Accepting Your Negative Thoughts to Boost Self-Esteem

August 31, 2022 Will Redmond

Throughout my life, I've had an internal dialog of thoughts that offers commentary on my daily life. Recently I've noticed that some of those thoughts can be negative. The negative thoughts occur when I feel that I've done something wrong. These thoughts could come after driving too aggressively, snapping at a friend, or being lazy. Today, I'd like to talk about how those negative thoughts can be damaging and how to accept negative thoughts with grace and build self-esteem at the same time.

What Negative Thoughts Look Like

As I mentioned above, several factors can induce negative thoughts about myself. The severity and frequency of the negative thoughts may vary. However, all are detrimental to self-esteem in one way or another.

It's tough to differentiate between negative thoughts about myself and constructive self-criticisms. Both can come in many forms. I like to think that self-criticism stops at acknowledging the problem, while negative thoughts about myself take it a step further and attack me.

Let's take the example of snapping at a friend. A constructive self-criticism would be telling yourself that you need to breathe and collect your thoughts the next time that situation arises. A negative thought would take it a step further and say, "I'm always like this," or, "I'm so mean all the time."

Accepting Your Negative Thoughts for Better Self-Esteem

Learning to accept your negative thoughts will help further distinguish the two types mentioned above and prevent the latter from happening. By accepting your negative thoughts, you can give yourself grace as you continue to grow.

This process could occur in many different ways. A simple way to get started would be to list some of the negative thoughts you have about yourself and start paying attention when they come up. In those situations, note each time one pops into your mind. That will allow you to identify when and why they're occurring.

From there, practice stopping the negative thoughts during the self-criticism phase. There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism that allows you to grow. When one of those instances pops up, tell yourself that it's okay to have this thought and that you'll be patient. The first step is understanding what it takes to change and how long the process can be.

My Goal for Accepting My Thoughts and Self-Esteem

Over the next week, my goal is to be more patient with myself when I'm having negative thoughts. I'll tell myself that it's okay to make mistakes as long as I'm still kind to myself after I make them. From there, I'll continue to work on reducing the frequency and severity of those negative thoughts and turning them into constructive ones.

Feel free to share your goal with me in the comments below.

APA Reference
Redmond, W. (2022, August 31). Accepting Your Negative Thoughts to Boost Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Will Redmond

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