When I was still grinding away at my 9-5, and pining away for a better life, I went to get a massage to release the stress of it all. While I was there, I complained about my job, and the therapist said, “why don’t you just quit?”
Of course this idea crossed my mind several times a day. But the idea of actually doing it was too terrifying to consider. How would I pay my bills? How would I make money?
I didn’t want to be broke or loose my house. And I didn’t want to do what many of my friends had done, going from one unhappy job/company to the next. Striking out on my own seemed too risky. After all, I enjoyed the lifestyle my job provided.
The truth is, these thoughts were a clear indication that my real problem was not the job situation or even money. The real problem was my low self-esteem.
I didn’t believe in my ability to take care of myself. I believed that my job was what stood between me and failure. I gave all of my power to my job and didn’t consider myself capable of surviving without it.
Once I realized that, I was able to correct the core issue and make real strides to change my life.
Here are 5, often missed, signs that you have low self-esteem:
- Believing in the power of things outside of you more than the power of you.
For example, I believed my job, and not me, was keeping me from being hungry and broke. Even though I was the one who got the job, went to work everyday, and performed well. So I didn’t have to cling to anything or anyone else to be successful. My own skills and talents made me successful. Once I believed this, I could apply those same skills and talents to any endeavor and remain successful.
- Criticizing yourself when you do something wrong.
Being aware of the things you need to change in order to grow is different from criticizing yourself when something goes wrong. If you make a mistake and begin to call yourself “stupid” or “incompetent,” then this is a sure sign of low self-esteem. Sometimes this is hard to recognize because we can become so use to it that we start to do it unconsciously. Pay attention to how you treat others when they make a mistake, and this is usually a mirror to how you may be treating yourself.
- Always asking for others’ opinions and advice before considering your own thoughts.
Consulting outside sources of information like friends, family, research, and statistics before you consult with your own feelings and ideas shows that you feel inferior. Similar to no# 1, you place more power into the outside sources than in yourself.
- Following plans and curriculum while ignoring the unusual inclinations of your intuition.
Intuition is your most powerful asset. It often sends signals through your feelings and thoughts about what’s right for you. It gives you ideas, decisions, next steps, and so on. If we’re too caught up in someone else’s plan or curriculum and have habituated ignoring our own inclinations, this is definitely a sign that you don’t believe in yourself. Often success comes from being different and standing out, but you must be confident enough to follow those weird inclinations instead of going with the crowd.
- Constantly putting other’s needs ahead of your own.
Are you the person everyone can count on? No matter what time they call or what they need, you’ll be there for them? Even if it means putting your own needs on hold…almost indefinitely. You’ll know that you give too much when you don’t have much time or energy left for yourself or you start feeling resentful of others. Some people call this noble, but I call it selfish. If you’re giving to fulfill an empty place within yourself, you are not giving according to your full potential. When you devote some of that time to building your confidence, the quantity of your giving may go down, but the quality will definitely go up.