This Article is About
self esteem
spiral effect
inner critic
unrealistic expectations
procrastination
laziness
ambition
different ways
tendency
failure
confidence
choices
challenges
Why Damaging Your Own Self Esteem Is Foolish
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Why Damaging Your Own Self Esteem is Foolish

You probably read the title of this article and immediately thought it’s blatantly obvious, damaging your own self esteem is foolish and ask why on earth would people do it? We mostly assume that people lose their self esteem through the actions of others, but that's not always the case. The fact is people often damage their own self esteem through their own actions and choices and yet seem completely unaware of the impact of what they’re doing. If you struggle with your self esteem, then see if any of the issues below resonate with you.

Perfectionist tendencies

If you’re the sort of person who has perfectionist tendencies then you really need to watch that they don’t get out of control. The fact is if you constantly seek perfection, that you have no chance of attaining, you will land up feeling miserable and questioning your own abilities, which can have a spiral effect and cause you to start losing confidence. Keep them under control

Procrastination or Laziness

Whether you have the tendency to procrastinate or be lazy it can really knock your self esteem. This can happen in different ways. Seeing other people achieve things ahead of you can leave you questioning your own ability or it can lead your inner critic questioning why you’re unable to motivate yourself. However it affects you it is possible to attack any tendencies that you have to either procrastinate or be lazy

Deliberately setting yourself up for failure

If you have ambition great. If you like to set yourself up for some really difficult challenges great, because sometimes we have no idea what we can achieve until we stretch ourselves. However, there’s a world of difference between stretching yourself and deliberately putting yourself in a position where you know you’re going to fail. This tends to happen if you have unrealistic expectations.

Failing to challenge yourself

Just as setting yourself up for failure can be damaging so can failing to challenge yourself. You may actually think it’s very nice to sit comfortably in your comfort zone and just let life potter along, but the fact is we need to stretch and challenge ourselves for life to be fun. It can actually be quite stressful it you’re aware of never challenging yourself and become quite depressing.

Sabotaging your own success

Have you noticed that you can congratulate some people on their success and they will always say something negative about it. “It’s not that good”, “I’ll do it better next time”. Okay some people might say it out of false modesty but there are many people that are saying the same things to themselves. This sort of negative self talk is damaging to your self esteem and yet it is entirely self inflicted. So if you have something to be proud of – be proud of it.

Trapping yourself in a cycle of negative self talk

Recently in the news there have been stories of women going through ‘mirror fasting’ eg they have given up looking in mirrors in order not to avoid criticising their own appearance. Not everyone thinks this is the right approach but actually it is important that you don’t choose to trap yourself in a cycle of negative self talk and come up with a suitable strategy to combat negative self talk. It’s horrible if you lose confidence from what someone else says, but in my view its worse if you’re doing it to yourself.

Summary

Many people have issues with their self esteem due to factors outside their control. However, there are also lots of people who knock or damage their own self esteem. You may have your own examples of where you are your own worst critic. Whatever the context, it’s not something you should allow to grow and fester. Control the negative self talk and take any additional steps necessary to ensure that it’s not you damaging your own self esteem.


Street Talk

Great article Beverley. You have to believe in yourself!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn. Yep - self belief is vital in gaining success.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Hi Beverley, Love the article. I struggled with negative self talk for many many years in a strong corporate world which gave me many of these difficult situations.Then one day I was idly reading a magazine article (can't rememebr where - it was so long ago), and the author said that in situations where people are praising you and you tend towards negative self talk, the best way to respond was to simply say "thank you" and leave it at that. I started to practice this and it worked wonderfully (for me) and still does. Any time I feel the embarrassment rising internally when someone tells me what a great presentation that was you just gave, I just smile and say "thank you" - and my emotional state returns to normality!! Have a great weekend, Keith

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Keith Thanks for sharing that - What a great strategy for balancing your emotional state. I shall remember that one and suggest it to other people. It's great.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article we become what we thing. Self talk can be both powerful and destructive. Working through the issue is so important to making sure that it is positive and can help in all areas of your life. Gayle

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Gayle Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes self talk can work either way. It can be hard to remember that sometimes.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Linda14  

Great article Beverley. I find it very hard sometimes to not talk or think negativity. I guess it's the way I grew up. never blow your own horn! I'm getting better at being proud of what I do. My family doesn't help much, I sent an email on my 93% on my computer course, the answer from my family was " you have the brains but no confidence" Which felt like a total down play on my achievement. I find I do things better with out my families input:)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Linda Gosh - what a knock down. It probably wasn't meant that way but that doesn't stop it from hurting. There's that saying' sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me' - which was often repeated to me as a child - and I always thought was complete rubbish. Things can stay with you a long time. It's only as an adult I've learnt I can't change other people - only my reaction to them - so like you there's people that I don't discuss what Im doing so I don't have to cope with their less than helpful comments. Thanks for commenting.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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