If you answer yes to any of these ten questions, you may be a victim of low self-esteem...
1. Are you afraid to take risks?
2. Do you usually anticipate the worst in any given situation and fear the outcome?
3. Do you simply fear the unknown?
4. Do you worry so much about what others think of you that you cannot perform?
5. Do you constantly wonder if other people are talking about you?
6. Do you seem to be more sensitive to negative feedback than other people are?
7. Do you fear criticism?
8. Is your life limited to a very small circle of people?
9. Are you happy and outgoing with your friends and family, but become quiet when people you don't know enter the picture?
10. Are you open and comfortable talking with your own gender, but become tongue-tied around the opposite sex?
In this article I will discuss two critical problems associated with low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem limits your peace of mind, your personal freedom, and your ability to express yourself fully!
Because your low self-esteem makes you want to avoid social encounters your opportunity to build confidence is sacrificed. The more social encounters you avoid, he better you get at avoiding them! Therefore, you are actually reinforcing your fear.
It's just like practicing to be a social retard - Soon you become frozen in fear and completely unable to function in normal social settings. This behavior is very frustrating and can destroy your peace. The "you" you were born to be is violated, and you cannot be your true, authentic self. By not allowing yourself to experience new things, you are perpetuating your fear, which lowers your self-esteem even more.
But, these problems are about how they are affecting you! What about how they are effecting other people?
Low self-esteem inhibits your ability to bless other people!
When you are so worried about what other people think of you, you become incapable of being a blessings. What's happening is, your thoughts become inward, and you become more preoccupied with what kind of impression you're making to care much about them. It has become "All about you!"
Those who experience low self-esteem tend to be viewed as unfriendly, standoffish, self-centered, arrogant, or even rude! No one wants to be around someone like that. In reality you are probably not really like that, but you may as well be. Your impression on other people is still the same.
How can you truly make a difference in someone else's life if you can't forget about yourself for a moment and just put yourself out there? The fact is you will never be ultimately happy while low self-esteem is holding you back.
God loves you no matter what your opinion of yourself is.You are "fearfully and wonderfully made," created by Him who knew you while in your mother's womb! He has a special plan just for you (Psalm 139:13-14). You are absolutely unique with strengths and abilities that know one else has, so don't sell yourself short by letting low self-esteem rule you.
Monitor what you are allowing into your mind. Eliminate those things that make you feel small, incomplete, or even worthless. Soap operas, romance novels, scary movies, and the worst of all... pornography! They are are all bad news and can make your life a wreck!
Read the Book of John from the Bible regularly, plus some other good books on self-esteem written by Christian authors. Also, associate with people who have positive self-esteem.
The bottom line is, what you allow into your mind and What you intentionally put into it are directly linked to the situations and circumstances you find yourself in!
Daniel N. Brown