10 Toxic Habits That Secretly Crush Your Self-Esteem

Low Self-Esteem And Self-Worth And Toxic Reasons

While our past circumstances might have been responsible for our low self-esteem and self-worth, we shouldn’t overlook the role our daily practices and habits play in forming our self-image.

If we want to do away with our people-pleasing behavior and feel more confident about our self-worth, we must work on these toxic habits that make us feel bad about ourselves.

From over-working ourselves to the brink of burnout to spending hours scrolling through our social media feeds, we all have some toxic habits that actually stem from deep-rooted behavioral patterns.

In order to have well-rounded emotional and mental health, we must try to identify them first.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Before getting into the toxic habits that cause low self-esteem and self-worth in us, let’s get clear on what is self-esteem. Simply put, our self-esteem is the way we perceive ourselves. It is our inner voice that determines our worth, how are we as a person, and what we deserve from others. It is based on several mental building blocks such as self-identity, self-meaning, and self-concept. Ergo, a poor self-image or identity means low self-esteem and self-worth.

10 Toxic Habits Responsible For Your Low Self-Esteem And Self-Worth

If we continue seeing ourselves in a poor light and be our harshest critic, deep down we will always believe we deserved the maltreatment that we received and will fail to maintain high standards in all aspects of our lives.

It is therefore important to be aware of these self-sabotaging behaviors and toxic habits for healthy self-esteem.

toxic habits

1. Making Assumptions

A low self-esteem is often a result of negative thinking. If we keep up our toxic habits such as jumping the gun and always arriving at the worst possible conclusion about situations or people, we will suffer from anxious thoughts that will convince us that everything and everyone is against us. Such negative thoughts will make us believe that either we are unfortunate enough to always get the short end of the stick or that people around us secretly hate us; in a nutshell, there is something inherently wrong with us

2. Procrastination

This is one of the most underrated toxic habits that lead to low self-esteem and self-worth issues among many. The habit of keeping things pending makes us miss out on deadlines and perform poorly at work as well as in other pursuits. When we keep failing to show up or turn in work on time, it doesn’t help with our reputation. As a result, we get negative feedback from others, and on top of that, the guilt of letting others down gnaws at our emotional well-being.

3. Holding On To The Past

We all make mistakes and as much as it is important to learn from our errors, it’s equally important to let go of the past and move on with our head held high. But when we choose to keep holding on to the past, we are constantly living in fear and doubt. It makes us lose our confidence and carry the unnecessary emotional baggage of hate and guilt. Holding on to a grudge or lamenting over a mistake doesn’t solve the problem. It only deprives us of the blessings of the present time.

Related: What Is The Point Of Life? The Answer Is Not What You May Think It Is

4. Living In The Comfort Zone

Although we need to prioritize rest and self-care, never venturing out of our comfort zone is one of the toxic habits that cause our self-worth to deteriorate. If we stick to the old and the familiar and never try out anything new, we will not be able to develop a well-defined self-image and self-confidence. Expanding our horizons is very important for our self-esteem issues.

5. Comparing Yourself With Others

When we set ourselves against others, we focus only on their achievements, ignoring their hard work and discounting our own honest efforts. This is one of the toxic habits that gradually but steadily make us believe that we are not destined for success or happiness. We start suffering from an inferiority complex and go on a downward spiral with our mental health. Research suggests a strong link between the habit of social comparison and poor emotional health.

6. Not Planning

Planning for the future and moving forward with a clear vision gives us a goal in life and as we keep reaching one milestone after another, our self-esteem gets boosted. On the other hand, when we live our lives without any ambition or direction, this has an adverse effect on our self-worth. It is advisable to have a specific plan or a To-Do list for every day to get out of any funk.

Related: 7 Examples of How Successful People Set Goals and Achieve Them

7. Perfectionism

While pushing ourselves to accept new challenges, we must be aware of the pitfall of perfectionism. As said earlier, we must not pit ourselves against others and thus not try to prove our worth by trying to achieve an unrealistic goal. We need to give our best shot and only try to be better than yesterday. Perfectionism, like the other toxic habits, leads us to people-pleasing, over-working, and other unhealthy practices.

8. Lack Of Boundaries

Healthy boundaries are a must for healthy self-esteem. Lack of boundaries leads to mistreatment by others and this, in turn, gives way to poor self-esteem. If we keep saying yes to everyone and everything, we give away our power. In order to have a strong self-image, we must set healthy standards for people and ensure that we are not being vulnerable or being taken for a ride. According to a study, the need for boundaries is imperative for professional success.

9. Unhealthy Coping Skills

Coping mechanisms serve us well when we are hurting and not being able to face our demons. Practicing unhealthy coping skills like turning to food or substances for a quick fix is one of the most toxic habits that can ruin our lives and damage our self-esteem. Depending on anything that is not good for us in the long run, is a crutch that will only make us lose our confidence and self-worth. 

10. Not Taking Ownership

Finally, we need to come out of the victim mentality and start taking responsibility for our self-esteem. Maybe our parents, childhood bullies, or high school coaches have instilled in us the lack of healthy self-worth, but we must take ownership of our lives and start taking action to improve the way we see ourselves.

Related: 10 Principles of Successful People from Stanislav Kondrashov

Let’s Look At Some Points That Can Boost Your Low Self-Esteem And Self-Worth:

  • Do things that make your heart happy.
  • Don’t practice negative self-talk.
  • Do things that you are good at.
  • Whenever a negative thought crosses your mind, do something positive and constructive.
  • Exercise more as it improves your mental health.
  • Practice gratitude more.
  • Choose to be with people who lift up your spirit.
  • Forgive more.
  • Try to be of service to others.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments, even if they seem to be insignificant to others.

Remember, The Only Way Is Forward

The reasons for our low self-esteem can be buried in our upbringing, but what we need to keep in mind is we are in charge of our lives now. By doing away with these toxic habits and cultivating more self-help practices we can become the best version of ourselves and get rid of our low self-esteem and self-worth issues.


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