Emotional Wellbeing



Mandy Kloppers

Six Ways Low Self Esteem Hinders You

Everyone wants to feel loved but when a person has low self-esteem they can appear more needy and insecure than the average individual.If you have low self-esteem, it’s time to make increasing your self-esteem a priority.Allowing low self-esteem to pervade will hinder you immensely in life in the following ways:


1) Self Sabotage


Self-sabotage involves behaving in ways that are not in one’s own best interest. there are three common ways that we engage in self-sabotage.


1) There are those that are unwilling to take charge of their lives or make changes and as a result they float through life taking whatever comes their way.  They often become underachievers. Together with the conviction that it’s the best they can do and fearful of failure or rejection, they stay in jobs with inadequate pay, poor or non-existent benefits, or in abusive and unfulfilling relationships. They fear of failure means that they rarely seek therapy or engage in activities that might result in rejection or humiliation.  Thus they remain stuck, repeating the mistakes, unaware of this self-defeating behaviour and unable to do things differently.


2) Then there are those that are plagued by anxiety and lacking self-respect or appropriate skills, these low self-esteem sufferers rely on others for decision-making, defer to other’s ideas and values, try to please others to be liked, act helpless and don’t respect themselves or feel they have worth.


3) The third type of self-sabotage involves workaholics.These low self-esteem sufferers know they have the ability and skills to be successful in their careers and devote the majority of the time and energy into making that happen. Success brings them a modicum of satisfaction and feelings of adequacy as long as they remain in the job position from which they get praise and/or respect and reward. They tend to gravitate to where they feel best about themselves, work becomes a form of self-sabotage, as they place work before family or social arenas in which they feel less adequate. Workaholics often don’t have time for a personal life or ignore and neglect those who are in their lives. Often they become over achievers.


2) Putting On A “Front”


People who suffer from low self-esteem try to look calm when they are not; try to hide their embarrassment when they think they’ve made a mistake; attempt to look like they understand a discussion when in fact, they don’t; try to look confident when they feel inadequate; and exert a lot of energy trying to look good. They feel that others will think less of them if they show emotion or admit to “not knowing” something and try to maintain the appearance that all is well, when that is not at all how they feel.  They feel too vulnerable to let others see that they have problems or that they have difficulties in their lives. The truth is that showing that you are human and make mistakes allows others to feel closer to you and will also allow them to feel more empathy towards you.  So in a way “keeping up appearances”in can leave you more isolated than you realise.


3) Being Needy


People with low self-esteem are often anxious and unsure of themselves.  One of the main ways that insecure people with low self-esteem try to determine their worth is by looking to others for validation.  They are hyper vigilant and watch the behaviour of others, listening to their words and tone of voice, mentally recording the ways that person acts toward them, even keeping score of what they think works and doesn’t work.  Of course, all too often what they conclude is not accurate. Relying on others to measure our own self-worth is an extremely precarious method of measurement.


When an individual looks outside themselves to determine how lovable they are, they will be scrutinising all of the behaviours of those people that profess to love them.  If the other person does not behave in the ways that they presume indicate love, they automatically assume they are not loved.  Low self-esteem sufferers either try harder to please in order to win the love and affection of the significant other, or they become angry when they feel the significant other is withholding giving them what they need or they feel they must be deserving of this treatment and conclude that they are indeed, unlovable.


Unfortunately, much of the disappointment that low self esteem sufferers have toward the significant other is the result of their own insecurity, their neediness that demands constant reinforcement, their unreasonable expectations, their irrational storytelling and an inability to look at their own issues. On the other hand, all too often those with low self esteem choose partners who are similar to the people who created their low self-esteem in the first place – their parents, who maybe withheld love and affection, had low self-esteem themselves, or in other ways did not meet their needs as children. Such partners are unable to give to themselves in ways that are warm, nurturing and loving and often their significant other is unable to provide the same level of parental love that their partner with low self esteem missed out on as a child.


Believing in your own assessment of yourself rather than needing the appraisal of others is the key to increased self-esteem and is consistent.


4) Chaotic Relationships


It can be difficult for people with low self-esteem to maintain stable relationships. They tend to be self focused, hypersensitive and defensive.  Usually there is a predominance of hurt feelings, misunderstandings, defensiveness and blaming, unreasonable expectations,poor communication, holding in feelings and chaos in general. people with low self-esteem often hypersensitive to any kind of criticism.  Due to their vigilant manner regarding other people’s behaviour, often misinterpret what they see or hear there are many reasons why people act and react as they do.  Unless they ask for clarification, which isn’t always possible, they will often make incorrect assumptions. This further enhances their irrational thinking.


5) Lack of Assertiveness


Assertiveness requires boldness which most low self-esteem sufferers do not have.They are often too fearful of upsetting others (and then being rejected) to tell the truth, ask for what they want or share their feelings. Instead, they tend to become passive until the anger builds at which point they can become aggressive-defensive, sarcastic or rude.people with low self-esteem may also behave passive-aggressively when they are angry.


6) Poor Boundaries


Low self esteem sufferers often tolerate the inappropriate behaviour of others and then may respond with abusive, insensitive or demanding behaviour. They may also be controlling and smothering of their significant others. People with high self-esteem understanding and acknowledge their worth and are less likely to accept disrespectful behaviour from others.


Quick Tips to Enhance Self-Esteem


1)Remind yourself regularly of your strengths.  Make a list and place it somewhere where you can read it daily.


2) Never engage in negative self-talk. We all make mistakes, don’t be hard on yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a best friend.


3) Watch your thinking. It is impossible to be positive if you think negative thoughts..monitor them and reframe the negative thoughts that don’t serve you.


4) Never compare yourself to others.


5) Accept where you are in life and stop using “should” and/or “must”. Wanting to improve is great but accept the ‘starting point’ graciously.


6) Spend time with like-minded people who inspire you.


7) Make a list of all the things you are proud of in your life, no matter how small.



We all have dips in our self-esteem at times but learning to love yourself is the single most important thing you can do to achieve the most out of your life and achieve your true potential.


Mandy X

If you have low self-esteem issues, get in touch and I will support you to move forward and learn to love yourself.




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