Personal development

what are the signs of low self esteem

what are the signs of low self esteem

What are the signs of low self esteem? If you are questioning whether you have low self esteem or not, then you most likely do. This directly relates to the first sign which is questioning yourself.

Questioning yourself

Questioning yourself is often valuable and a good way to improve your mindset or actions. It can in other cases be a sign of low self esteem. A person with a high self esteem would not question themselves. But rather assume they are doing everything right. If you tend to question your every thought and behaviour that might mean you are suffering from self esteem issues. Because questioning yourself is also a step in the self reflection process. This is a habit you want to keep, though the questions should be different.

A person with low self esteem might ask themselves questions with negative implications. Asking why from a place of regret is different than asking why from a place of curiosity and will to improve. Try to rephrase these questions in a constructive way. Ask how can I do it better next time and what did I learn? Rather than why would I do something this terrible?

Feel unsatisfied with your results or actions

Another answer to the question of what are the signs of low self esteem is feeling unsatisfied. Do you feel unsatisfied with the results you are getting? Or even the action leading to those results? Then you might suffer from low self esteem.

Having a high self esteem sometimes mean feeling satisfied with actions or results even if they don’t live up to others standards. This can also backlash and stop you from improving. If you feel satisfied with mediocre results you might never ascend beyond mediocrity.

Aiming for perfection or mediocrity

Though these are sometimes complete opposites, if you ask me what are the signs of low self esteem, both of these come to mind. Aiming for mediocrity because you feel like you’re not worth more than that is a clear sign. While aiming for perfection because nothing else is good enough. Or aiming for perfection to compensate because you don’t feel good enough unless you achieve perfection. High self esteem often means feeling satisfied with the results you get while still aiming for the best. Aiming for the best you can do rather than comparing your results to others is the healthy way of judging yourself.


This takes us to overcompensating. One of the most obvious signs of low self esteem is overcompensating in whatever you do. Working harder than anyone else at the gym. Spending the most time picking clothes. Or editing your selfies etc. Because you don’t like how you look, you feel the need to overcompensate. Even overcompensating at work or in school is a sign of low self esteem. To explain this I will talk to you about not being enough.

Not enough

When asking yourself what are the signs of low self esteem? Or do I suffer from low self esteem? A question that is sure to give you the answer would instead be: Am I not enough?

Low self esteem tends to be based in the belief that you are not enough. Other people are way better. The feeling that whatever you do or whatever metric you judge yourself by, you are not enough. This is the clearest sign of low self esteem.

What to do about the signs of low self esteem?

If you can relate to most of these signs of low self esteem you most likely have a self esteem issue. Especially if the last one resonates with you. So what to do about it? There are many ways to work on your self esteem and you can read more about it here. Or download my free ebook here where I’ve written a couple pages about improving your self esteem.

But to give you the short TL;DR version of improving your self esteem. Think of it like Tim Ferriss often talks about it. Self esteem is like your reputation with yourself. Improve this by treating yourself like you would treat a friend. Which means doing what you know is right for you even if it’s difficult. When you do something you know you shouldn’t, like grab that chocolate bar or skip going to the gym, you decrease your reputation. While when working out even if you feel tired you increase your reputation. If you’ve ever played a game like WOW you know exactly how to increase reputation.

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