7 Things That Are Destroying Your Self-Esteem

When talking about things that can destroy your self-esteem, chances are the terms social media and toxic friendships come to mind.

However, some factors that can contribute to this are also brought by your very own thought process as well!

You might not be aware that you’re already thinking in a self-deprecating manner, so here’s a list of 7 things that are destroying your self-esteem.

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: This video is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This video is not a substitute for professional advice, but for general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition. Hope this helps!

1. Assuming other people’s opinions of you.

Do you have a habit of thinking you always know someone’s opinion of you?

Let’s say you have a friend who’s suddenly acting differently than normal.

Would you jump the gun and believe that it’s you who caused their mood change?

This form of overthinking can be damaging to your mental health and how you see yourself.

It’s good to remember that not every negative thing leads back to you. 

Most of the time, that thought process is caused by bad experiences in the past, so don’t forget to take it easy and reassure yourself whenever the pattern comes up.

Also, it’s good to surround yourself with supportive, reassuring people who don’t add to your insecurity.

2. Carrying long-term emotional baggage.

Everyone has had bad experiences in one way or another.

And at times, it’s just not that easy to let go of them.

These unresolved mental hurdles can really stick with you and hinder your growth as a person.

It’s important to take your time, but when you’re ready, or feel like taking another step forward, it’s good to start making peace with your past.

Your previous bad experiences don’t define you as a person. They’re just memories.

And through forgiveness, peace, and acceptance, you are now letting go of its power over you.

3. Letting yourself go.

When was the last time you had a proper skincare routine?

Do you eat food that makes you feel better, or do you feel sluggish throughout the day?

Do your clothes make you feel comfortable and confident?

It’s easy to take yourself for granted.

Staying up late? Meh, it’s fine.

Loading up on junk food? It’s cool, you’re gonna eat less tomorrow anyways.

What most don’t realize is that these small things load up over time, and they become habits.

It sends a mental message that you are not worth the effort, and this can lead to hopelessness.

A good tip on rewiring your mindset is by thinking: Who do you respect the most? Would you treat them this way?

Is this how you would take care of your friend, a boss, or a child?

If it isn’t, then perhaps your body is lacking the pampering it needs.

Try adapting just one good habit for yourself and stick to it.

Take note of how you feel, and continue the process until it becomes a sustainable routine.

There is no such thing as a perfect lifestyle. 

A realistic goal is to feel better in your own skin and have a good mental state.

Good luck!

4. Being an unforgiving self-critic.

Do you have a habit of obsessing over your flaws, no matter how small they may be?

According to Itamar Shatz, a Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge University, the act of magnifying the degree to which minor flaws in your appearance may be noticed or judged by others is called the “Spotlight Effect” (Breindel, 2019).

It can be harmful to your self–confidence because it leads you to fall into a negative thinking pattern all the time.

Chances are, you won’t be able to focus or enjoy many activities because you’re constantly fixating on that certain “flaw”.

If you find yourself doing this as a regular habit, here are some tips that may help.

First, you can try distracting yourself for a few minutes.

Maybe you have an unfinished task or a novel you’re currently reading – basically, it’s good to do anything else that shifts your focus.

Next, you can try recognizing and correcting your actions midway. For example, if you’re having a bad body image day, try to follow up your self-damaging thoughts with reassuring and kind affirmations. 

Most of the time, you are your worst enemy. By learning how to rewire your self-deprecating habits, you’re slowly building a better outlook on yourself.

5. Complimenting others while comparing yourself secretly.

Do you compliment other people while comparing them to your own “lapses”?

Do other people’s accomplishments feel like threats to your own?

This type of behavior is damaging to your self-esteem, and a lot of people do this, especially women.

It’s a form of self-sabotage because the more you’re complimenting others’ good traits, the more you’re contrasting them to your own.

And once you feel that you’re not the same as them, you get a negative self-image.

If you truly want to compliment someone, try doing it just once or whenever it doesn’t bring you down.

You have a lot of good traits, even if you haven’t realized it yet.

It may help to keep a gratitude journal.

Every day, or realistically, every other day, try writing down 3 things that make you happy about yourself. 

Eventually, you’ll be conditioned to see yourself in a kinder light, which you deserve.

6. You use tend to use “always” and “never”.

Are you the type of person who makes extreme statements?

For example, do you always use the words “always” or “never” when you’re trying to prove a point?

I never eat sushi!

I always wash the dishes!

I never want to watch anime!

These permanent-sounding words make your statements sound final, and it makes you feel like you can’t do anything to change them.

What if you wanted to eat sushi, skip washing the dishes, and watch anime?

Chances are, you can’t do these things because it feels irrevocable. It can lead to a loss of confidence and a sense of hopelessness.

It’s helpful to remember that in your life, there are always opportunities for random, spontaneous moments. 

It’s one of the things that make you feel alive.

So as much as possible, try avoiding permanent words, and don’t be afraid of opening yourself up to new experiences!

7. Ignoring your emotional signals.

Do you try to understand your feelings or do you try to avoid them?

Rejection and abandonment are contributing factors to a lack of self-confidence.

If you don’t try to understand where your own emotions are coming from, chances are you won’t be able to cope or handle them properly.

Feelings are feelings. They are automatic, and they tend to happen whether you like them or not.

It’s good to acknowledge them and identify why you’re feeling that certain way.

If you’re sad, try to give some time for yourself to accept the sadness. Understand it and cope with it.

If you’re happy, try to determine why and show gratitude for it!

Having a good understanding of your own emotions may lead to a boost in confidence.

You know what you want, when you want it, and stop when it reaches your limit.

You got this!


Do you find yourself relating to any of these points?

What do you think is your next step in trying to grow from this behavior?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

We always appreciate hearing about your experiences, and others can most likely relate to them, too!

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time.



Boyes, A. (2019, April 4). How to Stop Obsessing Over Your Mistakes. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2019/02/how-to-stop-obsessing-over-your-mistakes

Breindel, A. (2019, January 8). 17 Ways You’re Destroying Your Confidence and Don’t Know It. Best Life. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://bestlifeonline.com/build-confidence/

Daskal, L. (2020, February 6). 19 Simple Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem Quickly. Inc.Com. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/19-simple-ways-to-boost-your-self-esteem-quickly.html

Steber, C. (2017, December 20). 15 Things Psychologists Wish You Knew Can Gradually Destroy Self-Esteem. Bustle. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://www.bustle.com/p/15-things-psychologists-wish-you-knew-can-gradually-destroy-self-esteem-7611332

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