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Signs Of Low Self-Esteem (And The Antidote!)

Recently while I was thinking about writing about signs of low self-esteem, I thought about a quote from Bertrand Russell:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

Bertrand Russell, philosopher, Nobel laureate.


All Skills Are Learnable

Looking around I notice a lot of beautiful, kind-hearted people who are lonely or stuck in unhealthy relationships.

There are many really smart and hard-working people who sell themselves too short and work for money that are much lower than they truly deserve.

I also know a lot of people who have good ideas on how to improve the quality of their life but hesitate and second guess themselves for months or even years.

Frankly speaking, I've been guilty in all the above-listed things for years of my life. Luckily at one point, I managed to find the solution.

It took me 5 years to get my master's degree in psychology at the university but the key takeaway that I've learned there can be summarized in one sentence.

"All skills are learnable".

You can learn, re-learn and improve any skill including your social skills.

The Main Sign of Low Self-Esteem (And the Antidote!)

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  • Only 2 % of women think they're beautiful.
  • It is estimated that low self-esteem causes 50 million Americans to suffer from mental disorders ranging from depression to eating disorders.

Sadly, these kinds of problems make people limit their life. It was proven that lower self-esteem causes social withdrawal, anxiety and reduces the chances to accept challenges and utilize one's full potential.

This is quite a sad statistic but it was even more interesting for me to find the CAUSE of it.

Here are a couple more interesting facts.

  • In a study of female students, 80% of them claimed that they are negative body image was linked to the negative remarks made by friends and family.
  • 77 % of Australian women believe the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty most women can't ever achieve.

Girls with low self esteem

A lot of the negative thoughts that we have about ourselves are actually provoked from the outside by other people or by the media.


The Antidote

Recently I've stumbled upon one little insight that can make all the big difference for you. In order to illustrate it let me share with you a story from a popular book author Stephen Covey.

Stephen was riding a subway on Sunday morning in New York. People were sitting quietly, reading papers, or resting with eyes closed. It was a peaceful scene.

Then a man and his children entered the subway car. The man sat next to Stephen and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to his children, who were running around, yelling, and throwing things.

Stephen couldn’t believe the father could be so insensitive. Eventually, Stephen turned and said, “Sir, your children are disturbing people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”

The man lifted his gaze as if he saw the situation for the first time. “Oh, you’re right,” he said softly, “I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”


Our self-esteem is largely formed from the opinions of other people.

Sometimes it is the opinion or certain comment that they expressed directly. In other time it's not what they say straight away but it is the way they behave towards you that show you their attitude.

At the same time, the subway story just shows that in order to make an accurate judgment it's critical to be fully aware of the situation.

Which brings us to the next question:


Who Knows You Best?

Who is eligible to judge you?

Look back at your life and think about it. Who knows you better than anyone? Who knows you 100%?

Is it your parents? Well, up to a certain age, yes, but that age has passed a long ago for you.

Is it your partner or your friends? Sure, they know you very well and yet in our busy world you spend a rather small percentage of your life with them. Also, you don't share ALL of your thoughts with anyone.

I think that you already got the point. The only one who knows you a 100 %, who knows your past, who knows all of your thoughts and intentions is YOU.

Therefore, you are the only one has a full understanding of the situation about you and therefore is eligible to make good judgments about you.

With that being said let me leave you with the following idea.

Signs of low self esteem and the antidote quote

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Did you enjoy the article? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and I'll make sure to follow up.

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook

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