Do You Like Yourself?
How often do you think, “I wish Icould change this about myself,” or “Why can’t I be better at that?” If you arealways looking for ways to improve your appearance or personality, better yourskills, or perfect yourself, it may be time to ponder how much you actuallylike yourself.
When you spend the majority ofyour time thinking about how you “could” be, instead of being happy with theway you currently are, there’s a good chance you are lacking in compassion foryourself. And when you feel this way, it means you are not comfortable with ordo not accept yourself as you are. This is, unfortunately, a sign of low self-esteem.
WhyIt’s Important to Like Yourself
If you have positive self-esteem,that means that you accept yourself, just as you are, not how you “may” be someday. High self-esteem doesn’t mean you can’t be sometimes critical of yourselfor that you should never evolve and change. But, having high self-esteem meansyou are capable of being happy while also being flawed, and that you recognize that life is about growing and changing, not perfecting oneself.
Self-acceptance is an importantpart of your mental well-being. It is strongly correlated toself-understanding, being able to empathize with others, and having a strongpeace of mind. When you are able to lift the restrictions, you place on thelove you have for yourself, you can accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
When you cannot accept yourselfand no longer like yourself, you are more likely to feel chronically anxious.You are also more likely to worry about your shortcomings, to avoid circumstancesthat may reveal your perceived shortfalls, or to shy away from relationships.
Liking yourself means you don’tspend too much time ruminating on your mistakes or failures, which means youcan bounce back more easily when faced with obstacles. You accept that we allhave strengths and weaknesses, and you are doing your best to be the bestperson you know how to be.
WhereDoes Self-Hate Come From?
Whether you call it self-hatred orself-loathing, when you don’t like yourself, it has a powerful influence onyour mental and emotional health. But where do these feeling come from? Fromearly on, we are taught what to value and believe in our lives. When we grasp,at a young age, onto a notion that we are unworthy of love or happiness, this often leads to feelings of self-loathing later in life.
Those early experiences act muchlike a boulder does when it rolls down a hill. They pick up steam along theway, gathering up more “evidence” of your shortcomings or unworthiness,solidifying in your mind the reasons why you shouldn’t accept or like yourselfall that much. And over time, it becomes harder to shake those off, as the boulder has grown too large to move on your own.
Learningto Like Yourself
If you want to learn to acceptyourself for who you are, you have to earn your respect. You must embody yourvalues and beliefs, living a life that exemplifies the characteristics you mostvalue on the inside. Your self-esteem is founded upon your internal qualitiesand traits, not what’s on the outside. Focus on developing this, and the rest will fall into place.
Treat others well, too. Care forothers, and you will soon notice that you feel better about yourself. When youfocus on the needs of others, you start to also listen to the fundamental needsof yourself.
Learning to like yourself is aboutdeveloping acceptance. And when you accept who you are, you will open the doorto possibilities that only high self-esteem and self-love can unlock.
7 Signs You Have Low Self-Esteem
There are many people today who suffer from low self-esteem. Forsome, most outsiders can easily point to behaviors that show this is the case.For others, it is not so clear. But, if you are ready to shine a light onyourself to examine whether your self-esteem may be lacking, we’ve compiled alist of behaviors to watch out for. Here are seven signs you may have low self-esteem.
#1. You Are Indecisive.
Having low self-esteem can make it hard to be decisive. When youdon’t trust your abilities or opinions, you have trouble making even simplechoices. Even minor decisions can take hours, as you have trouble understandingwhat difference it will make in the long run what you choose. If you don’t feelyour opinion matters to others, you will often defer to their choices, as well.
#2. You have Difficulty Being Alone.
When you don’t feel good about yourself, you probably don’t enjoyspending time alone. Being alone is just more time to think the negativethoughts that are perpetuating your low judgment of yourself, so you maycompensate by trying to always be around other people. Being with others, evenif you are not actually taking part in social interaction, is often preferred to the feelings that are evoked when you are on your own.
#3. You Consistently Compare Yourself to Other People.
If you are always thinking about and worrying over others who youthink are more successful than you, then your self-esteem is likely low. Whenyou allow thoughts of other people’s lives and accomplishments to fill themajority of your days, you are not valuing your own desires and needs. Lowself-esteem can make it seem like you are the only one missing out on happiness, leading you to question what others are doing right where you are failing.
#4. You Have Trouble with Relationships.
If you don’t like or value yourself, you may have difficultybelieving others can care about you. Low self-esteem often leads to feelingvery unloved, which can cause you to have trouble connecting with someone elseon a deep level. Low self-esteem can cause you to seek validation oraffirmation from a partner, which can feel clingy or needy to the other person, causing problems in the relationship as well.
#5. You have Trouble Saying “No” to Others
When you lack self-esteem, it can be hard to accept that yourneeds are more important than someone else’s. This may cause you to say “yes”to requests that don’t match with your desires or because you want the otherperson to like you. If you fear rejection from someone, saying “yes” is a wayto ensure they continue to find you valuable. But saying “yes” all the time also means your needs are being neglected.
#6. You Care a Lot about How You Look
Those with low self-esteem often spend a lot of time worryingabout their appearance. If you always wear make-up when leaving the house orcan’t resist primping when you pass a mirror, you are likely very insecure andtherefore must continue to primp and preen to mask this.
#7. You are Always Apologizing
Low self-esteem often leads you to blame yourself for things thatyou didn’t really do. When your self-esteem is low, you may try to minimizeyour impact on others by apologizing for your behaviors. It is common for thosewith low self-esteem to apologize for talking about how they feel or forspeaking their mind.
Does any of this sound like you? Or someone youcare about? These are just a few of the signs of lowered self-esteem, but ifyou see them in yourself, maybe it’s time you asked yourself some toughquestions. Are you ready to change your life and start valuing yourself more?Then, it’s time to boost that self-esteem starting today.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.