5 things you unconsciously do because of low self-worth

Low self-worth can manifest in many ways, from how you feel about yourself to how you interact with others. 

Sometimes, you might even think you’ve accepted yourself for who you are. 

But certain unconscious behaviors prove otherwise. 

After finding out what they are, you’ll probably try to convince yourself that there are other reasons why you do it. 

Truth is, there might be. 

But more likely than not, your low self-esteem is linked to them all. 

Ready to do some self-reflection?

First off, if you don’t know just how worthy you are…

1) You never trust yourself 

Do you always ask other people for a second opinion? Overthink your decisions? Or even avoid making decisions altogether?

You might think you’re doing this because different opinions matter or that other people are simply better at making choices than you. 

But the truth is, you’re probably hesitant to make decisions because you have low self-worth. 

Sure, different perspectives do matter. And everyone should get a chance to be in the driver’s seat. 

But always resorting to this behavior could mean you don’t trust your abilities or judgment. 

Feeling overwhelmed by simple decisions is an unconscious manifestation of a lack of self-trust. 

Big or small, if you constantly worry whether you’re making the right choice, you’re holding yourself back

This self-doubt and fear of failure can become paralyzing. You need to let go and give yourself a chance. 

Making mistakes is part of learning. You’ll never know what you’re good at if you don’t try. 

The next time you need to make a decision, challenge your negative thoughts and trust yourself to make the right choice. 

2) You people-please 

Another reason why you might struggle to make decisions is because you’re a people-pleaser. Again, this is possibly something you unconsciously do because of low self-worth

You see, when you don’t think highly of yourself, you need other people to do it.

And by always keeping them happy, you probably think they will.  

It’s a horrible position to find yourself in. You might go to great lengths to avoid conflict or gain approval. Even if it means neglecting yourself. 

When in reality, you’re already enough for the right people. 

Having self-worth means you understand that not everyone needs to approve of you. It also means you know your value isn’t tied to what you can do for others. 

Overcoming the urge to please can take a lot of work. If this is something you realize you struggle with, I suggest asserting yourself in small ways. 

Voicing your opinions and preferences every now and then is a good start. 

And when you’re ready, be okay with saying “no” if something puts your well-being on the back burner

3) You strive for perfection 

Being a perfectionist, always striving for flawlessness in everything you do, can often be linked to low self-worth

Think about a time when you spent excessive energy on something, not because it was necessary, but because you were terrified of making even the slightest mistake.

Why were you so afraid?

Was it because you genuinely couldn’t live with yourself if everything wasn’t perfect, or were you trying to impress other people?

If you have low self-worth, the second reason would’ve unconsciously been yours. 

You may be chasing perfection, hoping that you’ll prove your worth to others and that they’ll then like you more. 

But trying to be perfect can actually make you feel worse. You’ll always be stressed, unhappy with results, and hard on yourself. 

I’ve been there, so I know what I’m talking about. 

After a while, I lost my creativity, passion for things, and ability to be satisfied. 

It’s a horrible point to reach. And this all happened because I wanted everything I do to always go right so people couldn’t find anything to criticize.  

I thought my worth depended on how perfectly I did things. But the truth is, people hardly paid attention. I was the only one zooming in. 

That critical little voice in your head that tells you everything has to be flawless is wrong. 

Learning not to set unrealistic expectations and just do your best is liberating. 

4) You don’t believe people when they compliment you

only pretending to be happy for you 5 things you unconsciously do because of low self-worth

Let’s say your efforts turn out great, and people compliment you. Do you:

  • Say thank you and feel good about it.
  • Think the person is lying to make you feel better. 

If you’re leaning toward number two, it might be because, deep down, you don’t believe in yourself, so you unconsciously reject any form of praise. 

Compliments aren’t supposed to make you feel uncomfortable or insecure. But if you have low self-worth, internalizing anything positive about yourself can be challenging. 

While our worth should never depend on other people’s opinions, they often see qualities in us that we may not see ourselves. 

Learning to accept compliments with a simple “thank you” rather than deflecting or downplaying them can help you change your internal dialogue.

5) You avoid arguments

Dealing with conflict can be hard whether you have low self-worth or not. But if you always stay quiet just to keep the peace, you might actually lack confidence. 

Being in situations where you strongly disagree with someone but choose to keep your opinion to yourself is totally normal. 

Sometimes, you simply don’t want to waste your time explaining how you see things to someone who won’t care anyway. I get that.

But if you’re always keeping quiet because deep down you’re actually scared that voicing your thoughts will lead to an argument, low self-esteem might be to blame. 

We can’t agree with everyone. If you prioritize peace over expressing your true feelings, you’ll never truly feel okay.

Healthy conflict is necessary and can lead to growth.

If you’re constantly avoiding disagreements, you need to realize that differing opinions are a natural part of being human. Healthy relationships won’t be threatened by it. 

Having a different opinion than someone else doesn’t diminish your value, either. 

In fact, you’ll build better confidence when you can fearlessly share your thoughts.

No one is born lacking confidence. But trauma does that to a person

You and your voice matter. 

You’re good enough. 

Remember that and take little steps daily to rebuild your self-esteem and realize your worth.

Picture of Natasha Combrink

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.