"I could never do that!" - is something I used to tell myself on a regular basis, if I didn't say it out loud I would think it- it was always there! This monster called "Self- Hate" constantly reminded me of my failings as a human being - it was always on my shoulder - whispering it's poison into my ear! This inner-voice quashed my dreams - ridiculed me -and shaped how I viewed myself for years to come. I allowed this spectre to sabotage everything I tried to do, she made everything a struggle and held me back for many, many years.
How can you convince others if you can't even convince yourself?
For example, you're going for a job interview but you're just going through the motions because you've already convinced yourself that you're not going to get it. You've let yourself believe that there are far more better qualified, clever, charismatic and worthy applicants going for this job than you. In your head it's pointless even going - you're just wasting their time!
It won't be easy to change this way of viewing yourself as it has developed over many years for a multitude of reasons. The important thing is you're aware of it now! You're aware that you put barriers in your way before you've even tried, other-wise you wouldn't be reading this blog in the first place.
What might you be saying at this point?
But there ARE better qualified people than me going for this job!
Why would anyone want to employ me?
They're going to take one look at me and start laughing
I wouldn't be able to do the job anyway
That sort of thing! This puts you on the back foot from the word go - the nerves will kick in, you might start shaking, your mind could go blank and you just want the ground to swallow you up!
It may never have occurred to you that you have been invited to an interview because they think you could do the job from your qualifications, experience and the way you came across in your application?
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SABOTAGE YOUR OWN LIFE?
Living with Low Self-Esteem.
The real question we have to ask ourselves is "What is the real reason for holding myself back, to doubt my abilities and bring myself down? It is my view that no-one wants to sabotage their own life, merely to protect themselves from stress, disappointment and failure. It is safer to remain as you are -where there is familiarity and no chance of anything unexpected happening.
For example - here are some scenarios where this might occur in everyday life :-
"I won't go to College or University as I'm not clever enough - it's just a stupid pipe dream." Who knows what could have been achieved if this person had a little more self-belief.
Or procrastination lifts its avoiding head - "I have too much to do to consider going to College. There's my children, the money issue, when would I find the time to study? If I had really wanted to go I'd have done it already." And the excuses go on ....
Or "I'm not going to talk to that man as he's not going to like me anyway. There are far more pretty women in this pub who he would obviously prefer to me." This could have been a romance worthy of "Mills and Boon" - no-one will ever know now.
Click here to find out more about low self-esteem and it's effects
DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
How can you not know yourself?
This sounds ridiculous doesn't it? After all, you're the person closest to you, the person in your head and the face you see when you look in the mirror every morning.
You have no focus in your life - you seem to be lurching from one unsatisfying situation to another not knowing what you want to do.
If you are told something enough times you start believing it: For example -"He'd never fancy you" or "you're not very popular are you?" or "You're not bright enough to do that job." These are comments designed to make you feel bad about yourself.
You also have a constant negative voice in your head holding you back and limiting your life choices, making your world a very small place.
You have been told what to do all your life, and decision- making is a very hard and unfamiliar task for you. Consequently, you have no confidence in the decisions that you make and lack the sense of freedom to know who you really are.
Find your fit in life - we are all good at different things and have different talents. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same!
4. HOW COUNSELLING CAN HELP
It is far easier to list our bad points than our good ones isn't it?
If I was to ask you to write two lists - one being your attributes, and the other your failings, I bet the latter will be the longest. It is human nature to put ourselves down rather than "big ourselves up."
Maybe we do this before someone else does so that we can own the insult rather than someone else. Taking control of any possible insults or "put-me-downs" is a form of protection against further insult, and gives some scope to take it in a less painful direction such as using humour to close it down.
The damage happens when it can't be closed down, when you start believing the bad over the good and when you start turning it on yourself. This is when it turn into self- abuse and the negative thoughts are ever present making your world smaller, your dreams disappear and your opportunities seem insurmountable.
Talking to a Counsellor can help you to recognise this negative voice in your head and the constant narrative that it is feeding you. Through my experience as a therapist, as a girl growing into a woman experiencing this, and now as a far more confident mature woman who has done a lot of work on my self - I can help you to recognise your self-worth.
I will help you to realise that this is a habit, that the negative thoughts you are having can be turned into more positive ones.
We all have a story, a value to the world and a right to live a full and happy life!
If you want to work with me to achieve this -call me on 07743 368747 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Or for more information click here.