The High Costs of Low Self-Esteem

Many of us go through our entire lives with low self-esteem unaware of how it negatively impacts every aspect of our lives. Deeming ourselves unworthy or incapable of boosting our self-esteem, we don't seek help or explore avenues to correct the condition.  We may not even recognize that we have low self-esteem. Download my free checklist to figure out whether you suffer from low self-esteem.

The truth is that low self-esteem comes at a very high cost,  One of the first areas it negatively impacts is our relationships. When we have low self-esteem, we mistakenly believe that others see the faults we see in ourselves.  Expecting others to deem us unworthy of their friendship, love and attention, we become easily angered, sad or afraid.  Anticipating rejection, we begin to distance and isolate ourselves and avoid social situations in an effort to protect ourselves from hurt. We even tend to value others' opinions over our own and muzzle our opinions, interests and viewpoints as being automatically flawed or worthless.

If despite this behavior, someone appears to be interested in our friendship, we fail to set healthy limits and boundaries and bend over backwards to please them, no matter what the cost to our own psyche, or we may reject them as a sort of self-defense measure..

Another high cost of low self-esteem is the deterioration of our physical  and mental health.  Research tells us that there are definite links between physical and mental disease and our emotions.  Low self-esteem leads to stress and anxiety, for example, which are known causes of heart disease, cancer, and a host of other illnesses. But that's not the only link between low self-esteem and illness.  A person suffering from low self-esteem may try to numb their pain by becoming addicted to alcohol, drugs, overeating, and sex, for example, all of which, when engaged in excessively, would likely cause physical illness or disease over time.

If we don't love or value ourselves, we're less likely to eat right, exercise, or get needed medical checkups and attention, thus creating another path to physical illness and disease. When we get sick, we get depressed because our bodies betray us or we develop a negative body image as we gain weight and the vicious cycle continues.

Other areas of our lives impacted by low self-esteem include our careers and our businesses.  If we don't deem ourselves worthy, we're not likely to raise our hands for promotions, raises, or bonuses, or to take credit for our work. Instead of contributing our insights and ideas for the good of the company, we're more likely to be self-deprecating and minimize our contributions, thus sabotaging our career advancement.  If we're self-employed, we may avoid networking, reaching out to influencers, and asking for what we want or need in business negotiations.  We may also fail to take advantage of opportunities that arise because we don't deem ourselves worthy or capable of doing so.

In short, the costs of low self-esteem include, but are not limited to: stress, anxiety, physical and mental illness, lost happiness, lost relationships, lost profits, lost business, lost career opportunities, etc.  The list goes on and on.

Are you suffering from low self-esteem?  Sometimes, the condition is so ingrained in us, that we don't even know we have it or consider it normal. I've put together a cheat sheet that will allow you to recognize the symptoms of low-self-esteem.