In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to overcome insecurities and low self esteem.
This article contains proven steps and strategies on how to understand your own self-esteem, understand how confidence will make an impact on your life, and with both of these, overcoming social anxiety in every aspect of your life.
Everyone is different, which means everyone has their own worth.
I hope in some way that these points, suggestions, and thoughts can lead you to the answers that you seek, and as you read this book, keep in mind this quote:
‘To wish you were someone else is to waste the person that you are.’
How To Overcome Insecurities And Low Self Esteem
1: Low Self-Esteem and Your Health
Do you believe you are inferior to those around you? Do you ever find yourself focusing on the bad parts of your personality?
What about the things you aren’t good at? Your physical flaws or shortcomings? Do you have a negative inner voice that seems to always make you feel bad about yourself?
We all deal with these issues from time-to-time, but when these thoughts start to literally “suck-the-life” out of you, it is time to take action and deal with the issue of having low self-esteem.
Having a low self-esteem is quite common and can be cured. However, if left untreated, these insecurities can begin to greatly affect your health in a negative way.
Thinking badly about yourself all the time actually causes stress and cortisol will build up in your body. Over After a while, these negative feelings will start to affect the way your body functions.
Did you know that 75%-95% of Americans’ doctor visits are due to stress related issues? So the real question is: how stress makes a person physically sick?
When people with low self-esteem think badly of themselves, they create stress in their body. As a result, this stress produces and releases a steroid hormone called “cortisol”.
This cortisol increases the chances of heart disease and heart attacks, making low self-esteem deadly.
Some other side effects of having low self-esteem or heart problems, high blood pressure, headaches, sleeping disorders, anxiety, osteoporosis, a weakened immune system, and even depression.
Low self-esteem can ruin your body. People with low self-esteem might excessively drink, smoke, eat, or partake in other bad habits to create feelings of temporary happiness.
Low self-esteem can also cause a lack o f motivation. You may not be motivated to go to the gym or to exercise, which can cause a whole new range of health problems and can lead to obesity.
You may also have a list o f goals that remains untouched or a “To-Do” list that has not been done. Unfortunately, all of these things that can happen when you have a low self-esteem only make the problem worse.
For example, if you start to gain weight or you are not achieving your goals, you may feel even worse about yourself. You may feel sick all the time and unmotivated.
You Are How You Feel
Studies in burn victims showed that having a positive self-esteem directly related to how they perceived the world and how fast they were able to heal.
When someone becomes a burn victim and suffers major external damage to their bodies, they can go through a period of time where they think badly about themselves.
For example, they might find that the burn scars make them ’ugly’, and this feeling makes them ‘act ugly.’ They may have bitter, unfriendly, and negative attitudes.
The burns have severely damaged their self-esteem and this causes a bad mental and physical state. Having a low self-esteem can actually make you feel bad all the time!
Having a bad self-image may result in constantly reminding yourself how unworthy you are. You may have a lot of negative self-talk. You may think things like, ‘Why would anyone want to/be with/talk to me?” or “I’m not good enough to…”.
With this constant mental conditioning, you are more apt to make decisions that reinforce this train of thought.
Some examples may include: staying in abusive relationships, partaking in drugs and alcohol, involving yourself in dangerous situations or spending time with people that treat you badly.
Your poor self-esteem may fuel your desire to ‘prove yourself right and that you are unlovable’ by getting into these situations that will, interestingly enough, just end up making you feel worse about yourself.
Not Good Enough
And as you are so focused on the things you aren’t good at, you can’t experience new things because of an intense fear of failure.
You may worry that other people will see how ‘inferior you are’ as a person or at a task, and this makes it difficult to not only break the cycle of poor self-esteem, but to get out there and put yourself in new, especially social situations.
People with low self-esteem have a difficult time accepting compliments as well. They feel they are unworthy of the praise and often times feel like everyone around them can only see their flaws; or at least their ‘perceived flaws’.
You might even notice t h a t people w i t h po o r self-esteem apologize f o r things frequently. T h e y m a y even apologize for things that aren’t even their fault.
This constant negative conditioning takes a toll on the body, which can eventually spread to other areas of a person’s life.
2: Low Self Esteem and Relationships
One of the biggest ways to see how having a low self-esteem can affect your life is to look at your approach to intimate relationships.
In All the Wrong Places
People with poor self-esteem have a bad habit of attracting and dating people that only fuel their poor self-esteem.
It’s a habit and a subconscious action of the dater, and they use this method to try to prove to themselves that they are ‘unworthy’ of a healthy relationship.
