Five Things That Can Destroy Self-Esteem

Five Things That Can Destroy Self-Esteem

Having low self-esteem or poor self-worth can play havoc with your emotions and your perception of yourself. Anxiety abounds in almost everything you encounter — facing the responsibilities of a new job, how you think others view you, uncertainty about anything, and getting over-stimulated by your surroundings. It can even lead to health problems.

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Following are five things that can destroy your self-esteem, and your self-worth:

Internalizing Negative Emotions

People learn from childhood that they can get what they want or need by pleasing their mothers. As they reach adulthood, they have not always succeeded in pleasing their colleagues, creating negative feedback. Some choose to internalize those negative actions as a direct result of what they have done or who they are. Holding onto these thoughts results in a direct reduction of self-esteem and self-worth. A consistent lack of self-esteem or of not feeling worthwhile leads to anxiety and depression, which only get worse if something is not done to replace those negative feelings with news ways to feel validated in life.


Dieting in the first place indicates low self-esteem and poor body image. Every time you fall off a diet, it creates negative emotions that you carry around inside yourself, making you anxious about what others are thinking of you. Often you set yourself up to fail by giving yourself unrealistic food restrictions that are not healthy, and which you can never maintain. Changing the way you eat to be healthier can often result in weight loss, but that is not the goal. Dieting just to be thin, and then not achieving that goal, is disastrous.

Staying in a Bad Relationship

Many women stay in a bad relationship much longer than they should because they already have a very low self-esteem. They feel that they can’t do any better, or that they deserve the treatment they suffer. Being involved with someone who is constantly talking down to you, or physically abusing you is dangerous in so many ways. The longer you stay in the relationship, the lower your self-esteem will fall.

Having Negative Friends

Having friends who criticize you for not acting the right way, or being thin “enough,” can tank your self-esteem. Chances are you are already criticizing yourself for the same things. Having those thoughts constantly reinforced by friends only convinces you that they are true. If this is happening, it’s time to find some new, more positive friends.

Being Eternally Optimistic

Being positive is a good thing, but there are times when too much of a good thing can hurt you. When you are in a situation that could potentially hurt you, in the short- or long-term, making the best of it isn’t always the way to deal with it. Getting a low grade in school or a poor review at work are things you can change, and should. Thinking “Oh well, it’s just once,” and accepting that low grade or poor review can wreak havoc on your self-esteem, and your self-worth.

Instead, ask questions. “How can I bring up my grades? Is there a tutor or a study group I can get involved with? Or, “What specifically can I do to improve my work performance? “What can I change that would help the most? Get the answers and then do those things. Chances are that your grades or your work performance will improve, and that is one positive thing that you can’t get enough of. Consistent positive reinforcement, especially when it results from your own efforts, can boost poor self-esteem more than you think.

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