Sometimes the enemy within can be much more dangerous than outside forces. In fact, struggling with negative beliefs about yourself makes it all too easy to lapse into self-destructive patterns. That’s why breaking that no-win cycle of low self-esteem — and the bad choices related to it — is the first step to a more peaceful, productive life. Here are a few methods to help you get there.
Consider the Source
A loving family does not inflict harsh judgment on young children, nor do truly responsible teachers and coaches insult impressionable young people. If you were told you were lazy, unintelligent or homely as a child, remind yourself that those characterizations reflect badly on the adult who said them, rather than on you.
Assignment: Write a letter to a person from your past who damaged your self-esteem. You don’t have to actually send the letter but focus on describing that person’s unrealistic standards or constant judgment. The act of writing the letter will help you understand how those unfair words shaped you.