8 signs you are a highly intelligent person with low self-esteem

We all have our insecurities, some more than others. Even if we are clearly gifted in different ways.

And highly intelligent people are also no strangers to insecurities, which can affect their self-esteem.

This can arise from the pressure to perform or because expectations are imposed.

It could also be due to insecurities that they have yet to overcome.

Are you someone who constantly questions your self-worth even though you are clearly capable of delivering results (in the area you are good at)?

Today we'll explore eight signs that you're someone who is highly capable, but just doesn't have confidence in your own abilities.

1) You owe your successes to luck.

When you reach a milestone, do you attribute your success to luck? You may have put a lot of time and effort into a particular project, but overall you feel that your abilities alone could not have brought you much success.

You can tell others that maybe it was just your lucky day and the stars aligned to allow you to achieve this success.

As a result, you continually downplay your abilities and may also underestimate what you can actually do. Despite having a track record of projects and achievements that you have completed or led, you are unable to see the value you bring.

Even when people around you praise your abilities, you feel doubtful and like they are exaggerating.

2) You always doubt yourself.

When you are confronted with a problem deep down or reflexively, you know how to approach the problem and arrive at the right answer. However, once you let yourself think further, you start to doubt yourself.

You end up overthinking and overanalyzing everything as doubts start to arise in your mind. You start to weigh the pros and cons of each solution and hesitate to take the next step.

As such, something that is solved in a shorter time is postponed for too long. It can also impact your productivity and efficiency because you can't tackle a problem with confidence knowing that you can solve it.

While it is important to evaluate decisions carefully, choosing the opposite extreme can be more harmful than good.

3) You have no confidence.

In general, you lack confidence. There's a nagging thought in the back of your mind that you're not good enough, and that you can never be good enough.

This will not only affect your education or career, but can also affect the way you interact with others. It can potentially affect your relationships, dating life, and people's overall perception of you.

Over time, this can lead to missed opportunities just because you felt like you weren't the right person for that person, that job, or that role.

We are never right 100% of the time and it is normal to make mistakes. It's how we learn and grow.

Building self-confidence starts with accepting that failure is part of the learning process.

4) You find it difficult to accept compliments from others.

Low self-esteem also makes it difficult for a person to accept compliments from others.

Maybe it comes from the internalized idea that they are not good enough. When someone gives you a compliment, are you often at a loss for words? Are you feeling uncomfortable and not sure what to do?

You may struggle to find the right way to respond, but often resort to distraction, an awkward smile, and perhaps mumbling a thank you.

Low self-esteem often causes a person to feel undeserving of the praise he or she receives.

5) You suffer from imposter syndrome.

Another sign that someone has low self-esteem is if he or she suffers from imposter syndrome.

Despite your certifications and extensive experience, do you feel like you don't deserve the successes you've achieved?

Perhaps you were recognized at work for your excellent work and your supervisors decided to promote you, or you were headhunted to work at a prestigious company.

However, you notice that there is a nagging thought in the back of your mind telling you that you don't deserve this role.

You may also feel inferior to those around you, even though you are clearly good enough.

6) You chase perfectionism.

Yet, despite your insecurities, you know you can get results. And this is why you set high standards for yourself – standards that you know you are likely to achieve.

However, when these standards become impossibly high, it can negatively impact how you perceive yourself.

Instead of propelling you to success, chasing perfectionism can backfire and create more doubt about your abilities, even though you are performing exceptionally well.

7) You compare yourself to others.

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and this is especially true when you use others as a benchmark to determine their worth.

I used to know a colleague who constantly compared her performance to that of others. She is great at her job, and everyone can see that.

But somehow she can't see her self-worth for what it is without comparing herself to the people around her.

This caused her to become unnecessarily insecure towards others.

She gets anxious when new people join the team – even though she is a seasoned employee, and she feels truly inferior when someone does a better job, even though she is clearly more skilled than the rest.

As a result, despite her abilities, she left because of the unnecessary stress she put on herself – all because she didn't see her worth.

8) You have difficulty making decisions.

Because you always question yourself, you find that you have difficulty making decisions?

While larger, more complex decisions may require more deliberation, your uncertainty may cause you to overthink smaller decisions.

This fear can paralyze your ability to move forward and make important choices in your life.

It can also affect your relationships with others if you constantly overanalyze situations and create unnecessary stress in your life.


although with high intelligence doesn't mean someone is likely to have higher self-esteem, it is still important to have a healthy perception of themselves.

If you identify with the above symptoms, you may be suffering from low self-esteem.

While this may take some time to work on, you can try to build your self-compassion and improve the way you see yourself. You are much more capable than you think.

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