Your self-esteem is the way you think and feel about yourself. The people you surround yourself with have an effect on the way you feel about yourself, particularly the people who were around you while you were growing up. If you hear positive comments from teachers and parents as a child, you most likely have a good level of self-esteem as an adult. If you received a great deal of negativity as a child, you may struggle with low self-esteem now.
Focus on the Flaws
Women who struggle with low self-esteem tend to pay the most attention to the things they consider flaws. If you have low self-esteem, you probably find that you focus on your weight, appearance or ability to perform in a negative manner. You may call yourself stupid or think that you are a “bad person,” even if you are not. According to “Building Self Esteem, a Self Help Guide,” a brochure produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, you may have repeated negative thoughts and paid so much attention to your perceived flaws over your life that you don’t even notice when they occur anymore. If you struggle with low self-worth, try to pay attention to every negative thought that flows through your head. Many of them may not even be true. Once you learn to recognize negative thoughts and once you learn to turn them off, you can begin to rebuild your self-esteem.
Feelings of Insecurity
If you find yourself constantly checking with others before moving forward with a project or before you make any commitments, you probably have issues with self-esteem, especially if another person’s approval does not quell your insecurity. Learn to recognize the difference between asking someone for their opinion and asking someone for their approval. In the end, it doesn’t matter what others think of you as much as what you think of yourself.
If someone tells you that you did a great job on your presentation or that your dress looks nice, you will probably shrug it off or convince yourself that the other person didn’t actually mean what he said. In some cases, women with low self-esteem may take a compliment from another person and turn it into a put-down. For instance, you did well on your presentation because you had an easy assignment or your dress looks nice on you because it covers up your fat arms. Instead of denying a compliment, learn to accept praise from others and accept the fact that you can accomplish tasks and look good doing them.