If I could give my own connotation of the word “mind,” it would be an immaterial component inescapable in our lifetime. The insides of our heads are individual experiences unique to ourselves, and the thoughts we generate are reflections of our state of mind. Outside of this, we can find how we treat ourselves. Have you ever had the chance to observe how you treat yourself? Are these positive or negative experiences?
While not a topic of everyday conversation, I think it is commonly known how the thoughts we have about ourselves can range from self-adoration to self-deprecating. Although I daresay that it is much easier to deprecate oneself. For starters, I bet you can find more articles online on how to build confidence than how to tear it down. But this isn’t another one of those articles. As the title suggests, I’d like you to have a sitdown with yourself.
The amount of experience you have in introspection does not matter… what is amazing is that us as a species are very self-aware. However, we never truly live in extremes. The positive and negatives will always be present, and to be conscious of your thoughts could be a burden if not handled well. These thoughts can manifest to how we talk about ourselves. Another amazing thing is that we can change how we think; it’s just a degree of how complicated that might be.
Tap into your subconscious in simple situations, like interactions with people that didn’t end in your favor. What kind of thoughts arrive in your head? Do you have a tendency to insult yourself, or to become very self-conscious of what other people might be thinking about you? If this is a common occurrence, it may be time to reassess not just in the way your mind works, but how you talk to yourself.
The first thing you can do is keep track of what you think. It may be too much work for some to write down everything you say about yourself (but feel free to try it!) but it is enough to just observe how you are in the moment. This may take weeks to months, but only then will you know to what degree it takes you to start belittling yourself.
When you think you have enough ground to cover, this might be the time you’ll really start delving deep into your mind. Why do you say the things you say? What brings it out? How does it manifest itself? Be careful not to use this as another way to self-deprecate yourself. Approach this in a way that your emotions don’t get in the way of the start of your readjustment. You’ve already taken a big step; try not to be dragged back.
This is where you add perspective. Find common circumstances that lead to the same self-deprecating thoughts, and add questions like, will this matter in the future? What good can come out of it? And when it happens again, what can I do better the next time around? When you realize that the situations that make you feel that way aren’t as big as you make it out to be, you’ll recognize that your self-deprecation won’t be needed.
Bring out what you’ve practiced. When another one of your situations arrives, balance your negative thoughts out with positive ones. Try accepting compliments instead of brushing it off. Try telling yourself that whatever it is, it’s okay. Mistakes are not walls, they are bridges.
To build a better self-esteem takes practice–you can read all the self-help books and attend all those seminars, but if you don’t actually apply what is learned it will dwell on where the chaos resides: in your head.