Overcome Low Self-Esteem Symptoms: Causes, Signs & How to Improve Now

I’m transformational coach and have helped many clients overcome low self-esteem symptoms. Low self-esteem is an all too common condition that can have significant negative effects on an individual’s life. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, signs and ways to improve your self-esteem. We’ll also explore how to build a healthier relationship with yourself, leaving you feeling empowered and in control of your life.

Low self-esteem can manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as feeling inadequate, unlovable, inferior, or unworthy. People with low self-esteem often struggle with negative thoughts and may find it difficult to trust themselves, leading to feelings of anxiety or depression. Other common symptoms include engaging in self-criticism, avoiding social situations or activities, comparing oneself negatively to others and focusing on one’s weaknesses rather than strengths. Additionally, people may also experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or difficulty concentrating.

Understanding the Signs, Symptoms, and Causes of Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a tremendously important factor in our lives, yet it can often remain invisible or go unnoticed. Without pinpointing the signs of low self-esteem, you may find yourself struggling to make meaningful changes that can improve both your mental health and overall wellbeing. To start, let’s go over the ins and outs of recognizing these signs.

Recognizing the Signs of Low Self-Esteem

External Signs of Low Self-Esteem

It’s important to pay attention to external signs that could indicate low esteem. Common clues include appearing socially withdrawn, engaging in self-destructive behavior (such as alcohol consumption or substance abuse), and becoming more cynical or negative over time. You might also notice someone who talks down to themselves frequently or has difficulty accepting compliments.

Internal Signs of Low Self-Esteem

Internally, signs of low self-esteem tend to manifest in a person’s thoughts and beliefs about themselves. Do you often feel like you don’t measure up? Do you have difficulty setting boundaries for fear of being disliked or judged? These are all common internal signs associated with low self-esteem.

Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem

Environmental Factors

Dysfunctional metacognitions and brooding, as well as previous experiences with trauma and adversity, can be risk factors for developing low self-esteem. On the other hand, positive life events such as receiving praise or validation from important people in our lives can offer a protective factor when it comes to our own understanding and acceptance of ourselves.

Genetic Susceptibility

Although environmental factors contribute significantly to feelings of low self-confidence, genetics appears to play an important role too. Studies suggest that genetic predisposition is heritable; individuals are more likely to experience similar issues with their level of self-esteem if their parents did.

Ways to Improve Low Self-Esteem and Mental Health

Improving your low self-esteem and mental health can be a daunting task, but there are many effective methods to get you on the right track. Here’s how to start:

  • Acknowledge and accept your feelings – don’t fear or judge them.
  • Start small by taking time for yourself and setting clear boundaries.
  • Practice mindfulness, like yoga and meditation, to calm your nerves.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and build meaningful relationships.
  • Tap into the power of positive affirmations for emotional resilience.
  • Find something that brings you joy and take regular breaks from stressful situations.
  • Replace negative thought patterns with rational problem-solving techniques.

Stress Management Tips

Stress can have a huge impact on our mental health and self-esteem, making it hard to stay positive and motivated. Identifying the sources of your stress is an important part of managing it. These can often be found in relationships, work, finances or personal issues. Once you’ve identified what causes your stress, you can start taking steps to lessen its effect.

Identifying Stressors

If you’re having difficulty boosting your self-esteem, it’s important to first identify what’s causing these negative emotions. Once you understand the root of these issues, you can start taking steps to build your self-confidence. Try to think about how you’re feeling and questioning underlying beliefs that lead to low self-esteem. Writing down your experiences in a journal or talking to someone can also help. Taking action is key for overcoming low self-esteem.

Effective Ways to Reduce Stress

Once you have a better understanding of the sources of your stress, there are several strategies you can employ to reduce them. Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help refocus your energy, as can engaging in calming activities such as yoga or meditation.

  • Regular Breaks: Taking short breaks throughout the day allows you to relax and reset your mind before getting back to work.
  • Yoga & Meditation: Engaging in mindfulness activities such as yoga and meditation can create a sense of calm and reduce stress levels.

Building Self-Confidence

Building confidence requires taking small steps that gradually add up over time. A positive mindset is essential for creating self-confidence; focus on your strengths and be kind to yourself when something doesn’t go according to plan. Building skills through learning new things and setting achievable goals can also be helpful in boosting self-confidence.

