There are many enemies to your self-esteem and general emotional and mental health. They can destroy your self-esteem and make you miserable.
However, some dangerous enemies go unnoticed. We don’t talk about them enough and let them sabotage our lives.
This list highlights 5 toxic mentalities and behaviors.
These behaviors and mentalities will gradually modify your beliefs about yourself. To the worst!
If you care about your self-esteem and mental health, stop doing what is below.
1. Give Up to Helplessness
To believe that your life sucks is already a bad thing. It feels bad.
But to believe that your life sucks and you can’t do anything about it, that’s another level!
It doesn’t only feel bad; it feels horrible.
This horrible feeling is enough to destroy whatever self-esteem that you have. Let alone that the quality of your life will suffer.
Helplessness is about believing that there is no hope. That whatever you do, it won’t make a difference. Or worse, that you can’t even do anything about your situation.
This is the worst belief you can ever adopt in your life.
It will destroy you.
It’s like being convinced that you will be hit by the train because you are laying on the trail with broken legs.
However, there is enough time to crawl out of the trail. There is enough energy in you to hold a rock on the road and pull yourself toward it and out of the trail. There is enough time to call for help from those around you.
This might be painful but it’s possible and might save you.
But you’ll never do any of that if you believe that you are helpless and that hope has gone. You’ll just wait for your destiny and die thinking that nothing can be done.
Don’t ever think this way.
It might feel as though. It might be painful to do anything. But you are never helpless and you always can do something.
As long as you are responsible for your life, you always have the choice to step up and do something.
2. Indulge In Shame
The root of any self-image or self-esteem issue is shame.
Shame says I’m bad. When you feel ashamed, you deeply believe that you are bad.
Let’s break down what “bad” means.
It means that one is unworthy of love, respect, success, or anything that is worthwhile in this world.
It means that the person feels that he/she is too bad to be accepted, loved, or appreciated.
Shame is about believing that because I have XYZ, I’m not worthy and I’m bad and I’ll be unloved and rejected. So, I’ll hide those XYZ and appear as a perfect individual.
However, perfect individuals don’t exist.
Those XYZ can be normal human’s flaws. Or they can be certain bad behaviors or mistakes. Or they can be simply about appearing weak or vulnerable (e.g. if I sucked, it means something is wrong with me).
Of course, shame is unproductive and very toxic. Nothing good comes out of it.
You have to know that you are not alone.
All of the people you see around you are not perfect. Many people suffer from your own problems. They just don’t talk that much about them. In fact, most people suffer from similar issues and problems.
So, don’t ever feel ashamed because you have a specific issue. For instance, don’t feel like you are less than other people because you have some unresolved emotional problems.
Every one of us went through specific life situations. Everyone is different. But when it comes to the problems and the flaws and the issues, we all develop them and we all have our share of them.
Work on solving them, but never feel ashamed of them. Never feel ashamed of your shortcomings and imperfections. Feel guilty if you want, but never ashamed. We all have them. They don’t make you less of a person or less worthy of anything. They only make you a human.
3. Be As Lazy As A Panda!
I have many stories about laziness. More than I would like to admit.
It might not seem like a big problem to some people. At least not as big as shame or helplessness.
That is only partly correct. Laziness can, and will, lead to other serious problems and issues. Serious issues related to your self-worth and your life quality.
For instance, writing is my bread and butter. But laziness was, and still, one of the problems that I face as a writer.
I hate to admit it, but procrastination is something that I have to deal with daily. Maybe one day I’ll kick it out of my life. For now, just one day at a time.
Because of this seemingly small laziness problem, I’ve suffered a lot. I feel bad about myself because of the many things I should have done.
Wasting time and procrastination will hurt your self-esteem. It’s a bold statement but it’s true.
When you run away from your problems, they will grow bigger. When they grow bigger, the bad emotions will kick in. If you don’t respond to those bad emotions by taking action, you’ll feel bad about yourself.
Continuously feeling bad about yourself conveys to your mind the idea that you are not a reliable person and you’ll always suffer because you can’t solve your problems.
Laziness is one of the ways we escape our problems and choose not to face them. Too much work threatens us to the point of deciding to do nothing.
Break this cycle and decide that you are going to do whatever it takes to get the important tasks done. You’ll thank yourself later. And yourself will thank you by giving you a self-esteem boost.
Note that laziness sometimes can be caused by other reasons. Other reasons such as Fear…
4. Listen to Fear
I hurt my writing by being lazy. I could’ve written more letters and touched more lives.
But it’s not only about laziness. In fact, sometimes laziness was induced by nothing but fear.
Sometimes I was just lazy. Other times I wasn’t lazy; I was scared.
I was scared of being judged. I was scared of failure. I was scared of putting something out there that isn’t perfect or good enough. Heck, I was even scared of constructive criticism.
And I still suffer from most of these fears every now and then.
My first blog failed and I had to give up on it. And it took me a lot of time to pick myself up again and start publishing articles and show them to people.
Why? Because of fear.
Every day, I overthink my plans but never take any practical step. I overthink most of the paragraphs I write wondering if they are good enough.
And even after I write them, I don’t dare to show them to people.
Heck, I’ve never even realized that until I’ve written it above!
That fear kept me paralyzed. That fear made me feel weak and made me feel like I’m not the kind of person who I want to be.
And what’s more, that fear made me stuck where I’m and far away from reaching my goals.
Feeling like a coward who can’t solve his problems sucks. Feeling like you are crippled by fear will make you feel like that coward.
Giving up to fear can screw up your self-esteem as well as your life.
Step up and don’t listen to that fear.
Feel it and go do it as if it’s the last thing you’re going to do. Forget about doing it perfectly. Forget about the results even.
I prefer dying as a warrior in a fight rather than a coward who gives in not to get hurt but get killed anyway.
5. Hang Around Insecure People
The people you spend time with will affect you sooner or later.
If they are confident and secure, your self-image will become healthier.
If they are insecure, you will end up feeling bad about yourself.
As a rule of thumb, don’t spend time with those who make you feel bad about yourself.
Contrary to common belief, insecure people can come in all sizes and shapes. They are not necessary miserable and weak. They actually can be successful and very charming.
But they drag you down. They make you feel bad about yourself. They manipulate you and emotionally blackmail you.
After knowing them for some time, you start feeling that something is wrong.
However, you usually still can’t get yourself out of the relationship. Whether it is friendship or a romantic relationship.
Break the cycle. Get those people out of your life. Walk out of their lives.
Most of them are narcissists, emotionally unstable people, or people with bad intentions. Walk away. Don’t ever stick around trying to change them or guide them.
Walk away if you care about your self-esteem and your mental stability.
I’ve written an article that shows how to know if the other person is the one who is making you feel insecure or you are already feeling insecure right here.