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14 things people don't realize they do because of low self-esteem

14 things people don't realize they do because of low self-esteem

It was Jane again...

Everyone knew her as that fiercely driven executive with a dazzling array of accomplishments adorning her LinkedIn profile.

To the outside world, Jane was the epitome of success, a beacon of tireless ambition.

Yet, in the quiet solitude of her own thoughts, Jane battled a gnawing sense of self-doubt, a haunting whisper that she isn't quite good enough.

Her life, like an intense whirlwind, was filled with new ambitions, shifting career goals, and a relentless need to have her voice heard in every conversation. These behaviors, seemingly reflecting a confident person with a strong drive for success, were actually desperate attempts to silence her inner critic, to drown out the whispers of inadequacy.

But no one else knew this was her battle...

But what's the point of this story?

Low self-esteem is like a shadow that follows you wherever you go. It can shape your life and behavior in ways you might not even realize.

Most people unknowingly shape their lives around their low self-esteem, treating it as a part of their personality. They might not realize that their constant need for approval, fear of failure, or inability to accept compliments are not personality traits, but symptoms of a deeper issue.

If they had the knowledge that I'm about to share with you, they could have led a much more fulfilling and self-affirming life.

As you continue to read this article, you'll start to make connections and understand if low self-esteem is at the root of your emotional struggles.

Are you ready to begin this journey of self-discovery?

Let's dive in...

1. Always having philosophical or intellectual conversations:

A casual chat about a movie quickly turns into a debate about the director's philosophical leanings. Your conversations are like impromptu Ted Talks, leaving others both intrigued and overwhelmed.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Experiencing criticism or dismissal of personal feelings in the past, can lead to a focus on intellectual topics to avoid vulnerability. This becomes a way to divert attention from personal vulnerabilities. The need to showcase intellect could be an attempt to mask feelings of inadequacy, indicative of low self-esteem.

People feel overwhelmed by your intense discussions and start to distance themselves. You're left alone with your thoughts, lacking genuine, emotional connections.

2. Constantly seeking new skills or qualifications:

You're always enrolled in a new course, learning a new language, or working towards a new certification. You're the perpetual student, turning every interest into a learned skill.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

This could happen if you have been made to feel not good enough in the past, perhaps  a teacher said you would not amount to anything. So this led to a compulsion to constantly acquire new skills or qualifications to prove worth.

The constant pursuit of new credentials might reflect a fear of being seen as not good enough. This need for external validation and fear of inadequacy are often tied to low self-esteem.

You're always studying, never feeling competent enough. The joy of learning is replaced by the stress of never feeling good enough.

3. Frequently changing personal style or appearance:

One day it's boho chic, the next it's sleek minimalism. Your personal style evolves constantly. Your look at every gathering is a surprise reveal, making you a chameleon of fashion.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

This can be as a result of experiencing rejection or exclusion based on appearance, leading to a pattern of frequently changing personal style to fit in. Hinting at an underlying belief that your authentic self is not good enough.

Unfortunately, the constant change in your look confuses your sense of identity. Your credit card bills pile up, and you're left with a wardrobe full of clothes but no idea of your true style. Or true self.

4. Always seeming busy:

Your phone buzzes incessantly, your schedule is packed, and you're perpetually rushing from one commitment to another. You're always "busy", even when on holiday.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

This can happen if you have lived in an environment where being busy was equated with importance and success, leading to a pattern of constantly appearing busy.

This facade helps you to appear important or in-demand. But it masks a deeper struggle with self-worth, where your value is tied to your level of busyness.

Continuing down this path naturaly  causes your health takes a hit, and you're constantly tired and irritable. Life becomes a never-ending to-do list, leaving no room for enjoyment or relaxation.

5. Constantly changing goals or careers:

From a marketing executive to a graphic designer, then a restaurant owner, your resume reads like a diverse catalog of careers. Each job change is an exciting new chapter, a fresh start.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Growing up in an unstable environment, tends to lead to an inability to commit to a single career or goal due to fear of stagnation or boredom.

This could be a search for a sense of belonging or success, driven by feelings of inadequacy in your current situation. It might reflect an underlying belief that you're not good enough, which is tied to low self-esteem.

As such you're always restless, never satisfied, and the lack of stability in your career begins to erode your sense of self-worth and fulfillment.

6. Regularly updating achievements on social media:

Your promotion, your new certification, your latest marathon time - your achievements are promptly shared on LinkedIn and Facebook. Your profile reads like a live ticker of accomplishments.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

This tends to happen when  you only get validation from parents or peers when you've achieved something significant, leading to a need to constantly update and broadcast your achievements. The underlying belief that your worth is tied to your accomplishments is indicative of low self-esteem.

And sadly, with this, the fear of failing and breaking your streak of successes keeps you awake at night. The pressure to constantly perform and prove your worth leaves you on the edge of burnout.

7. Never showing weakness:

You're the rock in your friend group, the stalwart team member at work. Even when you're going through a rough patch, your exterior remains unflappable and strong.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Having been ridiculed or punished for showing emotions or weakness in the past, leading to a defensive mechanism of never showing vulnerability.  Hence the fear of rejection or judgement makes you hide your vulnerabilities. This  often drives a belief that showing weakness makes you less valuable, which is a common sign of low self-esteem.

The side effect of this then, is that your relationships lack depth, as you don't allow yourself to show vulnerability. The strain of hiding your struggles leads to increased stress and a feeling of loneliness.

