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  • Writer's pictureAlena Grunberg

I have SO much going for me. Why don’t I feel confident and happy?

Let’s examine some common beliefs that could be chipping away at your self-esteem.

- Other people’s feelings are my fault

-Other people know what I need, and would do it if they cared about me

- When others don’t show up for me, it’s because I don’t matter

- People love me because I go the extra mile for them

- I can get more love and attention by doing more

- When I get rejected or ghosted, it’s because I did something wrong

- I am not in a relationship because there is something wrong with me

- It’s not okay for others not to like me

- When my friends have other plans and I’m home, it means I’m a loser

Did you notice the common thread? All of these beliefs depend on the actions of others, but what others think, feel, or do is actually NOT about you.

All of these statements take an objective situation personally, and make it mean you aren’t good enough or worthy. You seek evidence to confirm these beliefs, and even subconsciously act in ways that prove them to be true in your mind… and self-sabotage.

As a child, it is safer to make yourself wrong and unworthy than to be powerless in a household or community that is harmful or threatening. Making yourself the problem gives you a sense of security by preserving the goodness of your caregivers. Children are ego-centric by nature, but sometimes as adults it takes a while to let go of this part of you. Especially if you experience situations that hurt your self-esteem when you were young... your automatic response is still to blame yourself.

Our natural way of coping during these experiences is to make them mean “there is something wrong with me,” which begins to chip away at self-worth. To try to escape this painful belief, you will do whatever you can to appear perfect, achieve, and gain approval.

Healing starts with awareness, and willingness to see yourself differently. Ask yourself honestly, is this belief a fact or a story? Would it hold up in court? 🤷‍♀️ If not, introduce other objective possibilities. Don’t mindread, compare yourself, or expect others to know what you want. Communicate your needs directly. Have a clarifying conversation with someone if you are confused about their behavior. Forming close relationships with others where you can be authentic and feel good about yourself also reverses negative beliefs. Working on self-esteem in therapy helps too 💛.

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