1. Pay Attention to Your Triggers:
The first step to overcoming self-hatred is to pay attention to your triggers. You may have been doing something wrong all along or you may not even realize it but there are certain situations which trigger your inner critic into action. These situations include:
a) When someone else does something bad;
b) When you do something good;
c) When you don’t try hard enough;
d) When you fail at something;
e) Whenever you feel inferior or out of place.
When I see myself in the mirror, I always think, “What if? What if I had done this instead?”
And then I get angry because I’m thinking what if instead of doing something better.” -Anonymous
2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts:
You might be able to change your thoughts, but how do you actually challenge them? How do you turn off the voice inside your head that says “I suck”?
There are several ways to accomplish this task. One way is through meditation. Another method is by writing down negative thoughts and confronting them directly in writing.
These tools are especially useful when your negative thoughts are related to social situations and you want to change them. For example, many people have anxiety over public speaking. If you feel anxious before a speech, try saying positive things about yourself out loud in front of the mirror. Even if you don’t believe what you’re saying at first, keep going until you can.
This is a great way to silence the inner critic.
3. Practice Positive Self-Talk:
When you spend all day with negative self talk, it can be difficult to turn it off at night and on the weekends. This is why you should learn to practice positive self-talk. Every time your inner critic rears its ugly head, try replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. This might take some getting used to, but it gets easier every time you practice!
4. Use a Mantra for Instant Calm:
If you have an especially bad case of self-hatred, you might feel like you need an instant way to calm yourself down. Try creating a mantra that makes you feel good whenever you repeat it to yourself. It can be a simple as “I love myself” or something a bit longer. Find a phrase that has meaning to you and repeat it in your head when you start to feel anxious.
Remember, it’s perfectly okay to seek out help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with seeing a mental health professional and they can definitely help you feel better about yourself.
5. Remember, You Are Not Your Mistakes:
One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel as though your mistakes define you as a person. And while mistakes are going to happen, we certainly don’t need to let them consume us. In fact, there is a lot of research out there that shows people who are hard on themselves are less successful than those who aren’t.
We are so much more than the worst decisions we’ve made and the negative thoughts we have about ourselves. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and remember that you are loved by so many people. This is something to be grateful for!
There is a lot to be said about being hard on yourself. At times, it can motivate you to do better. But, there is such a thing as being too hard on yourself which is actually more detrimental than beneficial.If you find yourself feeling overly negative towards yourself on a regular basis, try implementing these tips into your life.
Not only will they help you feel better about yourself and your choices, but they’ll also help prevent a downward spiral into depression and anxiety.
And isn’t that what we’re all working towards? Living a life free of depression and anxiety?
The world is a wonderful place, you just have to remember to take the time to enjoy it every once in awhile.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic.
Do you find yourself being too hard on yourself? Do you have any tips that help you cope with this?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Sources & references used in this article:
Sexual anorexia: Overcoming sexual self-hatred by PJ Carnes – 2009 – books.google.com
A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred by B Manning – 2010 – books.google.com
After the Ball: How America Will Conquer It’s Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s by M Kirk, H Madsen – 1989 – commons.wikimannia.org
Richard III: Self-hatred at loose in the world by JD Noshpitz – International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2010 – pep-web.org