Lots of people struggle with feelings of low self-esteem. If you are one of them then you are not alone. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can help your-self with this.
Here are some ideas:
- There can be good reason for having low-self esteem. What i mean by that is that many who have struggled with low self esteem do so because they have had many experiences of others not treating them as being worthwhile. There are a host of experiences and historical reasons that can result in people having low-self esteem. We can appreciate this, understand it but those experiences don’t have to be a perpetual barrier to feeling loved and worthwhile.
- Be aware of how easy it can be to confuse what you have done, what has happened to you with who you are. These are two different things. It is certainly possible to evaluate actions or behaviours but is it possible to draw accurate conclusions about the value of you as a whole on the basis of these actions or behaviours.
- Be aware of confirmation bias. This is basically a universal human trait that means that we tend to to make sense of new data through the filter of our past beliefs. In fact new data get adopted to support or justify our views, beliefs and our actions. We distort data in order to confirm an underlying belief. This is why when you make mistakes this seems to confirm your worst fear about your self. ‘See i am useless’. Many of us have had that type of experience.
- Become aware of your Rules For Living. These are basically cause effect beliefs that you have about yourself and the world. They are your way of trying to ensure that you can protect yourself from an underlying negative suspicion that you have about your self: that you are not good enough or have to value or use: worthless. For example you might believe that if you are never seen to make a mistake you can control how others perceive you. You believe people of value only succeed or that only successful people will be valued. However even if if you do manage to hide your perceived flaws from people it does nothing to alter how you feel about yourself. The point is this might not be true. Experiment a little try talking about a mistake you have made to someone and you will discover that for the most part humans do still value others-mistakes and all.
- Loosen these rules a little. Let your self of the hook a little. Do you have to be perfectly in control of yourself the entire time? Test their predictions. For example people will not accept me for being less than perfect. Really? Run some experiments and find out what happens.
Lastly learn about how you can soften the inner-critical voice that may be very vocal in your life. I will be writing more articles about ways to understand the perceived function of self critical voices and find new ways in which to communicate with yourself.