If you think about it, you'll find that low self esteem is like a mental jail, a set of rules, opinions and values, imposed by our own mind, which limit our abilities, our way of thinking and our life.

Do you like what you see in that mirror? Do you feel pride, compassion and respect about yourself most of the time?
Or do you wish for someone else's traits and accomplishments?

Low self esteem is a terrible burden that will prevent you from taking a stand for what you believe in or from perceiving your own strengths and capabilities. Simple things seem too intense and overwhelming, let alone the ones who require commitment and a stronger approach to them.

This happens mainly because you keep getting those same helpless thoughts and negative notions about yourself, that make you quit before you even started anything.

There is always a reason behind the shyness, the awkwardness and the low opinion of yourself. These are substantially hard feelings that have rooted themselves in your mind and are stopping you from being the best that you can be. No one was born with low self esteem. It's very important to determine where these feelings come from, so that you can fight them and start to believe in yourself.

Some common characteristics of low self esteem:

Not letting go of bad experiences – quoting Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Your life is a collection of lessons learned from mistakes. Going forward is all about trial and error, which is absolutely necessary for you to become a more mature and experienced human being. Conscious of the obstacles that you'll eventually have to face, you'll be prepared and that will be worthwhile in the end. You can change your future learning from your past, but not clinging to it as a vision of things to come.

Fears – when you let your fears determine every move you make, you are bound to lose a lot in life. Anxiety will break your will, chronic stress will consume you. Avoiding your fears will only make it worse. Face them, understand them and analyze them thoroughly. Confronting your fear is the first step to free yourself from them.

Peer pressure – as we live in society and are extreme social beings, we tend to care too much about people's opinions. It seems natural to need the approval of others for everything we do or for who we are. Consider the advice of the people who care, but in the end, just be yourself and act according to what you believe.

Being negative – one of the first thing you must try to do is to break the loop of negative thoughts that keep pounding your brain. This negative self talk (also called the pathological critic) is the main cause of any underachievement and aggravates low self esteem continuously. Make a conscious effort to stop this negative self criticism even if it seems benign.

Don't let your doubts and insecurities keeping you from being all that you have dreamed for yourself. Find out what's behind your low self esteem. Stop dwelling in the past and work for a luminous future. Believe in yourself and learn to be confident. It's all in your hands.

Author's Bio: 

Guy Brugada discovered personal development during a time of challenges and hardships. He became since, an avid reader and forever student of self help, self improvement and spiritual resources.

He is the author of http://www.my-selfesteem-my-life.com which is the fruit of his experience, reflections and thoughts; ever-growing and dedicated to help anyone improving self worth, well being and happiness.