Low Self Esteem

Recognize the Signs and Rise Above It

Sign of Low Self Esteem

Low self-esteem can be a struggle for anyone anywhere, but if you live in Miami (or if you’ve ever seen Miami in a movie or on TV ) then you can probably imagine why this city’s residents might sometimes particularly struggle with low self-esteem.

Miami is ranked as the nation’s top consumer of luxury cars and the world’s top city for plastic surgery. It can be to live in a town where everyone around you seems to be movin’ on up and flaunting what they’ve got – the perfect body, the enviable car, the trendiest clothes, the best job.  Feelings of low self-esteem can leave you feeling like an imposter in a world where everyone else actually belongs.

Low self-esteem doesn’t just affect your emotions.  It can also sabotage your decisions.

Ever find yourself backing down from chasing the things you’re passionate about? What about rushing immediately from one relationship to another when someone new comes along makes you feel special and interesting? harmful, damaging thoughts you have about yourself maybe the root of decisions like these.

Don’t beat yourself up about the decisions that your low self-esteem leads to. 

Instead, start recognizing that you’re prone to low self-esteem so you can transform it into a healthy, accurate self-image.  The first step is to recognize the signs of low self-esteem, some of which might include:

  • Internalizing all criticism as personal failure.  Whether it’s your boss giving you goals to keep working on for next year or a professor letting you know what might improve your writing in the future, every form of criticism strikes you as someone telling you you’re not good enough.
  • Skipping out on socializing habitually.  Because you frequently fear doing or saying something stupid, annoying, or unpopular, you often skip social outings in favor of playing it safe in your own space.
  • Seeking validation from others.  As much as you want to avoid criticism, you very much want positive validation from others or you don’t feel you’ve truly done something valuable.
  • Poor decision making.  You sometimes make big life decisions (career or relationship decisions, for example) based on what you think will impress others or make them happy.
  • Chaotic/unstable relationships.  You inevitably start to feel restless or unsatisfied once you realize that your s.o. cannot provide you with total self-worth. (For more on this dynamic, see this previous post.)
  • Fatigue, insomnia, or headaches.  Tension from self-deprecating emotions combined with lack of sleep can lead to physical manifestations like body pains and fatigue.  

Clearly, low self-esteem has to go if you want to be the best version of yourself and reach your potential. Ready to get off the self-hate train?

Here’s how to get on board with a healthier self-image:

First, understand what self-esteem is and what it isn’t. Having healthy self-esteem isn’t about believing that you’re “perfect” or that you’re better than others. It’s about seeing yourself and the people around you both accurately and generously. A person with healthy self-esteem is aware of their own shortcomings, but recognizes their inherent value as a person despite them.  Kind the way you might think about one of your close friends.

Second, practice mindfulness. There’s no one exclusive “right” way to practice mindfulness, but you might want to check out meditation practices, like this one.  If meditation isn’t your thing, though, you can practice mindfulness through methods as simple as self-identifying your own thoughts, cultivating a kind of meta-awareness of your own emotional patterns. This can help you realize that you’re telling yourself something that you would never let a loved one say to themselves.

Finally, get yourself to a therapist.  Mindfulness is great at helping you realize when you’re flat out lying to yourself, but sometimes it’s hard to do that on your own.  Having an objective set of ears to help you hear untrue thoughts you think about yourself.

Remember, if you suffer from low self-esteem there is no external milestone you can reach that will offer relief – no job, no dress size, no paycheck, no car, no relationship – because there will always be someone who seems to be doing better or something you could still find wrong with yourself. The problem can only be solved by working from the inside out!

If you recognize yourself in this description of low self-esteem, I hope that you won’t wait one more day to take steps toward learning to value yourself.  You can call me at  (305) 501-0133 or schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult to learn more about how I can help you reach a healthier self-image.

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erika martinez media expert psychologist miami

Erika Martinez, Psy.D.is the founder, owner, and a licensed psychologist at Envision Wellness in Miami, FL.  She specializes in working with ambitious young professionals and entrepreneurs to overcome anxiety/stress, burnout, limiting beliefs, people-pleasing, low self esteem, heartbreak, and toxic relationships/codependency.  Dr. Martinez has a passion for helping others achieve happy, fulfilling, and change-making lives that make the world a better place.  Click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation.  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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