Stop Being Ashamed of Who You Are to Build Self-Esteem
Stop being ashamed of who you are if you want to build self-esteem. Everyone has things they don't like about themselves; however, being ashamed of who you are because of them is destructive.
Perhaps life isn’t how you planned and you don’t have the job, money, education, talents, looks, partner, friends or family you had hoped for. You might be ashamed of having an illness, condition or disability, or perhaps you're struggling with mental health issues or mental illness stigma. Alternatively, your personality, talents or interests might be different to others around you, causing you to feel like you don’t fit in. However, shame is toxic to your wellbeing and self-esteem. It’s important to stop being ashamed of who you are to build self-esteem.
Note that shame is complex and it may be helpful to seek the help of a therapist. These tips are not intended as a substitute for therapy; however, they may help you to see your worth as a person (Self-Worth and Building Self-Esteem).
How to Stop Being Ashamed of Who You Are
- Know your own strengths. Just like everyone, you have your own unique strengths and good qualities. Self-awareness is empowering and it's worthwhile to learn as much as you can about yourself, your personality and your strengths.
- Focus on the good things in your life. Stop dwelling on the negatives, the things you don't have or don't like. Work on those things you can change and accept those things you can't. Focus on the good things about yourself and your life.
- Look at the bigger picture. See yourself as a whole person and love yourself in your entirety. Work, money, education, looks, talents or health don’t define who you are; and they don’t determine your worth as a person.
- Stop being a perfectionist. Perfectionism causes you too focus too much on the negatives about yourself. Nobody's perfect and it's important to have reasonable expectations of who you are. It's okay and human to have imperfections, and you can't be good at everything. Don't be ashamed of your imperfections.
- Learn from your mistakes. Accept that mistakes are part of learning and growing, and they're a part of life. Learn from your mistakes and give yourself permission to move on from the past.
- Forget about being a clone. A world of clones is not sustainable, and we need a variety of people to keep the world going. Embrace your uniqueness because that's what makes you special. Everyone fits in and we complement each other, just like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. While you're not a clone, you're like other people just because you’re human. You do fit in. Be authentic.
- Follow your own road. Everyone has their own unique journey in life, and there is no "right" way. Stop comparing yourself to other people and stop worrying about the things you "should" be doing. Don't be ashamed of your journey because the only path you have is your own. It's okay to live your own life and to be you.
- Practice self-love. Treat yourself as you would a best friend and be kind to yourself. Learn to love and respect yourself as a whole person.
- Use affirmations and positive self-talk. Challenge your inner critic and change to a more positive focus.
- Stop worrying about what others think. All people have their own issues, and they probably don't notice or care as much as you think. You are probably far more critical of yourself than other people are.
- Get mental health help. If you’re carrying shame or have mental health issues, it’s worthwhile to talk to a mental health professional. There is no shame in that.
Shame is a toxic emotion; however, it can be overcome. You are worthy as a whole, imperfect person and it's important to believe that. Learn to respect yourself, stop being ashamed of who you are and build your self-esteem.
Agathangelou, F. (2015, October 6). Stop Being Ashamed of Who You Are to Build Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/10/stop-being-ashamed-of-who-you-are
Author: Fay Agathangelou
IDK where I start it has been a journey for me recently.
I figured out and learned alot about myself and have learned to forgive myself because I am human and I make mistakes and it wasn't just one thing. I had felt ashamed all my life and not even realized it until I started really feeling it going through a hard time. I always had kept negative emotions inside me in the past resulting in stress and anxiety, would get so sick and/or in the past (including my autoimmune disease until I started a Vitamin B diet resolving that) would never let myself make mistakes realizing yes I can, enabling me to do many things I never imagined. But, I didn't realize what's been keeping me from feeling like deep down I am allowed to be happy and have solitude and joy to myself and with others is shame. I actually started doing everything on the list. Significant improvement thanks for the insight! I'm starting to realize I'm gaining much more than I'm losing and I'm learning from my mistakes. But, when you're I'm gonna call it "Reprogramming" rather than recovering for a lack of a better word, because can't lose what you ever had, I finally have everything to gain now. But ,there's still a small part healing from that.
