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Those who suffer from low self-esteem are likely aware their warped self-image negatively impacts their life experiences. At the worst, low self-esteem can lead to severe mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. At its best, low self-esteem can drive people to self-sabotage, to make destructive decisions, or to cause harm to themselves or others. Low self-esteem is simply a lose-lose situation.

Some people know that they suffer from low self-esteem. However, many others don’t.

Here are surprising signs of low self-esteem…along with advice from our counselors about how to change these detrimental thought patterns and work towards establishing a more positive self-image:

1. You apologize for everything. Literally, everything. Even when it’s not your fault. When someone at the grocery store is looking down at their phone while walking and bumps into you, it’s not your fault yet you say you’re sorry. This could be a sign that you think everything going wrong in your life is your fault. But it’s not. To change this behavior, whenever you apologize for something that isn’t really your fault, remind yourself that you were not to blame and acknowledge that the apology was unnecessary.

2. You claim to just be lucky. When things are going well in your life, you give luck all the credit. The truth is, though, you probably worked pretty hard to accomplish these great things, and YOU deserve the credit. You are talented and intelligent, and in order to start believing this, you need to (a) accept compliments with a simple “thank you,” and (b) take credit for the successes you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

3. You make decisions based on what others think. Like buying that dress because your friend said it looked amazing, even though you didn’t really like it. Or inviting that coworker you really don’t like to your holiday cocktail party. When you make decisions for the satisfaction of others, it stems from a tendency to compare yourself to others and to live up to their expectations of you. Instead, look for what makes you uniquely you, and what makes you happy, and make decisions best for you. The more you practice this, the easier it will become to trust your decisions.

4. You shrink. You’d rather sit quietly or be alone than find yourself in a position where others could be annoyed, frustrated, or angry with you for speaking up. Avoiding conflict is a sign of low self-esteem, but you can begin to move past this through the use of positive affirmations. Check out this blog post for more information and how to use positive affirmations.

5. You subtly self-mutilate. Over-plucking eyebrows, constantly picking at clogged pores, biting cuticles, picking scabs. These habits are considered “compulsive self-mutilation” and are used subconsciously as a coping mechanism for the uncomfortable feelings caused by low self-esteem. Journaling is a great first step in trying to work through this manifestation of low self-esteem, though therapy or counseling is often more effective.

Low self-esteem manifests in surprising ways. Even beyond these five signs of low self-esteem, there are plenty of other destructive actions that may not seem like a big deal, but are major indications that your self-image could be suffering.

Addressing your low self-esteem issues can reap major rewards in your life: you’ll learn to just be yourself; to agree to disagree; to speak up for yourself; to accept new challenges. If low self-esteem is holding you back from living the life you want, please contact us at Creative Counseling Center to discuss partnering with one of our counselors to support you breaking down the barriers of low self-worth and rebuild your confidence to better than it ever was!

Contact Creative Counseling Center

The team of therapists at our Denver area counseling center are some of the best in Colorado. Each of our therapists specializes in specific therapeutic modalities, enabling us to help adults, teens and children with whatever they may be struggling with. If you are suffering from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, grief, anger, or any other trauma, please contact us to schedule your free phone consultation. We are here, and we can help.

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