9 signs you’re undervaluing yourself and what to do about it

The fact is we often undervalue ourselves without even realizing it. It’s a silent self-sabotage that can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to convince you to stay in your comfort zone and continue undervaluing yourself. If you feel this way, it’s high time for a change.

What I aim to do is bring some much-needed awareness to this issue.

Maybe you’re already aware of some signs. Or maybe, like many of us, you’ve overlooked them.

Here are 9 signs you’re undervaluing yourself and what to do about it.

1. You accept less than you deserve

Ever found yourself putting in extra hours at work, without any extra pay? Or maybe you’ve agreed to take on responsibilities outside your job description, without negotiating a raise?

I’ve been there too.

Years back, I was working in a position where I was doing the job of two people but only getting paid for one. I kept telling myself it would pay off, that my boss would recognize my efforts and reward me accordingly… but that never happened.

This is an all too common sign that you’re undervaluing yourself. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

2. You always put others first

Don’t get me wrong, being considerate and putting others’ needs before your own is a noble trait. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you’re compromising your own needs in the process?

I remember when I used to always say ‘yes’, even when I meant ‘no’. Whether it was taking on extra work, helping a friend move or attending events I had no interest in.

It took me a while to realize that I was undervaluing my own time and needs.

Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’. It’s not selfish; it’s self-care.

3. You’re constantly comparing yourself to others

Did you know that on average, people spend two hours each day on social media? That’s a lot of time spent scrolling through highlight reels of other people’s lives, often leading to comparisons and feelings of inadequacy.

Comparing ourselves to others is a slippery slope. It’s easy to start believing that others are smarter, more successful, or more worthy. This is another sign that you may be undervaluing yourself.

Everyone is on their own unique journey. Your worth is not determined by how you stack up against others.

4. You struggle to accept compliments

A dear friend once told me that accepting a compliment is like receiving a gift. If someone hands you a present, would you push it away? Probably not. So why do we often struggle to accept the gift of kind words?

If you find yourself deflecting praise or feeling uncomfortable when someone appreciates your work, it’s likely that you’re undervaluing yourself.

It’s time to embrace the fact that you are deserving of praise and recognition. Accept compliments graciously and believe them—because you are worth it.

5. You don’t prioritize self-care

There was a time when I thought self-care was all about spa days and fancy skincare routines. Boy, was I wrong.

One winter, after weeks of juggling work deadlines, family commitments, and a social life, I came down with the flu. I had been running on empty, ignoring my body’s call for rest and relaxation.

That’s when I realized that self-care is not just about pampering yourself; it’s about listening to your body and giving it what it needs.

If you’re neglecting your health or well-being because you’re too busy taking care of everything and everyone else, it could be a sign you’re undervaluing yourself. It’s crucial to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.

6. You fear failure

We all fear failure to some extent, but it becomes problematic when this fear starts holding you back from pursuing your dreams and goals.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people, myself included, hesitate to take a leap of faith because of the thought, “What if I fail?”.

Understand this: Failure is not a reflection of your worth. It’s simply a stepping stone towards success. If you find yourself fearing failure, it’s time to reassess your self-worth.

7. You downplay your achievements

Do you often brush off your accomplishments as “no big deal” or credit them to luck rather than acknowledging your hard work? This is a common sign of undervaluing oneself.

I once completed a major project at work within a tight deadline. When praised, I found myself saying, “Oh, it was nothing. I just got lucky with the timing.” It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t luck; it was my dedication and hard work that got me through.

It’s important to take pride in your accomplishments and give yourself the credit you deserve.

8. You feel uncomfortable talking about money

Did you know that only 39% of workers negotiate their salary during job interviews?

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable discussing money, it could be a sign that you’re undervaluing yourself. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to negotiate for better pay or ask for a raise if you believe it’s deserved.

9. You settle for less in relationships

Lastly, if you find yourself settling for less in relationships—be it romantic, familial, or friendships—it’s likely that you’re undervaluing yourself.

I recall a time when I stayed in a friendship where my efforts were never reciprocated. It took me a while to understand that I deserved a friend who valued me as much as I valued them.

The key point is this:

Undervaluing yourself is a habit that can be changed. It starts with recognizing these signs and then taking steps towards valuing yourself more. Remember, you are more than worthy of respect, love, success, and happiness. You just need to believe it!

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