5 signs you don’t give yourself enough credit in life, according to psychology

Life can get overwhelming to the point where we start to think we’re not good enough. No matter how hard we try, we feel that we’re never going to be the person we were meant to be.

So, here’s a friendly reminder that you’re doing a great job! No matter where you’re at in life, you should feel proud for coming this far.

You may feel that there’s nothing worth celebrating but the truth is that if you reflect on how far you’ve come, you’ll realize that you may not be giving yourself enough credit for what you’ve achieved.

This may lead to a lack of contentment and fulfillment in life. So here are some telltale signs of this, according to psychology. 

1) You downplay your achievements.

When you achieve a milestone and get recognized for it, do you feel as if you don’t deserve it?

Even if this accomplishment was something significant, is your response usually to attribute it to luck instead of your own effort?

If so, this is a clear sign that you may not be able to acknowledge your capabilities, as you tend to downplay and minimize your personal achievements.

This is likely to stem from self-doubt, where you find that you’re not worthy of a person’s praise. You feel that whatever you’ve achieved is due to luck or being at the right place at the right time.

The truth is that sometimes, it’s all you.

It’s the time you sacrificed, the effort you made and the knowledge that you applied, which all contributed towards this milestone – whatever it may be.

Perhaps you may think that this is an appropriate reaction as well, as you want to show that you’re a humble person who doesn’t go around bragging.

But if someone compliments you for your actions, be sure to thank them and own the praise. Not only will this strengthen your self-confidence, it will give you the credit you deserve.

Repeated downplaying of achievements can actually have negative long-term effects, which may even hinder you from reaching your goals in life, reduce your self-esteem, and make you second-guess yourself every time you embark on something new.

2) You’re a perfectionist.

When you embark on a project, do you find yourself always getting miserable when you don’t achieve what you initially set out to do, or getting angry when someone makes a contribution to a team project that alters the outcome by a little?

If so, you may be a perfectionist.

You may ask, what does being a perfectionist have to do with giving oneself insufficient recognition?

Because you’ve set such impossible to attain standards for yourself, you may feel utterly defeated when you realize you’re unable to achieve those standards. 

You’re ashamed of working on something that won’t be perfect, and are convinced that perfectionism is the only way to success.

However, prolonged negative effects of this include increased anxiety, depression and even self-harm or suicide.

Therefore, rather than glorify being right and perfect all the time, learn to let go of the idea that perfection is the only acceptable outcome.

And because of this, the next point may also be relevant.

3) You find it hard to accept compliments.

You feel unworthy of being praised or complimented. When people highlight the good in you, you often feel uncomfortable because you don’t believe that there’s anything in your life worth mentioning.

However, it’s times like these that we should look to a trusted third party who’s not influenced by our negative thinking, to tell us how we’re doing. 

This could be a close family member or trusted friend and/or colleague who may know us better than we know ourselves.

Your inability to be objective may hinder you from identifying the parts of your life that are worth celebrating.

When you listen to what your close friends say about you, try to receive this as openly as you can – especially when you know that you’re prone to doubting yourself no matter what you do, even if it’s a significant milestone.

4) You have a fear of failure.

things unsuccessful people do at the start of every day 1 5 signs you don’t give yourself enough credit in life, according to psychology

Another sign that you don’t give yourself enough credit in life is that you fear failure.

You may have been taught from young that failure is not an option, so you’re conditioned into thinking that no matter what you do, it needs to be done well.

And because of this, you may even hesitate to pursue your goals because you’re afraid that you may fail and fall short of the standards that others have set for you.

But the process also serves as a good learning experience which can pave the way to bigger and better achievements. 

The truth that you have to accept is that failure is part of everyday life. What matters is how you move on from there and work towards becoming a better version of yourself.

This will not happen overnight and you will definitely meet challenges and even setbacks along the way.

In times like these, look back at how far you’ve come and you’ll see that you do have much to give credit for in your life.

5) You constantly compare yourself to others.

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and they’re right.

Comparison is also the thief of self-worth and self-esteem. Do you find yourself always comparing whatever you have with the people around you?

All these thoughts crowd in your head and you start asking yourself if you’re good enough, rich enough, or attractive enough, just because you see or hear success stories from friends.

Their lives become your standard, and you end up dissatisfied, discouraged, and full of despair because you aren’t like them.

The thing to remember here is that everyone is different and each person’s journey will not be the same as one another.

According to psychology, comparing oneself to another is a shame reaction, as shame fills the gap between what we consider to be the ideal standard and what we see ourselves at currently.

Hence, the bigger the gap, the more intense these negative feelings will be.

We end up overlooking our own strengths, our past achievements and the challenges that we overcame to get to where we’re at. 

Don’t beat yourself up just because someone posted a photo of their grand holiday on social media that you’re unlikely to be able to afford.

Rather, think of it as a goal you’d like to achieve and perhaps use it as a motivating factor in your career.

Look back at how far you’ve come in your life and be grateful for the lessons you’ve learned that will certainly help you meet your goals.

Final thoughts

Learning how to give ourselves credit in life is something that must be learned and practiced.

It requires discipline, especially when we end up exhibiting the signs I’ve mentioned in this article. 

It’s actually really easy to spiral into this journey of negative thinking, hence it’s key to always reflect, be thankful, and perhaps note down milestones in your life lest you forget. 

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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