8. Overemphasis on personal branding:

Every Instagram post is a carefully selected snapshot of your life, showing off your successes, travels, and experiences. Your Facebook profile looks like a glossy magazine spread, presenting a life others can only dream of.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

If you come from a background where social status was highly valued and equated with self-worth, crafting an impeccable online persona could be a way to seek validation and approval. This need for external affirmation might stem from not feeling good enough on your own, a sentiment often linked to low self-esteem.

But if this is continued, the glossy facade begins to crack under the strain of maintaining perfection. Behind the perfect Instagram feed, you're anxious and stressed. You're trapped in a cycle of constantly needing to outdo yourself, and the divide between your real life and online persona becomes confusingly blurred.

9. Dominating conversations:

At a party or a meeting, you have an anecdote or experience for every topic. You speak with authority and confidence, making sure your voice is heard and your stories are at the center.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Here, feeling unheard during childhood creates a strong need to seek validation or to control how others perceive you. The need to constantly steer the narrative could hint at a fear of being perceived negatively, indicative of low self-esteem.

But if this behaviour is not balanced, your friends will start to pull away, tired of always being audience members in conversations. They feel unheard and undervalued, and you're left wondering why the invitations stopped coming.

10. Hyper-independence:

Even when a project at work is stretching you thin and causing late nights, you insist on doing it all alone. Offers of assistance are met with a polite but firm refusal. Your desk is your island, and you are the lone inhabitant.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Growing up in a home where showing vulnerability was seen as a weakness, leading to a desire to handle everything alone.  But underlying this could be an intense fear of rejection or the belief that asking for help makes you less valuable, reflecting low self-esteem.

Sadly, over time, the weight of the world on your shoulders grows heavier and heavier. You find yourself alone on your self-imposed island. The friendships in your life suffer as you continue to keep people at a distance.

11. Being overly controlling:

From planning the itinerary of a group holiday down to the minute, to overseeing every aspect of a project at work, you maintain control. Every detail needs your approval, every decision your input.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Having lived through chaotic or unpredictable circumstances, this could be a way to manage anxiety or fear of unpredictability, which might stem from feelings of insecurity. Your need to control everything could be an effort to compensate for a perceived lack of worth, linked to low self-esteem.

Sadly, your need to control every detail pushes people away. You're left alone amidst the ruins of your meticulously planned world, facing high levels of stress and anxiety.

12. Over-generosity:

You pick up the tab at dinners, shower friends with thoughtful gifts, and are always ready to lend a hand. Your generosity knows no bounds, making you the go-to person in any crisis.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

If you grew up feeling unloved or neglected, you might use giving as a means to win approval or affection. This need for validation from others could stem from a belief that you're not worthy of love on your own, indicative of low self-esteem.

But the pattern becones that you're always giving, but rarely receiving. Your resources are dwindling, your energy levels are low, and your relationships feel one-sided and unfulfilling.You also attract people who are users and abusers.

13. Frequently hosting or organizing events:

Your home is the hub of gatherings and parties, your name synonymous with fun events. From elaborate Thanksgiving dinners to summer barbecues, you're always playing host to some event or another.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

If you have Felt neglected or unimportant in social situations in the past, lyou end up developing a pattern of hosting events to feel in control and needed.

The need for constant affirmation of your worth in your social circle could be a manifestation of low self-esteem.

But the constant pressure to host and entertain leaves you stressed and exhausted. Your social gatherings feel more like a chore than a joy, and you start to resent the very people you were trying to bring together.

14. Consistently maintaining a positive outlook:

No matter the situation, you always have a positive spin on things. A rainy day is an opportunity to read indoors, a delayed flight an opportunity to explore the airport. Your optimism is contagious and ever-present.

How this is linked to low self-esteem:

Perhaps you had a mother who was constantlynegative or you have been at the mercy of bullies who treated you negatively so you vowed to never be a source of negativity to others.

In addition, alwlays appearing positive is  often way to mask internal struggles and avoid showing vulnerability. This constant optimism might be a cover for deeper feelings of inadequacy, reflective of low self-esteem.

Eventually, your relentless positivity starts to feel forced and inauthentic even to you. You're emotionally drained from suppressing your true feelings, and your relationships lack authenticity.

Embracing Your True Worth

Ask yourself the question...

Have I unknowingly allowed low self-esteem to dictate my life?

If you answered yes...

Then I want you to remember that you have power to step out of our shadows of low self-worth and into the light of self-acceptance and self-love.

Understand  that the constant need for approval, fear of failure, or inability to accept compliments are not inherent personality traits, but symptoms of a deeper issue.

And make the conscious decision to step towards healing, towards building a more fulfilling and self-affirming life.

So, take this knowledge, use it as a tool for self-discovery and self-improvement.

Step out of the shadow of low self-esteem and embrace your true worth.

You owe it to yourself. You are more than your achievements, your failures, or the approval of others. You are you - unique, valuable, and deserving of love and respect.


Other related articles:

Eye-Opening Findings on How Low Self-Esteem Amplifies Anxiety

Is Your Low Self-Esteem a Hidden Trigger for Depression?

How to spot low self-esteem in teenagers

The Profound Impact of Low Self-esteem in Adults

Low Self-Esteem Therapy the Key to Unlocking Your Potential

Unbelievable causes of low self-esteem

Low Self-Esteem Symptoms: Surprising Signs You Might Be Overlooking

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa


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