Stop Putting Yourself Down with Negative Self-Talk
Putting yourself down can be damaging to your self-esteem and self-confidence. That includes the words you say out loud in addition to your internal negative self-talk. Negative thoughts and words can be very believable and they distort your perception about yourself. They impact on your sense of self-worth. When you talk negatively about yourself to others, the words have a greater effect. You’re also making it easier for others to put you down. The good news is that you can stop putting yourself down and build your self-esteem.
Why You Might Put Yourself Down
You may feel insecure, believe you’re not worthy or it might be a habit to put yourself down. You could be used to saying “I can’t,” “I don’t have talent,” “I’m ugly,” “I’m stupid” or “I’m useless.” You might have been put down by others in the past and continue to put yourself down. Alternatively you may believe it’s better to put yourself down before anyone else does.
Putting anyone down, including yourself, is emotional bullying. Most of us consider bullying from others as a bad thing, so why bully yourself? It seems like we have a double standard and treat others better than we treat ourselves. It’s not okay to put anyone down and that includes yourself.
How to Stop Putting Yourself Down
You can’t control what others say about you but you can control what you say about yourself.
To build your self-esteem, it’s important to talk about yourself in a healthy manner. Believe you are worthy and quit the self-bullying. Treat yourself as you would a good friend and respect yourself. Replace negative words with positive words. For example you could say “I’m capable” or “I’m learning” instead of “I’m useless” or “I’m stupid.” Words can make a big difference.
Two words that I recommend avoiding are “can’t” and should.” They are dis-empowering and it’s better to use alternatives when you can. For example, “can” is a good alternative to “can’t” and “could” is an alternative for “should.” Using positive affirmations might also help.
It’s important to pay attention to your negative talk -- catch your negative thoughts or words early. Awareness is very important and it empowers you to make changes. Stop your negative thoughts or words and correct them as much as you can. This may be a challenge to start with and it’s important to be kind to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t get it right straight away. Change will take effort and habits won’t change overnight. Keep on practicing and you’ll see improvements. Change your talk and you will build your self-esteem.
In this self-esteem video, I talk about putting yourself down, and how you can stop it to build your self-esteem.
Agathangelou, F. (2015, March 3). Stop Putting Yourself Down with Negative Self-Talk, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/03/stop-putting-yourself-down-and-build-self-esteem
Author: Fay Agathangelou
Thanks for reading, if anyone did.
home and stare at the mirror & im just tired.
Sorry to hear that you've been struggling lately. It sounds like you're being burdened with quite a few difficult situations. It's best to take things one day at a time and to see what adjustments you can make that will help you to view yourself differently. You say you feel "dumb" and "stupid", but this negative self-talk can be challenged - this negative voice in our heads often doesn't tell the truth, so it helps to talk back to it. Respond with the understanding that you make mistakes (like we all do!) and that you're doing your best to improve. The fact that you've reached out shows you want to improve, which is far from a 'dumb' thing to do. It is in fact a very intelligent move!
Take care Marzell. I wish you all the best.
I can see that you struggle with negative thoughts about yourself. We all make mistakes and do things we wish we didn't, be it spending too much money or any other number of things. Try to spend some time taking note of the qualities you like about yourself, what other people appreciate and compliment you on. When your opinion of yourself is based on what you know to be true, you may not feel that shopping is necessary to boost your self-esteem. But you also don't need to be hard on yourself for shopping too much - you already recognise why you do it, which shows how self-aware you are.
All the best,
My most earnest advice to those who are younger than I am is to PLEASE do anything and everything you can to BREAK this cycle, stop this painful treatment of yourself and know with everything in your heart that maintaining this way of thinking, tis believing will rob the joy from your life forever.
Take Good Care,
I have my first boyfriend and my mind was blown because the exact same things you asked about your husband proposing are what I ask in my head everytime he compliments me. Also I'm constantly fighting with body shaming myself. I actually drew a picture of me showing how I viewed myself. I'm from a small country in Africa, and the instagram or general description of beauty here is the light skin, big assets (boobs butt and hips) which ofcourse does not describe my African self... It's become so hard for me to believe when anyone compliments me. Anyway I hope that one day I'll heal from these insecurities. And thanks for your post.
I'm not morbidly obese but, by the guidelines I am just obese. Such an ugly word. I used to walk and do things but, I had a disc in my neck replaced and that put me way back beyond the starting line. My husband works a physical job all day and I have a desk job which makes things between us kind of hectic. I want to get out and do something after work and he's tired and just wants to kick back, eat his supper and watch T.V. and "spend time together". I really need a self-esteem booster.
Thanks for sharing your experience and sorry to hear that it's been a challenge for you. I truly believe you can build your self-esteem. You've felt good about yourself in the past and you can get that feeling back. You don't have to do it alone and it's worthwhile getting professional help. Believe in yourself, you can do it.