The secret about self esteem
You don’t actually have to love yourself to be happy, healthy, and stable. Here are some beliefs that you can work towards instead
- no one deserves bad treatment, including you
- You deserve to be treated with self kindness & to meet you own physical and emotional needs
- Physical appearance isn’t the most important thing, and even if you’re unattractive you deserve to be able to live your life without shame
- that no one is expected to be perfect at everything they try, and that it’s ok to enjoy things you aren’t good at
- It’s more interesting and fun to focus your thoughts outward on the world and other people than to think about how much you like or dislike yourself
- That everyone makes mistakes and does embarrassing things, and that an embarrassing event might feel really terrible but it’s not actually a threat
- It’s not worth obsessing over whether you are a good or bad person, bc those things don’t really exist. (There are only good & bad actions; humans are way too complex & ever changing to fit into black & white labels)
- Your thoughts and emotions are as valid & real as anyone else’s
Basically, the goal with all of this is to accept that you can treat yourself with self compassion. It is going to be near impossible to be happy if you constantly tear yourself down, or if you don’t respect needs, but it’s definitely possible to be happy feeling pretty meh about it.
I recommend focusing on things you believe are true for all people, then working back to yourself (for example, that everyone deserves to be treated kindly, that physical appearance isn’t shameful, that everyone makes mistakes, etc). Make self kindness the goal. When you are being mean to yourself, remind yourself to be kinder. If you feel horrible about a mistake remember you are only human. And the rest of the time? Pour your energy into creating meaningful activities in your life. Make art, chase goals, call friends, read books, learn, create, engage. You will find the works is much bigger and brighter when you make room for something besides self criticism.