Positive Mindset

It’s easy to get stuck in patterns of negative thinking. Break free of these damaging thoughts and begin exploring options to develop a positive attitude. There are plenty of apps available without cost such as ThinkUp and Shine, which both provide guided meditations aiming at strengthening mental health. Moreover, remember to schedule a moment everyday for contemplating how remarkable and exceptional you truly are!

Setting Goals

Setting achievable goals gives us direction in life while also motivating us along the way towards our goals. Start by setting small goals which give us a sense of accomplishment when we achieve them – it will help build momentum towards achieving more challenging goals.

  • “SMART” Goal Setting: “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely – phrases which will guide the process of setting practical goals.
  • Break Goals Down into Smaller Parts: Breaking down large goals into smaller attainable parts will make them easier to achieve while still providing motivation towards reaching bigger goals.

Learning how to accept failure gracefully is another vital step towards building confidence. We learn more from our mistakes then we ever do from success so don’t let setbacks stop you from moving forward! Seek out opportunities for growth rather than wallow in disappointment; this could include trying different things until finding what works best for you or seeking out resources such as therapy that support personal development.

Learning from Mistakes

Making mistakes is a natural, unavoidable part of life. But when it comes to self-esteem, missteps can be particularly disheartening. Rather than viewing your errors as an opportunity to learn and grow, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and spiral into feelings of worthlessness. By learning how to embrace mistakes, however, you can take the power back and use them as fuel for self-improvement.

Positive Thinking and Coping Strategies

In order to cope with low self-esteem, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of this condition. One effective way to do this is by understanding the inner dialogue that triggers low self-esteem and replacing it with more positive thoughts. This not only reduces stress levels and encourages healthier coping habits, but also increases resilience in the face of life’s difficulties. It begins with recognizing negative thoughts and challenging them rather than engaging in a cycle of self-criticism.

By limiting exposure to toxic people and places, we can create a protective shield for our mental health. This could be as simple as maintaining healthy boundaries or cutting off people who bring us down. Additionally, engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga can help us reconnect with ourselves and what brings us joy.

Recognizing Negative Thoughts & Challenging them

We all have moments where our inner monologue turns negative – giving ourselves harsh criticism or dwelling on our flaws rather than celebrating our strengths. By paying attention to these negative thoughts, we can begin to challenge their accuracy and reframe them into something more productive. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, try and list things that you appreciate about yourself or have achieved.

This isn’t easy, so take small steps each day and practice self-affirmations if needed. Practicing gratitude also helps shift our perspective from a negative state towards one that is more accepting of ourselves.

Limiting Exposure to Toxic People and Places

Unfortunately, there are some people in our lives who contribute negatively to how we feel about ourselves without realizing it. From subtle comments about our appearance or abilities to outright criticism or bullying, these situations can drag us down emotionally. In order to protect ourselves from this type of toxicity, set boundaries that are firm yet respectful – explain how these comments are making you feel so they may take steps to remedy the situation.

At times, simply avoiding certain places may be enough limit your exposure – such as staying away from social media channels that promote comparison or unhealthy habits (e.g., extreme dieting).

Engaging in Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques don’t just provide mental relief – they can also help alleviate physical tension by allowing us to slow down and find a sense of peace within. Whether it’s guided mediation or simple breathing exercises, dedicating time each day for self-care can help quell feelings of anxiety or depression.

If necessary, enlist a friend or family member to participate. This not only gives an extra layer of support but provides an opportunity for bonding over doing something calming together.

The Benefits of Self-Care

Nutrition and Exercise

Focusing on both physical and mental health are essential when attempting to overcome low self-esteem symptoms. Eating wholesome foods will give your body the fuel it needs while regular exercise releases endorphins which elevate mood – two key elements that can make a huge difference! Even something like taking the stairs instead of relying on an elevator has its benefits – small changes add up over time.

It’s important not to beat yourself up if you fall off your routine every now and then – demonstrate grace towards yourself when setbacks occur.

Sticking To a Routine

Creating healthy habits is another great way to improve low self-esteem symptoms – focus on making it enjoyable rather than shaming yourself for not being perfect! Start small with achievable goals like getting out for a daily walk or sitting down for breakfast in the morning; gradually building up a good routine leaves space for flexibility too.

Furthermore, taking proper rest is vital; research has suggested that regular oversleeping may indicate underlying mental issues such as depression – aim for 7-9 hours per night depending on your needs.

Finding Fulfilling Activities

Indulging in self-compassion is the key to developing a healthy sense of self-esteem. Don’t forget to lavish yourself with TLC! You do not need to be confined to a traditional bath – there are loads of activities you can try out as means of relaxation. Get some fresh air on a nature trail, snuggle up with a furry friend, or if you’re feeling creative, take up photography. All of these can help you tap into that inner peace, appreciate your own worth, and offer solace from the stress of everyday life.

