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How to stop putting yourself down and start building your self-esteem?

Today I spent some hours in one of the nicest coffeeshops I know. I was there, meeting a friend I got to know some years ago. We had not seen each other for months, and I was looking forward to do so. When we got to know each other, I was going through some tough times, and was struggling in several corners of my life. Spending time with this friend, was at the time, a good break from my own problems, because we mostly talked about her challenges at work and I listened to her funny stories about travelling and her family.

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Today somethings were different.

We talked, and for some reason, my friend constantly talked herself down. It was strange at first and then really disturbing. I tried to engage in the conversation using positive openings, but she managed to turn every theme back to herself, and and for some time there, it was not a happy conversation.

I know by personal experience  that putting you down can be damaging to your self-esteem and self-confidence. That includes the words you say out loud in addition to your internal self-talk. Negative words as well as thoughts can be very believable and they distort your perception about yourself. They impact on your sense of self-worth. When you talk negatively about yourself to others, the words have a greater effect. You’re also making it easier for others to put you down. All these thoughts went through my brain as we talked, and I finally came around to bring them into our conversation. Because the good news is that you can stop putting yourself down and you can build your self-esteem.We had a good talk, but since we were in a coffeeshop, we did not go to far into the problems, though. I’ve been replaying our conversation over and over again, and decided to write about this, because I believe this is very important.

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There are plenty of reasons why you might put yourself down;

You may feel insecure, believe you’re not worthy or it might be a habit to put yourself down. You could be used to saying “I can’t,” “I don’t have talent,” “I’m ugly,” “I’m stupid” or “I’m useless.” You might have been put down by others in the past and continue to put yourself down. Alternatively you may believe it’s better to put yourself down before anyone else does.

Putting anyone down, including you, is emotional bullying. Most of us consider bullying from others as a bad thing, so why bully yourself? It seems like we have a double standard and treat others better than we treat ourselves. It’s not okay to put anyone down and that includes yourself.

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I believe that if you have started to have this bad habit, it’s important to be aware of it and start working on how to stop putting yourself down to building your self-esteem.

Let’s face it, you can’t control what others say about you but you can control what you say about yourself.

To build your self-esteem, it’s important to talk about yourself in a healthy manner. Believe you are worthy and quit the self-bullying. Treat yourself as you would a good friend and respect yourself. Replace negative words with positive words. For example you could say “I’m capable” or “I’m learning” instead of “I’m useless” or “I’m stupid.” Words can make a big difference.

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Two words that I recommend avoiding are “can’t” and should.” They are disempowering and it’s better to use alternatives when you can. For example, “can” is a good alternative to “can’t” and “could” is an alternative for “should.” Using affirmations might also help.

To quit this bad habit, it’s important to pay attention to your negative talk, catch your negative thoughts or words early. Awareness is very important and it empowers you to make changes. Stop your negative thoughts or words and correct them as much as you can. This may be a challenge to start with and it’s important to be kind to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t get it right straight away. Change will take effort and habits won’t change overnight. Keep on practicing and you’ll see improvements.

Change your talk and you will build your self-esteem.

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