There are so many things fighting for our self-esteem as humans; we can all relate to the pressure we mount on one another to be perfect even though none of us is perfect.
It might not be outrageous to say we all have our insecurities in one way or the other.
However, having low self-esteem is another situation entirely and it could be traced to many reasons. I believe having low self-esteem can cause serious damage to us and we need to nip it in the bud before it ruins us.
As women, there are so many things battling with our self-esteem, especially societal expectations.
The modern society has expectations of who an ideal woman should be – physically, financially, mentally, emotionally, and even in love and relationships.
Physically, there’s a standard of beauty set for women – tall, slim, and curvy with fat in the right places, so much so that it’s tough to be an authentic woman who is comfortable in her own skin.
There’s also the expectation to be a career woman and an independent woman who should act like she’s fine on her own, needing no one.
What about the pressure of being married or having a man to call your own?
In fact, there are pressures everywhere on women, and even though it’s not fair, the onus lies on every woman to determine what is most important to her and stay true to herself.
Really, even if there are external factors battling with our self-esteem, if we have healthy self-esteem, these things won’t get to us.
A boat doesn’t sink because of the surrounding water but because of the water that gets into the boat.
What are the habits that predispose women to develop low self-esteem? What are those things that ruin our self-worth and make us place little value on ourselves?
Below are the top five habits that destroy your self-esteem as a woman:
Top Five Habits Destroying Your Self-Esteem as a Woman
I always say comparison is something we cannot protect ourselves from in our society.
Somehow, society strives on comparison; that is why we have award shows and lists like “the richest woman in the world” “top five most influential women in the world” “100 most beautiful women in the world” etc.
How do they come about these results if they don’t do some comparison? What standards do they use? What criteria?
But we can always rise above it and unlearn some things that society has brainwashed us with.
We cannot completely protect ourselves from it because most of these things are subtle.
However, that does not mean we should intentionally not let these things rule us or shape our lives.
Every human walking the face of the earth has a different path, journey and purpose; the worst thing you can do to yourself is judging your situation by someone else’s path.
Remember that you are unique and so is the neighbour you are comparing yourself with.
There will always be someone richer, more beautiful, and more successful than you; how many people are you going to make a competition?
So, the best bet is to concentrate and enjoy your own journey and be your authentic self.
2. Social media
Social media is an amazing invention that has enhanced human connectivity more than ever.
It has aided awareness, globalisation and human expression.
Social media has also been of various economic benefits as some people have made a career out of their social media activities such as brand influencers.
However, social media is not without its demerits, and one of such is that it has taken the place of human interaction and even our interaction with nature.
If you’re in a public place, take a look around you, chances are that a larger percentage of people have the heads buried in their phones.
Even people and family on a date are guilty of the same.
It makes me wonder how we coped before we had social media.
We are constantly checking our notifications for how many likes and comments our pictures and posts have accrued.
When we have hundreds of likes and comments, we are happy. When no one is reacting to our updates, we feel unhappy.
We start questioning ourselves.
Is my picture not pretty enough?
Is my post not making sense?
All these have a great impact on our self-esteem, let’s be honest with ourselves.
Also, social media has increased the pressure we mount on one another.
Social media makes it easy for people to live fake lives and pretend to be what they are not.
Not only can they filter their pictures, but the pictures are also not even worth a thousand words anymore because they are staged.
Besides that, even if they are actually saying the truth, all these pictures have a way of pointing out what is missing in our own lives to us.
If we are not careful, we can become obsessed with what others have that we don’t have.
We can start to compare ourselves with people we don’t even know and think all is well everyone except us.
This is why you have to treat social media as a means to connect with people and not let it feed you with insecurities.
If at all you see people in their luxury, let it inspire you that the success you dream about is possible and instead of letting it put you down.
Some people have quit social media to regain their sanity and redefine their self-worth.
I wrote that one of the ten things I stopped doing to enjoy more peace in my life was spending less time on Facebook where I have built a loyal tribe.
You can do the same if social media is affecting you negatively.
While self-evaluation is important and even necessary in order to know what you should improve on, you should, however, understand that there is a difference between criticism and critique.
Critiquing is very important because you don’t want to settle for mediocrity in your life. Criticism, on the other hand, is basically putting
yourself down and giving yourself false reasons why you think you are not good enough.
Everybody is good enough, including yourself. Instead of self-criticism, you should try positive affirmation.
You’re not perfect but you’re your awesome and amazing self. You’ve come a long way in your journey through life. You’re a strong woman. You are smart.
Always remember that.
So stop looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing everything that is wrong with you.
Be your own definition of beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the world’s definition.
Stop focusing on all that is wrong with/in your life. Focus on things you’re grateful for.
4. Defining yourself by your pasts and mistakes
We have all made mistakes and made decisions we regret.
Trust me, if you have an honest conversation with people, you will find that they have all done something that they wish they can take back or they have all experienced something they wish they could erase.
So you are not alone.
But you cannot keep getting haunted by your past(s).
If you have done something wrong, makea mends and forgive yourself.
If something was done to you, take moves to heal or you will remain in your past when you should be growing as the years go by.
There is nothing attractive about being stuck in the past; it will beat down your self-esteem and keep you from moving forward.
Own your mistakes and embrace your journey. Don’t let the past errors define you. It’ll only destroy your self-esteem.
5. Remaining in toxic relationships that rip you of your self-worth
When people talk about abuse, they are usually just talking about physical abuse but there is emotional abuse, which is just as terrible.
You should definitely not remain in any relationship that is making you feel terrible about yourself.
You should flee from any partner that is not adding anything meaningful to your life but taking away from you.
Your partner should be your greatest hype man and cheerleader. If their role is ripping you of your self-worth, then it is time to say goodbye to such a relationship.
A relationship where you’re being taken for granted, disrespected, and used will only destroy your self-worth.
As a matter of fact, any form of relationship, whether platonic, familial or romantic, that is not helping your self-worth but always beating down your self-esteem, should be done away with.
Remind yourself you are worth it and surround yourself only with people with positive affirmation and who genuinely care about building you up.
I hope this article will help you think about your life and do away with whatever that is eating away your self-worth.
What other things do you think affect our self-esteem as women?