Signs you underestimate yourself and how to see clearly

underestimate yourself
Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash

When you underestimate yourself, it can lead to a lack of fulfillment in life. You fall short of your purpose and potential because you hold yourself back.

You avoid challenges when you underestimate yourself. That can lead to feelings of emptiness and even depression because you’re operating below your true capabilities.

But how do you know whether you’re viewing yourself accurately or minimizing your good qualities? Here are six signs you underestimate yourself.

1. You have unfulfilling friendships.

If you underestimate yourself, that will likely affect the quality of your relationships. If your self-worth is low, you’ll have trouble showcasing your value. As a result, others won’t see it.

That means you’ll suffer in relationships where you don’t feel fully seen or known. If you doubt your value, you’ll struggle to show up in relationships which makes them feel empty and unfulfilling.

2. You suffer from enmeshed relationships.

When you underestimate yourself, you’re more likely to let other people make decisions for you. You’ll rely on the “good sense” of others, like overreaching family members, to guide your life in the direction they think is best for you.

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3. You accept jobs below your qualifications.

In spite of your experience and skills, you work at jobs that fail to challenge you. You lack the confidence to get outside your comfort zone and ask for more.

Whether that means going for a promotion or taking on new projects, you fear you don’t have what it takes and can’t achieve what others do, in spite of matching their qualifications.

4. You ignore red flags.

When you underestimate yourself, you settle for less in relationships. You may have standards going into a relationship, but loosen them in order to keep someone.

When you underestimate yourself, you settle for less in relationships. Click To Tweet

Self-doubt tells you anyone of high caliber would never really like you. So, you ignore that they live with their mom, drink too much, or refuse to commit.

You make excuses why it’s okay to stay with someone who’s not relationship ready, or who treats you less than you deserve. That’s the way you treat yourself, and other people sense that and follow your lead.

5. You suffer from envy.

Rather than feeling happy for others who succeed, you feel pangs of jealousy. That’s because you know deep down you should be accomplishing similar goals. But the fact you underestimate yourself holds you back.

It’s natural to experience envy from time to time. But when you consistently wonder why them and not you? That’s a result of not stretching outside your comfort zone in spite of your abilities.

6. You don’t know your strengths.

This often goes back to childhood in which parents abdicated their responsibility to help you understand yourself. If no one pointed out your strengths or helped you develop them, it makes sense you’d struggle to know what they are.

If no one pointed out your strengths or helped you develop them, it makes sense you'd struggle to know what they are. Click To Tweet

When you grow up without praise or encouragement, you doubt whether you have any gifts at all. You underestimate your value because you learned from an early age that love and acceptance came from staying small.

That leads to hiding and minimizing your strengths. So, what can we do today to have a more accurate view of ourselves?

underestimate yourself

Do things that scare you a little.

Make it a point to get outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Ask for what you want rather than settling for what others are willing to give you. That applies in both the workplace and relationships.

Take time to know yourself.

Spend time alone journaling your strengths and gifts. Get to know your desirable qualities. Discover things you enjoy and do more of those, even if it’s a hobby.

Stop envying others.

Instead, see them as models and mentors, or friendly competition. It’s a known fact that success leaves clues, so follow them to discover best practices and achieve your own similar goals.

Keep standards.

Most of all, stick with them. Adhere to red flags and never make excuses to loosen those deal-breakers.

Our standards serve to weed people out, a necessary process when establishing new relationships.

Show up fully.

Stop hiding and playing small. Offer information about yourself rather than waiting to be asked. Take up your share of time and space in conversations with others.

It’s up to you to create your life rather than living one designed by others’ demands and desires. Spend time setting goals in all areas of your life and taking steps to make those happen.

It might mean offending overbearing family members. It could mean spending time alone because you refuse to settle for less than you deserve. But it’s a necessary step on the road to freedom from self-doubt and self-sabotage.

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