You have core beliefs about yourself, about the kind of person you are. If your core beliefs about yourself are positive, then you have a healthy self-esteem. But if they are negative, then you have a low self-esteem. This shows that at the heart of your self-esteem are your core beliefs about the kind of person you are. Negative beliefs about yourself which results in low self-esteem are expressed in many ways. Four of the ways are discussed below.
1. Insecurity: I think we all have insecurity in one way or form. Insecurity can be a product of a low self-esteem. Someone can hide behind his accomplishments concealing a low self-esteem. He may appear to be secure because of his ability or appearance but he is insecure inside. Hence the person does not have ability insecurity or appearance insecurity but has self-insecurity. This self-insecurity results in a low self-esteem.
Such insecurity can make people place too much emphasis on material things: money, fashion, cars, and hairdos. They are prone to dress indecently. In their insecurity, they go to extremes in order to gain acceptance. Their low self-worth makes them feel the way they can get attention is to reveal parts of their body, that way they can make a statement. They do not accept themselves and their need for acceptance is magnified. Since they are desperate for others to accept them, they see nothing wrong in posting indecent pictures of themselves on social media so they can get “Likes” and comments. They get fifty Likes and they feel validated; they feel as if they have accomplished something. The virtual reality of the social media appears to be a real reality to them. This is a sign of low self-esteem. If you want others to accept you, you have to accept yourself first.
2. Hypersensitivity: People with low self-esteem have a feeling of inadequacy. Since they feel they are inadequate, they feel that others feel the same way about them. So they watch people’s words and actions towards them like a hawk. They question people’s words and actions towards themselves. They are alert to other people’s choice of words and tone of voice. They are quick to read signs of people looking down upon them or mocking them and they end up confirming the worst where the conclusions were already in their head.
3. Unfavourable Comparison: Do you have a habit of comparing yourself to your siblings, parents, colleagues, friends, boss, or even strangers? If yes then your self-esteem is most likely low. Unfair and excessive comparison does not help you in any way. You do not find favour in comparing your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 15. It does not matter if you share a similar background; there are so many variables you do not see, so the comparison is useless.
4. Lack of Motivation: They do not put in the much needed effort into a project, cause, or activity, and have an attitude that neglects consequences. Zig Ziglar explains:
…it is because they can’t see themselves as “winning” or as the outstanding boy or girl because they aren’t attractive or deserving enough. They can completely “let go” and “overdo” their protest in every conceivable way. They are frequently loud, critical, vindictive, and overbearing. Such people often dress unattractively, forgo personal hygiene, frequently become obese, abandon morality and flaunt immorality, turn to drugs or alcohol, and become vulgar or profane in speech. Ironically, they often adopt a superior attitude and try to make others, who don’t share their views, feel inferior. It’s distressing to see sloppy, dirty, profane, unkempt individuals because the outward appearance is a dead giveaway to the self-image…1
In the last post, I looked at four causes of low self-esteem. I have considered how low self-esteem is expressed in this post. The next post will be steps to a healthy self-esteem.
- Zig Ziglar, 2000, See You at the Top, Pelican Publishing Company Inc., 68.