Some people are really down on themselves. They seem to have a constant nagging voice that is always being self-critical or planting a seed of doubt in whatever they do. This constant doubting and self-denigration makes a person anxious and miserable.
Sometimes, this way of talking to ourselves comes from our past. We forget that the way we talk to children over a period of time will eventually become their inner voice. But wherever this voice comes from, is there anything we can do to get a more positive sense of self-worth? Two strategies can be helpful.
Firstly, it can be really helpful to start a journal where you have to write down three things that you have liked about yourself each day. It sounds cheesy, but it can really help, because when you have low self-worth your brain is pre-disposed to highlight your negative aspects. When your brain gets really stuck into this habitual way of picking holes in yourself, then you aren’t paying much attention to anything positive. This task doesn’t aim to turn you into a narcissist. It is just about trying to get a better balance.
The second activity is about trying to generate some self-kindness. It’s a fact that we are usually better at being kind to other people rather than ourselves. So, a good habit to cultivate when something goes wrong, or you mess something up, is to ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend in this situation”. Imagine you are talking to a friend that you really care about and respect.
Many people find these exercises really hard. Indeed, they might sound pretty mundane. However, developing compassion for yourself can be life changing. If you are your own worst enemy you might want to consider giving this a whirl.
For NHS funded therapy for anger, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE]