9 Signs of Low Self-Esteem & 10 Ways to Build Confidence

By Zencare

It’s easy to brush off low self-esteem or a lack of confidence as a character trait, or to mistake it for humility. But low self-esteem can have long-term damaging effects, ranging from smaller-scale occurrences – not speaking up in class or work meetings, for example – to longer-term threats, like relationship problems, mental health issues, or negative thoughts that result in self-damaging behavior.

Recognizing the signs of low self-confidence is an important first step to overcome low self-esteem issues. Recognizing your own worth is the next one. Here’s how to get started with both.

Nine signs of low self-esteem

How often do you stop yourself from speaking your mind, due to fear of embarrassment or being wrong? Do you frequently say “sorry” where an “excuse me” would suffice?

For people with low self-esteem, these small “blips” of fear and anxiety can add up to a lot of negative thinking and compound a sense of low self-worth. Here are nine such signs to be aware of, so that you can work on overcoming them (e.g., with a life coach, therapist, or other mental health professional):

1. Difficulty speaking up and prioritizing your own needs, wants, and feelings

This may be especially prominent in the context of what others want or need, such as routinely placing others’ priorities above your own. Perhaps you convinced yourself that what you really want doesn’t matter in the moment, in the face of someone else’s needs, or you want to avoid challenges with others. It’s understandable why you don’t speak up! While caring for others is a personality strength, when it comes at the cost of your own needs, wants, or feelings, these good qualities become a hindrance.

2. Saying “I’m sorry” and/or feeling guilty for everyday actions

Is the word “sorry” at the top of your vocabulary? Do you feel guilty for things like taking up space or apologize for things that you have no control or responsibility over? This could be a sign that you constantly feel like you’re doing something wrong – chances are you have nothing to apologize for, but it’s become a habit of negative thinking!

3. Not “rocking the boat”

Not “rocking the boat” describes the tendency to follow along with what others are doing, saying, wearing, and going. This is another example of positive qualities becoming a vulnerability – being flexible is a good thing, but when it means that you seldom carve your own path and lack confidence, it may be a sign of low self-esteem.

4. Not feeling deserving of, or capable of, having “more”

Whether “more” means deserving better relationships, a higher-paying job, or the common courtesy of others, when you feel like you deserve better, you won’t go seeking it. This can lead to unfulfilling (or even toxic) relationships, unsatisfactory or low paying jobs, and overall lower standards.

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WARRIOR MIND COACH wrote this article that uncovers how masculinity is in decline in our modern society

At birth, no one knows how to be a man. However, growing up one becomes exposed to different definitions of masculinity which ends up creating confusion about the subject. We learn about masculinity from male role models around us including our biological fathers.

Today, the quality of fatherhood has been diminished by busy work schedules, career and education, which has brought about the masculinity crisis. There is a crisis of masculinity that is subjecting men to significant hurt due to stereotyped expectations from society. It is vital to identify what men want to make them feel like men and realize false substitutes to masculinity.

  • A Battle to Fight. A man is expected to be utterly combative. Among the battles that exist in a man’s life can include fending for his family, business, and political success, or excelling in sports among others. Most men set the bar too high and end up becoming frustrated from failure to achieve set objectives. Men are also intolerant to gender, inter-ethnic, and religious competition. Emerging a winner in such battles makes a man feel good and enhances their self-esteem, but these are only motivators and not what defines masculinity.
  • An Adventure to Live. Traditionally, men have been known to have a thrill for adventure. From territory conquests, hiking of mountains, to sailing in the sea, a man will always seek experiences which will leave the hair at the back of their head standing! The focus is on the process and not the result. Adventure makes life more meaningful and enjoyable.
  • A Beauty to Pursue. Every man desires to behold a beautiful woman in their life for sex and companionship. Due to the dwindling effects of fathers and role models in young men, many are turning to beautiful women for validation. The three battles are interrelated, and none can work in isolation of the others.

The society tries to substitute the three drivers of masculinity namely, a battle to fight, a beauty to pursue, and an adventure to live with the four big lies. The lies are peddled through channels such as advertisements, family members and close acquaintances, and employers. The four big lies are based on falsified information and the promotion of false goods rather than masculinity.

Undoubtedly, there exists a connection between the substitutes and the core masculine desires, but none of the former can make one feel like a real man. Below are the four big lies which continue to intensify the crisis about masculinity:

  • Sex. It is a fact that sex feels good, both as an act and also the feeling of experiencing a woman’s carnal knowledge and intimacy. Men are not sex since the latter is only an act and thus men cannot be defined by their performance in the act. Further, sex cannot sustain a man’s self-esteem in the long run.
  • Power. Power is only a characteristic of masculinity and cannot be its substitute. One will not become a better man over the people he exercises authority over, just because he has power. Power can bring man respect and attention, but these can only last for a short time.
  • Money. Men are principally inspired to chase after money to acquire more power and win over the opposite sex. Money is only a means to discover more about the true meaning of masculinity. Money makes a man’s life more enjoyable, but his being man is not reliant on the same.
  • Men Don’t Shed Tears. Men are not supposed to talk about their strife in chasing after the big four lies which further complicates their pain in life. The struggle to attain the big four lies is so draining and breaks down the mettle in most men. Sharing one’s struggles and triumphs with other people bring motivation to surmount even harder obstacles in the future.

The discussion about what masculinity is will continue to be plagued by misunderstandings and panicky assertions. The crisis in the topic affects both men and women which is why both must be engaged in discussions to help resolve the crisis. It might be important to redefine masculinity to help demystify the four big lies and settle the conflict once and for all.

source: https://www.warriormindcoach.com