Signs of Low Self-Worth

boundaries emotional health mental health self-care self-love self-worth Nov 19, 2021

We have talked about the importance of self-esteem and self-confidence in the past, but what about self-worth? When we look at a narcissist, we can see that they have a lot of confidence in themselves. However, a large underlying factor to their mental illness stems from low self-worth. We can fake and portray ourselves as confident, but if that self-worth piece isn't there for you, you're not going to have that confidence, not really. 

If we were to ask someone if they have self-worth or self-esteem, most people would say, "Yes, of course! I love myself and know that I have self-worth!" They could also say they are self-confident or think highly of themselves. But when we look at how we live our lives, we can realize that we actually don't have that self-worth.

Self-worth is really the basis for all of our other self-imagery. When we look at self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, it all stems from our self-worth. We can put on masks and "fake it till we make it," but at the end of the day, not much will change and you will still suffer silently.


So what are the signs of having low self-worth?

The first sign is you struggle to accept compliments. This is one that I used to struggle with. Whenever someone would compliment me, I would give an excuse. If someone said, "wow, you have nice hair today!" I would respond with, "Oh, well, it's dirty..." I wasn't comfortable allowing someone to compliment me and would feel the need to push it off. It never crossed my mind just to say "Thank you" until someone pointed it out to me. It can be difficult to take a compliment, even a simple one, as "nice hair" because we have a hard time seeing the positives in ourselves. 

The second sign is self-doubt. You end up second-guessing yourself constantly or doubting your abilities to handle a task. Self-doubt can be difficult to spot because it can be habitual thinking. We worry about how we are handling something. Worry if other people can see that we're doing something wrong or see that we are doubting ourselves. We can be programmed to constantly think and rethink what we are doing, especially in stressful or professional settings.

The third sign is that you struggle with boundaries. Someone who struggles with enforcing their boundaries is 1000% someone who has low self-worth. There is this fear of going against what someone is asking of you because you have difficulty verbally confronting someone. You don't have the confidence to stand up to them or stand in your own truth. There is the fear that the other person will think that your asking too much, that you're a nag, or be upset that you said no. 

The fourth sign is putting other people's needs above your own. This one can be tricky for a lot of people. Often, especially for women, we are expected to put other people's needs above our own; Our spouse, family, and so on. In this case, we are talking about putting the needs of others at your self expense, about relying on how other people view you, and pulling your self-worth from that. Caring about what people think and pulling your value from them means you don't really value yourself. That you don't feel worthy or deserving of the people in your life if you don't meet all of their wants or needs. This feeling is especially true for people who have had a lot of abandonment in their life. They fear being completely authentic and having someone leave and abandon them again

The fifth and last sign is that you frequently use negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is where we end up focusing in on all of our perceived negative attributes. That we anticipate for the worst to happen, and when something negative does happen, we blame ourselves. In my coaching, I  focused on having the conversations we have in our mind, out loud. When we took the time to actually say what we were thinking, we were able to start recognizing negative self-talk and the stories that we told ourselves time and time again.


Overcoming low self-worth is a journey.

It can be difficult to overcome low self-worth, but it is not impossible. There are many resources out there, including me, that can help begin healing and rebuilding your self-worth. All it takes to start the journey is to reach out for help.