Many times, someone with poor self-esteem will behave in a way to try to ‘win the love’ of the person they are dating, only to be shut down with negativity, and as such, completing the vicious cycle of ‘proof that they don’t deserve to be loved’.
This type of behavior can lead to ‘seeking the right person’, leaving a wake of men or women that all haven’t treated you well, but have ultimately resulted in you giving over parts of yourself (mentally, physically, or even sexually) to a variety of people that simply weren’t worthy.
They continue to ‘prove to themselves’ that they are ‘unlovable’ and they continue to seek someone who can ‘love them’.
People with poor self-esteem may find themselves with a promising partner that cares for them and treats them well, only to find themselves sabotaging the relationship simply to prove that they ‘aren’t good enough’.
They might do something obvious, like cheating, or simply may test their partner by putting them in situations where they are likely to fail and prove their morbid point.
They may have set unrealistic expectations for their partner, expecting them to be a ‘white knight’ to save them from the evil tower that is their own mind, and when they don’t meet these expectations (which, unfortunately no one can), they leave or do something to cause discord in the relationship to get their partner to leave them.
Someone with low self-esteem might avoid emotional intimacy, or even physical intimacy as a relationship progresses to prevent anyone from seeing ‘the real you’.
Intimacy might feel so foreign and fake that they disbelieve it’s even possible. After all, they are just going to leave anyway, right?
It should not be a shock that low self-esteem can cause performance issues for both men and women.
Lack of self-worth with a partner (1) will manifest the fears that they have, and if they think they are going to be ‘bad in bed’, ultimately, they will be.
Confidence in such intimate surroundings is palpable and both you and your partner will feed off of it.
Your self-esteem may be so negative that you constantly seek reassurance from people around you, especially your loved ones.
It’s true; everyone needs to be lifted up every once in a while and a kind word or compliment is good. But, when this turns into an almost obsessive act where one or the other is constantly seeking approval from their partner, it becomes unhealthy.
If your partner is constantly lifting you up because you have poor self-esteem, who’s lifting your partner up?
This can make the relationship almost vampiric, where they are always giving to the partner with low self-esteem.
3: Improving Self Esteem
Maybe you have identified some of these traits in yourself, and you are unsure of how to make the changes needed in your life to make a positive change.
Here are some great examples to help you start building your own self-esteem up:
Mirror-Mirror on the Wall
Generate a reflection of yourself; you can look at a mirror or even use the ‘flip’ option on your smart phone to show you a recorded version of yourself looking back at you on the phone screen.
Make a mental picture, or even better, make an actual picture.
Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Do you like your hair, your body? Do you like how it looks from this side or the other side?
If the answer is no, then look at that person in the mirror and love them enough to do something about it.
There are a million diets and workout programs, tons of places to get a new haircut, and it’s amazing what a smile can do to change your perspective. You can make a change; you are worth it.
Physical activity can increase the mental image that you have about yourself. It will release endorphins, or ‘feel good’ chemicals, and this will help you to think positively, not just about the world around you, but about yourself as a person.
Completing these goals will make you feel good about yourself; it will make you feel confident because you have achieved something. Your goal could be something as simple as, “I will give up ice cream for the week” or “I will do yoga twice this week”, and then achieve the goal you set.
Physical activity builds in motivators, and upon completion, it builds in success stories for you to generate that self-worth and confidence that we all have within us.
People with low self-esteem tend to develop a habit o f wrapping themselves in perfectionistic habits.
They place the value of themselves on a task and how ‘perfectly’ it’s done, and this often leaves the task uncompleted, simply because perfection isn’t possible.
Not only is perfection not possible, but with each failure, their self-esteem sinks deeper as they strive for the unattainable.
We see in society ‘perfection’ very rarely, and when it happens, it’s more than likely in the area of sport.
Take baseball, for example: There is the ‘perfect game’ where a pitcher does nothing wrong and throws exquisitely for one perfect game.
This is wonderful, but it’s important to remember that in one baseball season there are 162 games, and there might be one perfect game in all of the sport with every team and every player once a decade.
Perfect is so hard to attain; it’s a wonder anyone even tries. Novelist seeks the perfect book, while script writers try to create the best movie.
There is no perfection; there is only the best that you can do. If perfectionism is an issue, I challenge you to take a pause and actually look at what the end result looks like.
Ask yourself: “Can anyone do it perfectly? Is it really possible?” Find out what can be done realistically, what is ‘good enough’ and try to achieve that.
4: Building Your Confidence
Confidence is an attribute that you must attain; no one has it naturally. The people that have the most confident have worked to have it at some point, even if it just might seem that they have always had it.
You have to believe in yourself to have confidence, and that is a choice that only you make for yourself.