There's just a matter of one part starting to become well aware of with optimism that a past negative experience was actually a positive one and it was just realizing the shame, addressing that and moving forward to be happy. If you don't mind me sharing this now I realize positive experience was in a care-taking role. At first, and I realize most adept effort realizing I have had humble, selfless intentions, but I basically had to grow up over night of as Theodore Roosevelt would say, "Grateness thrust upon me", I learned to basically grow up overnight after not having an opportunity to find a job one presented itself as a blessing in disguise as and I read it's called "Self-altruism" caring for someone I didn't care for but my mother did, not out of love for that person but for her, of self-sacrifice, not of time or love but of self and it's realizing that it's just a matter of full self-compassion.
I realized had been through alot and caused me great pain for a while but it was that pain that helped me heal older, past wounds just the same of shame which I basically learned what was in me all along, confidence, resilience and courage being fearless, learning responsibility, not in terms of professionalism, or of any others expectations, but to and for myself, learning from my mistakes, having reinforced boundaries, not be judgemental/mutual respect rather than assumptions/judging, self-compassion and even breaking away from an unhealthy cycle of codependency, now I am working on shame. Also, in my efforts of positive caretaking doing the best I could the past half year, I didn't "fail" but learned from my mistakes, got the care needed alot sooner than expected, which I learned now not my responsibiltiy, not a doctor, I need to take care of myself, from what I realized since my childhood my mother's husband was sick, from not helping into shaming me over the years because he didn't know any better. So I forgive him and forgive myself for past mistakes and realized helped out me and my mother so much, it helped me get past self-defeating behavior including perfectionism/helpless, negative throughts and more driving experience, brought us closer, and reconciled her with her sister/my aunt she hasn't talked to in he past 3 years. So now its just a matter of healing from shame,and the resentment of bringing stress on myself from that shame. Which has made my subconcious realize I really do have learned so much, come so far, have good intentions and have helped my mother much more than I thought and its just healing from that shame, giving myself permission to not feel shamed anymore and free myself. I can and I'm willing and I figure if I can positive reinforce/reprogram with this. But any advice/tips/resources into doing so? Because every once in a while I have shame/noise trigger alerts which have gotten better, actually alert me when I am not taking care of myself and am starting to feel that way. Like for one, when it starts to feel that way like Stuart Little from my old video game I used to play. He's in his little obstacle course and the noise from that game I get stuck in my head is "Ouch" when he falls but like I him I get back up and continue driving on with people I love. Then, there's another sound it's a shame "Siren" was an actual siren of shame which I finally realized the cause was shame associated with being a caretaker. It is those two shame associations I've learned to quiet and focus and is just getting past shame, back to awe, joy and solitude my three favorite things with myself and the people I love. So any suggestions? Thank you for allowing so much comment space lol and I loved the article, very enlightening and in the I do believe with people like me and others trying to get past this, I do believe day by day being more mindfuly aware in the words of Switchfoot band that "We're Awakening". Thanks so much for your words of wisdom which I thought would take me a load of books, was as little as one challenge with a list of solutions. Thanks so much!
Hi Kaitlin, thank you very much for your detailed response. It sounds like you've found many effective ways of dealing with your own issues. I particularly like how you have prioritised certain values in the name of better mental health, namely self-compassion, confidence, courage, and optimism. Thanks for sharing your journey and I wish you all the best in the future.
I’m so happy for your transformation! How absolutely wonderful this kind of awareness, an awakening to really figure out why life was so hard to live. I am in the same boat- finally realizing I have lived a life of shame which lead to multiple mental diseases as well as chronic physical health problems. I didn’t love myself and that will kill you- literally. Reading your comment brought joy to me. I especially love that you wrote “awe, joy and solitude” I 100% agree! Keep at it joy warrior! Thanks for spreading your love and wisdom 💚🌱🦅
I am running a special link up this week to raise awareness for mental health issues. I would love you to stop by and link this post if you get a chance.
Hi Sydney Fashion Hunter, thanks for your comment and for letting us know what you're doing. It's fantastic that you're raising awareness of mental health issues. I encourage people to share their stories, as it's such an important topic.