I come from a family with a codependent mother. I am neither judging her nor blaming. But identifying codependency symptoms in her helped me a lot to overcome low self esteem.

Codependency definition :

Codependency is not a disease, it is an emotional and behavioural condition that is learned and affects the ability to have a healthy relationship with others. Many call codependency: a relationship addiction.

Codependents have emotionally destructive relationships that are one-sided pleasing oriented and therefore abusive. They suffer from low self esteem.

Researching a lot on codependents , I became aware that I used to act like one. Some of the codependency symptoms that I discovered in myself were:

Codependency symptom # 1:A strong tendency to do more and give more than I got in return.

A tendency to sacrifice myself to give more. I kept thinking: “They are more important than me” , my favourite mantra.
The truth behind this behaviour: My fear to loose his or her love, so I became pleasing to everybody, in order to feel loved and accepted. In fact, I focused too much on pleasing them; after all, their needs were more important than my needs.

Codependency symptom # 2: I became easily hurt when nobody recognized my efforts

I constantly complained: “After everything I have done for them….”. The truth behind this behaviour was that in order to feel good about myself I needed to be recognized by others. The same pattern than before: looking for approval. I kept doing thing for everyone with the idea that my efforts would please them and when I didn't get the recognition I expected I felt insecure and resentful.

Codependency symptoms #3: I always felt guilty when being assertive and expressed my thoughts

Deep inside I always hear the same message: ‘ I shouldn't had said that”. The truth behind this behaviour is that I was afraid to be abandoned or rejected. I focused on: if I say what I really think I will be abandoned, they won't talk to me anymore.

They could say anything they wanted but I was not allowed to do so. Because in order to be loved and accepted I not only have to be nice but submissive and passive. So, I devaluated myself, low self-esteem, to avoid rejection and abandonment.

There are many other codependency symptoms such as care taking: confusing caring with taking care of. Trying to fix other people, thinking or feeling responsible for others, and manipulating behaviour in relationships through guilt.

By identifying these symptoms I realized that I became what is normally called: people pleasing, which is a sign of low self-esteem. I focused too much on what the other person thought. Now, I don't know you , but do you relate to any of these symptoms? Are you focusing too much on what other people think about you too?

Author's Bio: 

Carla's professional background includes 15 years working as a Software Developer and Technical Writer with import-export and manufacture companies. Her passion about self esteem issues had leaded her to write about her personal experiences.

Since she was very young she spent a lot of time researching and interviewing close friends and family on this subject. She has been examining alternative ways of dealing with life on many different levels.

She studied Metaphysic, Buddhism, EFT-CC (Basic EFT Certificate of Completion) and participated in several workshops to work inside herself. She's been using several techniques since the last 10 years like Ho’oponopono, EFT, Rebirthing , Shadow Work and Meditation.

She published her first book when she was 23, "Let's love ourselves as we are". She is the author of the e-book The Boost your Self Esteem Workbook . Website: Building Self Esteem