Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. Everyone lacks confidence and does not feel good about themselves from time to time. However, when your low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it may have a negative impact on your life and your mental health.
Low self-esteem can make you feel bad about yourself and see yourself and your life in a more critical and negative light. You may also feel less capable of taking on the challenges life throws at you.
When you have low self-esteem, you may avoid things you find challenging, hide yourself away from social situations, and stop trying new things.
In the short term, avoiding difficult and challenging situations may make you feel safe and comfortable. But, in the long term, it may reinforce your underlying fears and doubts.
Over time your low self-esteem may lead to the onset of serious mental conditions like anxiety and depression. Low self-esteem and depression often go hand-in-hand.
7 Bad Habits That May Lead to Depression and Low Self-Esteem:
– Having negative thoughts about yourself
When you get used to talking, feeling and thinking about yourself in a specific way, it can become a habit. If you often think you are inferior or worthless, and you say negative things or have negative thoughts about yourself, you may go on thinking and feeling the same way unless you break the cycle by challenging your negative feelings and thoughts about yourself. It may lead to low self-esteem and even depression.
– Striving for perfection
Setting high, unrealistic standards for yourself may contribute to low self-esteem and depression. Constantly striving for perfection and expecting way too much of yourself in terms of social status, extracurricular involvement or school achievement may result in self-deprecating feelings, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
Striving for perfection may cause you to be afraid of failure. So, you may not be willing to try anything new. The inevitable failure to meet unrealistic goals may result in the feeling that you are a failure in general.
But, you can break this bad habit by realizing that failure is an effective and valid way to learn. You can learn best from your own mistakes. You must focus on the bigger picture and understand that no one is perfect.
– Comparing yourself to other people
When you measure yourself against an external standard and compare yourself to a friend, co-worker, neighbour, family member, or somebody famous on social media, you may begin to think that you aren’t good enough; or that you cannot do anything right.
This type of gloomy thinking may breed feelings of envy, and cause you to develop depression and anxiety.
But, you must understand that everyone experiences challenges and problems throughout their lives. Nobody is exempt from it. So next time you compare yourself to others, remember that you don’t know each detail about their life.
– Projecting your inner critic onto other people
When you have self-esteem issues, you may project them onto other people and think that they see you the way you see yourself. If you often criticize yourself, you may subconsciously project that inner critic onto other people. It may only give you the false impression that other people are criticizing or judging. You may doubt every relationship you have ever had and wonder if everybody secretly hates you. But, the truth is that it isn’t the case at all.
So next time you find yourself thinking like that, just ask yourself whether you would think about somebody you love in that way. You should also hold yourself to the same standard you hold others and identify your own value. You will realize that your self-esteem issues are actually self-inflicted.
– Trying to please everyone
Always trying to please others and having a constant need for validation and proving your worth may stem from a deeper fear of being left on your own and abandoned. Expecting everybody to like you may lead to low self-esteem and depression. Also, when you try to please everybody, you may be hurt or taken advantage of.
So, remember that it is impossible to please everybody. You should prioritize yourself first and you should not allow other people’s needs, desires and requests to overshadow yours.
– Blaming yourself for everything
Blaming yourself for everything may keep you unhappy. It may lower your self-esteem and contribute to anxiety and depression.
You must understand that every single person makes mistakes and fails at a certain point in their lives. So, learn to be kinder to yourself and look at your obstacles and life as an opportunity to take action.
– Dwelling on past mistakes
Dwelling on or constantly replaying and thinking about events, reactions or other actions that could have been taken may interfere with your present happiness, lower your self-esteem, result in depression, and keep you from moving forward.
Constantly thinking about what may have been or should have been is an unhealthy and unproductive attitude towards self-esteem.
Remember that you cannot change the past. Recognize your feelings of regret, forgive yourself, move on and learn to live in the present.