Develop Healthy Relationships

Having strong and meaningful relationships with family, friends and other people is essential for developing self-esteem. Creating a safe and supportive bond helps to foster an environment of acceptance where individuals can explore their unique qualities. Moreover, it allows them to feel valued, appreciated and accepted, all of which are key in building self-worth.

For many people with low self-esteem, finding the courage to communicate openly can be difficult. Being open is essential in order to create healthy relationships and it requires that individuals are able to trust themselves. Practicing communication skills such as expressing feelings authentically, listening actively, and responding with respect can help build a strong connectionand encourage people to form meaningful connections.

Practicing Open Communication

Being able to express oneself openly is an important part of developing healthy relationships. Open communication strengthens existing relationships by allowing individuals to share their true thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism. It encourages mutual understanding, respect and trust between both parties, creating an atmosphere of safety.

Although it can be difficult at first, practicing open communication provides a sense of freedom from keeping secrets or hiding emotions. It also promotes empathy, which is an important part of forming positive bonds with others.

Maintaining Boundaries

In addition to being open and honest, it’s important for individuals to learn how to establish boundaries in order to protect their mental health. Setting boundaries requires individuals to create limits on what they are willing or unwilling to accept from another person. Having clear expectations helps avoid conflict while promoting respect within the relationship.

It’s important that these boundaries are communicated clearly so that the other person understands them fully. Establishing clear boundaries makes it easier for individuals to handle issues in a mature and respectful way.

Showing Empathy

Showing compassion for others is another way for individuals with low self-esteem to build meaningful relationships with those around them. By actively listening and attempting to understand the perspective of another person, individuals allow themselves the opportunity to create a deeper understanding of someone else’s emotional experience.

Showing empathy not only strengthens existing connections but also allows for the development of new ones by creating a space for exploration and understanding without judgment or criticism. Additionally, this type of support encourages others who may be struggling with their own mental health issues.

Professional Support for Low Self-Esteem and Mental Health

While making lifestyle changes can help improve one’s overall mental state; seeking professional help can also provide invaluable support in healing low self-esteem. A qualified therapist can provide guidance through evidence-based methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy (MBSR) or Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).

These treatments focus on identifying unhelpful thinking patterns while emphasizing behavior modification techniques that help challenge negative thought processes associated with low self-esteem.

Uncovering the sources of low self-esteem in a therapeutic context and being guided by a mental health expert is the key to developing a positive perception of oneself. Examining these origins can be instrumental in attaining an optimistic outlook on life and an overall feeling of worthiness.


Does having low self-esteem indicate a potential problem?

Low self-worth can be a clear sign of struggling mental health. People who struggle with their self-esteem may lose touch with those around them, find it hard to create or nurture relationships, and live a life that isn’t as fulfilling as it could be. Unfortunately, these individuals are also more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety, distress and dependency on drugs.

What negative effects can result from having low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem can manifest itself in numerous, and often serious, ways. It has been linked to feelings of insignificance and lack of self assurance, as well as a reluctance to participate in social activities. This can consequently contribute to psychological disorders like depression and anxiety, and even lead to substance use. Furthermore, individuals struggling with their self-image often find it stressful to nurture or retain meaningful connections, adversely impacting one’s mental wellbeing and life satisfaction.

What are the consequences of having low self-esteem on social interactions?

Low self-esteem can be detrimental to social life. People with low self-esteem are less likely to take initiative in building and maintaining relationships. They may avoid socializing, or withdraw from difficult conversations out of fear or insecurity. Low self-esteem can also lead to a lack of confidence, which can make it difficult for individuals to express their thoughts and feelings, participate in activities, or form meaningful connections. As a result, low self-esteem can cause someone’s social life to suffer, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.


When it comes to low self-esteem symptoms, understanding their causes, signs, and how to improve is critical. Being able to acknowledge these factors can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and ultimately work towards feeling better about yourself. With time, effort, and guidance from mentors or professionals, you can work on developing a healthier sense of self-worth.

Low self-esteem symptoms can be difficult to cope with but taking the first steps to acknowledge them is a crucial part of the journey towards improving your mental health. No matter how daunting the situation may feel, know that there are resources available to you that can help bolster your self-worth and foster a strong sense of wellbeing.

You may also be interested in reading: