self-talk is by challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations. For example, instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” one should replace it with “I can do this, and I will try my best.”

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is another common pattern of low self-esteem. Perfectionism is the need to be perfect in everything one does. Perfectionists tend to set unrealistic standards for themselves, and when they fail to meet these standards, they tend to be self-critical and self-blaming. Perfectionists tend to focus on their flaws and shortcomings, rather than their strengths and successes.

Perfectionism can lead to significant anxiety and stress. It can cause individuals to fear failure, due to the fear of not meeting their unrealistic standards. Perfectionists tend to avoid taking risks, and they may struggle with making decisions. It is important to recognize that perfectionism is not achievable, and that it is okay to make mistakes. One way to overcome perfectionism is by setting realistic standards, and by focusing on progress, rather than perfection.

Social Comparison

Social comparison is another common pattern of low self-esteem. Social comparison is the constant comparison of oneself to others. Individuals with low self-esteem tend to compare themselves to individuals who they perceive as better than themselves. They tend to focus on their flaws and compare them to other people’s strengths.

Social comparison can be damaging to one’s self-esteem, and can lead to feelings of jealousy, envy and inadequacy. It is important to recognize that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and that one’s worth is not measured by their accomplishments, or by how they compare to others. One way to overcome social comparison is by focusing on one’s own progress and achievements, and by practicing gratitude for what one has.

People-Pleasing

People-pleasing is a common pattern amongst individuals with low self-esteem. People-pleasing is the need to please others and to seek approval from others. Individuals with low self-esteem tend to prioritize others over themselves, and they may struggle with saying no, even when it is in their best interest.

People-pleasing can be exhausting and can lead to significant stress and anxiety. It can cause individuals to neglect their own needs and desires, which can lead to feelings of resentment and anger. It is important to recognize that it is okay to say no, and that one’s worth is not determined by how much they please others. One way to overcome people-pleasing is by setting boundaries, and by learning to prioritize one’s own needs and desires.

In conclusion

Low self-esteem can be challenging, but it is not permanent. With the right tools and support, individuals can work towards improving their self-worth, and their mental health. It is important to recognize the common patterns of low self-esteem, and to work towards overcoming them. By challenging negative self-talk, letting go of perfectionism, practicing gratitude, and prioritizing one’s own needs and desires, individuals can work towards improving their self-esteem and leading a happier, healthier life.

FAQs

What are common patterns of low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem can manifest in a variety of ways, including negative self-talk, constantly seeking validation from others, difficulty accepting compliments, and comparing oneself to others. These patterns can lead to feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy, which can have a negative impact on one’s mental health and relationships.

How can low self-esteem impact my life?

Low self-esteem can have various negative effects on one’s life, including difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships, poor decision-making, a lack of confidence in one’s abilities, and a negative impact on mental health. It can also lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness, further exacerbating the problem.

How can I improve my self-esteem?

There are several ways to improve one’s self-esteem, including practicing self-compassion, challenging negative self-talk, setting achievable goals, and seeking professional help if necessary. Developing a positive outlook and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment can also contribute to an improved sense of self-worth. It’s important to remember that building self-esteem is a process and can take time, but taking small steps towards positive self-talk and self-care can lead to significant improvements in the long term.


References

1. American Psychological Association. (2019). Low self-esteem. In APA dictionary of psychology. https://dictionary.apa.org/low-self-esteem

2. Brown, J. D., & Dutton, K. A. (1995). The role of self-esteem in self-evaluation and self enhancement. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 27, 1-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2601(08)60325-3

3. Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Meier, L. L. (2009). Disentangling the effects of low self-esteem and stressful events on depression: Findings from three longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(2), 307-321. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015645