Is your self-critical voice the loudest one in your head? Do you struggle with shame? Do you secretly fear that there’s something wrong with you? If so, you’re not alone. Low self-esteem is one of the most common difficulties we see.
Self-loathing can make everything seem bleak— it can disable our ability to enjoy success, love and closeness with others.
Do you have thoughts like:
- Something is wrong with me!
- Why can’t I have it together like other people do?
- I’m not good enough.
- I’ll never have what I need.
- I have to be hard on myself or I’ll get lazy.
- I’m so messed up!
Thoughts like these can become a constant source of distress. In therapy, we work on moving beyond a focus on these thoughts to a focus on self-compassion. While self-esteem is a feeling that can come and go, self-compassion is a skill you can learn and practice. As one expert phrases it: “Self-compassion is the new self-esteem.”
And because it’s not based on judgment or evaluation, it is more enduring. Through self-compassion you can learn to be nice to yourself, to give yourself the kind of loving response you would give to a friend. You can practice accepting yourself no matter how or who you are. And no, it won’t make you weak. Ask us how!