10 Ways you Might be Unknowingly Poisoning Your Self-Esteem

7. You Don’t Confront Fears

Ever heard the phrase, “If you’re scared of something, do it!” Like a lot of popular quotations, it’s over-simplistic and platitudinous. But there is some truth in it.

Low self-esteem reinforces itself by creating its own “rules for living”. These are ways of avoiding danger danger on the (false) basis that low-esteem beliefs are true. The problem, of course, is that cycles of avoidance – not speaking up at a party because everybody will laugh at you, not travelling because the world is dangerous place, not applying for a better job because you’re not good enough – reinforce those false beliefs.

One way of overcoming unnecessary precautions is by intentionally confronting them. Some fears are justified (don’t go and take on a lion) but many aren’t.

8. You’re Not Keeping Track of the Positive

Because the supports that underlie poor self-esteem are formed in childhood, they can be difficult to break. Similarly, harmful patterns that may be fostering a negative self-view right now often operate just out of sight. People aren’t aware of them.

One of the easiest ways of overcoming both of these things is by adopting gratitude and thankfulness-inducing habits. They allow you to break up the cycle of repetitive harmful thoughts and reactions, from which point they will begin to dissipate.

A friend of mine once suggested that I start a gratitude list every morning. It was a wonderful piece of advice. Imagine that you spend your entire day thinking about how lucky you are. You would feel fantastic!

9. Not Asserting Yourself

Say “no” more often. It’s simple. Allowing other people to set your priorities gives weight to the belief that you’re not good enough to make your own decisions, that other people’s opinions are more valid than your own.

It’s thought by many that one of the chief ingredients of happiness is a feeling of control. When you feel in charge of the direction of your own life, you tend to be more content with things. Asserting yourself a little more often, even if it’s only in small ways, is a sure method of achieving this feeling of self-direction. If it’s an area that you struggle with, all you have to do is start small.

10. Denying Bad Experiences

Everybody makes mistakes and has bad experiences. Occasionally something will happen that seems to reinforce a negative belief. The tendency for most in these cases is to avoid confronting these events. To out-think or ignore them.

An ability to hold bad experiences without being drawn into them goes hand in hand with high self-esteem. It might even be the key.

Resilience, the ability to bounce back, is a core part of high self-esteem. Again, mindfulness can play a huge part here, allowing you to catch negative thought cycles and staunch them before they gain the upper hand. You can then consciously affirm positive thoughts, perhaps using some of the techniques already outlines, in their place.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.