Yes, confidence is a choice. You choose it; the choice might be thrust upon you in a time of crisis, or at home, or maybe at work. Maybe it’s something that develops over time simply because you are able to master some facet of life that you know, without a doubt, you are great at.
Visualizing is a very standard technique used by many people to achieve goals. Athletes, actors, musicians, they all visualize what they do and then make it happen.
What do you look like as a confident person? How are you looked at in your workplace as this person? How does your partner at home look at you?
In order to gain the confidence you seek, knowing that it is a choice is the first step, and with this step, you can visualize the way life will be after you choose to be confident. Choose now to see yourself in this light.
Courage is a loaded word with thoughts that can conjure up images of epic battles of heroes and heroines, myths and legends. I say, good — go out and be ‘legendary’.
Have the courage to look your negatives in the face and tell them you are done. Talk yourself up and encourage yourself to face your fears. You have the strength to face the issues that cause you to have a lack of confidence.
Every day should start by going out into the world and doing something you are good at. Pick something that you know you have strengths in.
Feel how using your skills that you are good at change you and change your own perception of your image.
Now that you have built yourself up, pick something that you don’t know how to do, like a new hobby or a new possible talent that you would like to nurture, and encourage it to grow.
Set small goals and work hard (2) to achieve them. Courage is the ‘carpe diem’ of confidence. Put yourself out there and find out what you really can be, and before long, you might find that your new hobby or talent is the thing that you enjoy doing and that you are ‘good at’ it.
It takes courage to look at yourself and note that changes need to be made; it takes courage to see that you lack confidence, and it takes courage to make these changes which will make you a braver person.
Raising confidence and low self-esteem are not going to happen overnight; it is going to take hard work, lots of willpower, and it’s going to take time.
Confidence is achieved by trying over and over again, and doing things over and over. You have to ‘shut down the negative feelings and thoughts’ every time they happen. Don’t even allow these dark thoughts to take a foothold in your mind.
Consistency is not only asking these hard questions, not only searching for the answers, but doing it again and again – striving every time to find the answer, and working hard to show courageous actions.
Consistency is everyday waking up and saying to yourself that you are going to be confident, visualizing yourself being confident in the tough situations that will present themselves.
Many days you’ll do great, but some days you will fail. Some days it won’t happen like you visualized it in your mind, and some days you will want to give up.
Consistency is weathering this battle of attrition, knowing that you can do it by using your courage to try again.
5: Overcoming Social Anxiety
The number one thing to remember about anxiety is this: Everyone has anxiety. It’s built into our very nature. It’s what makes us adapt to dangers and heightens pleasures, and without it, the human race wouldn’t be here today.
Some people deal with anxiety better than others; some people only feel it looming over them in certain situations.
It’s very normal for you to be nervous about social arenas and to be uncomfortable in social or public situations.
Overcoming anxiety is something that takes time and hard work. You not only want to eliminate anxiety, you want to master it and understand it in yourself.
Learn about yourself, what makes you nervous, and why, and learn how to handle it.
Break It Down
Make a list of the social situations that cause anxiety. It might be speaking in public, or it might be how to act at a party. It could even be going to the bathroom in a public place, or even how to act on a first date.
What situation causes your anxiety? What are the key factors that heighten that anxiety?
For example, you may not like first dates because you don’t know what to ask or don’t know what to say about yourself. Or maybe you do not like parties because you feel that you may say something foolish.
First on the chart is what the situation is, and next to it are all the reasons for the anxiety.
Keep your list with you, so when one of these situations happen, you can fill it right there. You could even put the list on your smart phone and no one will notice it, as if you were looking at your phone and simply typing a text message.
Once you have this list, you will be able to look at the situation and what is causing your nervousness.
Next, add how you respond to these situations. Perhaps your heart rate might rise or you might simply run away. Maybe you will stutter and can’t think of anything to say.
Practice and Plan
Take the situations from your list and create a plan of attack. Look at the ‘why’ and try to determine examples of what you are going to do the next time one of these situations arise.
Answer the questions of your anxiety. If you are worried, you will say something stupid. Be realistic with yourself – ask yourself ‘How many times have I really said something that stupid?’
If you are worried you don’t know what to say, plan to say something, anything, and see how that goes.
Social Anxiety is a testament of time that you are willing to spend to work on it. The plan of attack it crucial as it gives you time to prepare before you are really there.
You too can train you mind and body to react to the stress.
I hope this text about how to overcome insecurities and low self esteem was able to help provide you with new ways to generate confidence, help you come up with ways to improve your self-esteem, and some tactics to face social situations.
The next step is to put these tactics into action. Go out and give these steps a try.