When you feel down and out of sync with your thoughts, you probably show signs that you have a low sense of self-worth without even realizing it. You may second-guess yourself when someone questions you or try to fit into a mold that someone else wants you to be in. While it's completely normal to go through self-doubt every once in a while, having a low sense of self-worth can dictate and control every decision you make, whether it has to do with your career, life, or relationships. However, knowing your self-worth doesn't mean you have to be cocky and arrogant; it's about being comfortable in your skin, trusting your ideas and gut feelings, and knowing that you deserve to live a successful and fulfilling life, no matter what other people say. Your worth is probably the most valuable thing you have, and if you don't nurture it in some way, it could tarnish and rust right before your eyes.
According to psychologist Christina Hibbert, "Too many of us settle for 'self-esteem' — for feeling good about how we act, look, feel, think — instead of seeking what lies beneath. We fail to get to know our true selves because we’re too caught up in the selves we create. No matter how much we learn to love who we seem to be on the outside, we will never fully embrace our worth until we dig deeper. Self-worth isn’t about our outsides. It’s about knowing who we really are on the inside. It’s about connection — to other people, to our true selves, and to our Higher Power."
Limiting yourself should no longer be an option because you do deserve the best. Plus, having a low sense of worth can make life just a little bit harder — and no one wants that. But if you're not sure if you're the one that is standing in your way, fear not. Here are nine surprising signs you have a low sense of self-worth.
1. You Constantly Want To Please Others
While it's kind to place others' needs before your own, doing this act all the time can allow you to forget your own needs and wants. Disregarding your needs can put a stop on your goals and dreams if you're not careful. "When you realize that pleasing others is so important you can't make a decision without asking their opinion before deciding [on anything]," says psychotherapist Deb Sandella in an interview with Bustle over email.
2. You Allow Others To Treat You Poorly
Have you ever said "sorry" when someone bumped into you or interrupted you? Ultimately, people will treat you the way you want to be treated. If you don't respect yourself or have a good sense of self-worth, you could allow others to constantly place their needs before your own. "When you allow others to dismiss you without speaking up for yourself," says Sandella.
3. You Don't Think You Deserve Much
Having a high sense of self-worth allows you to take control of your life and surroundings. For instance, you won't allow another employee to boss you around or have a friend disrespect you by talking down to you. "When you secretly question whether you deserve a bad outcome," says Sandella about people who believe they deserve less than they deserve.
4. You're Not Feeling Like Yourself
Sometimes people lose their sense of self-worth due to a traumatic event. Maybe they got fired or went through a break up with their SO. After these certain situations, they may not feel like themselves by feeling helpless and lost. "Self-worth can be hard to define. When you're not feeling your best, you might not act as you typically would in situations at work and in personal relationships. However, when you recognize a theme, something you can't shake after a few days, it may be your self-worth asking for a little nurturing," says LMFT at Behavioral Associates Lynn Kufner in an email with Bustle.
5. You Neglect Your Own Needs
When you place others' needs before your own, you may lose respect for yourself and no longer have the need to maintain your own dreams. "If you notice you can't advocate for things you want because you are often putting others first and neglecting your own needs, ask the question: Am I telling myself I'm worthy enough to receive these things?" says Kufner.
6. You Stopped Taking Care Of Yourself
When you don't feel confident, it's easy to let everything else in your life go. You may let your health fall by the wayside or say no to hanging out with friends "Sometimes the answer is, 'Oh I don't deserve anything good so why invest is these?' The answer is, yes, you do deserve good and treating yourself with acts of self-love, self-care can help improve your mood. Doing things like, taking a long walk, expressing your feelings, spending quality time alone reflecting or with friends, can help to show that you are investing in yourself and are worthy. You can become able to use self-worth to advocate for yourself, strengthen relationships with others and better performance in whatever your passions are with work," says Kufner.
7. You're Lethargic
Your self-worth can sometimes determine the choices you decide to make in your life. For instance, you probably won't ask for a raise if you feel like you don't deserve one in the first place. "Sometimes it may be in the way you present yourself to the world. Are you making it to work on time and doing your job? Are you spending time with those who are important? Are you taking time to shower, eat healthfully, and using methods of self-care to tap into ways you can help yourself?" says Kufner.
8. You've Stopped Striving For Greater Things
When you feel hopeless and useless, you may stop going after things you once thought you wanted. You'll stop yourself from going after a job because you don't think you're smart enough to get it, or you'll delay getting back into another relationship from you're afraid of getting hurt. According to Elite Daily, director of branded social strategy Ashley Fern said, "People accept sh*tty jobs and relationships because they do not respect themselves enough to realize they deserve better. Too many people become complacent in these aspects and stop striving for greater things."
9. You Measure Your Self-Worth By Outside Influences
Measuring your self-worth through outside influences (i.e. your achievements, job, how much money you make, etc.) could make you feel worse about yourself. For example, according to Forbes, psychotherapist and speaker Amy Morin said, "While it’s normal for your accomplishments to make you feel good, basing your entire self-worth on your achievements is like building your house on an unsteady foundation. You’ll need to experience repeated success in order to feel good about yourself — and that’s hard to maintain over the long-haul. When your entire self-worth depends on your achievements, you’ll avoid doing things where you could fail."
You're perfect just the way you are. You don't need to measure your self-worth through outside influences or second-guess yourself any longer. Let yourself be in charge of your own life and don't let negative self-talk permit you to be complacent.