7 Signs of Low Self-Esteem

#1: You define yourself by your past

Nick Wignall
6 min readSep 5


Photo by Rachel Claire

Many people struggle with low self-esteem — a persistent belief that they’re not good enough, worthy enough, or not lovable.

And while most of us assume low self-esteem is a fixed personality trait — something you’re stuck with for life — nothing could be further from the truth:

When you understand what really causes low self-esteem, you can take steps to improve it.

What follows are 7 common signs of low self-esteem. Learn to identify these in your own life and you’ll be on the road to cultivating healthier self-esteem.

1. Dwelling on the Past

Low self-esteem is often a failure of imagination.

If you’ve struggled with low self-esteem for much of your life, those beliefs and feelings of being less than are what you know best. And so they feel very real. On the other hand, imagining your future self with higher self-esteem feels distant and unreal. But here’s the thing…

How you feel about yourself is not always a very good indicator of your true value.

People with healthy self-esteem know that just because they feel bad doesn’t mean they are bad. They know that just because they’ve been one way in the past says nothing about how they are destined to be in the future. And they don’t overprioritize their past selves at the expense of their future selves.

When you define yourself by your past, you give away control over your future.

2. Procrastination

When you avoid the things that matter most, it’s often a sign that you don’t trust yourself.

Of course, we all procrastinate. But people with low self-esteem often have a strange pattern to their procrastination: They get the mundane, everyday stuff done on time (paying the bills, finishing those weekly reports, etc.) but they procrastinate on the activities they care most about (creative hobbies, travel, learning, fitness, etc.). And the reason…

When you have low self-esteem, you don’t trust yourself with your most important…



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com