I’m Sam Woolfe, and I’m really excited to start writing on Building Self-Esteem for HealthyPlace. For a long time, I have struggled with low self-esteem, low self-worth, harsh self-criticism and even self-hatred. Thoughts and feelings related to low self-esteem have, no doubt, held me back in many ways, but they never seemed like some big issue I had to address. That was, until, certain life events, stressful situations, magnified and intensified these thoughts in a depression.
Sam Woolfe’s Low Self-Esteem
Everyone, to some extent, has an inner critic in his or her head. This is an internal voice which comments, judges, criticises and scolds the things that you think, feel and do. For me, however, this critical inner voice has always been quite powerful and authoritative. Why? Well, I couldn’t really begin to answer that question. Speaking to psychotherapists and reading up on what psychologists say about inner critic has offered some valuable and interesting perspectives as to why this voice exists. But I’m still trying to figure this out, and hope to continue to do so in my writing.
In any case, even when I’ve not felt crippled or terrified in the midst of a depressive episode, I would still say unkind things about myself, about how I’m pathetic, weak, unlovable, too quiet, unmanly and so on. Then during depressive episodes, these thoughts would be much more frequent, intense and overwhelming. The self-directed insults would become more vicious – I would call myself worthless and defective. It is these kinds of thoughts which would contribute to a feeling of hopelessness, which is common in depression.
The scariest aspect of these severe depressive episodes was the suicidal thoughts. My self-esteem became so utterly low and dismal that I thought I did not deserve to live and that I was a burden to everyone around me.
Sam Woolfe Builds Self-Esteem
I have since found a different and healthier way to relate to these thoughts, which involves mindfulness, self-acceptance and self-compassion. This takes constant practice. There may be promising periods of calm when I feel totally comfortable with who I am. Then, who knows, something may happen and I fall back into negative patterns. The important thing is that I recognize there is a distinction between my authentic self (which strengthens my self-esteem) and a part of me that is inauthentic and not truly based on who I am.
I hope this blog will help other people who struggle with low self-esteem to see this distinction. I will also discuss various techniques, as well as personal, philosophical, scientific and spiritual insights, to guide people towards a stable sense of self-worth and a more fulfilling life.
More About Sam Woolfe and ‘Building Self-Esteem’
Source: Self Confidence