Most have experienced feeling uncomfortable, awkward, incapable or just not good enough. Feeling inadequate at times, is normal. However, people with heightened levels of anxiety often suffer from chronic and seriously low self-esteem.
Often, people with elevated levels of anxiety and low self-esteem tend to be hypervigilant of any kind of sign that translates to inadequacy or rejection. For example, if a person is anxious that another person does not like them, then that person is likely to withdraw. This can have a chain effect causing isolation and loneliness because they are convinced, they are unlikeable. The more a person with anxiety believes they’re seen a certain way – incapable, unlovable, awkward, etc., the more those labels stick.
But there is good news. It is possible to overcome low self-esteem which in turn greatly reduces anxiety.
One way is to stop listening to your inner critic. If you collected all the terrible things you have said to yourself, and said them to a friend, can you imagine how your friend would feel? How would your friend feel if you said, “You’re worthless”? Chances are your friend would be upset and hurt. That’s because your friend is not worthless. In fact, your friend would have the right not to listen to you. So why are you talking to yourself that way and why you are listening?
To help overcome self-esteem challenges, these negative thoughts must be challenged. Of course, the most difficult thing is to recognize the messages we send ourselves, it’s probably become an unnoticeable habit.
The next time the negative critic shows up and feelings of inadequacy develop begin to journal all the horrible things the inner critic is saying that is causing inadequacy or rejection. On the next page, write down kind, compassionate and more realistic responses to those criticisms. For example, “You’re so ugly,” could be replaced with “I have pretty eyes, beautiful hair and a loving heart.”
Challenge the inner critic’s harsh criticisms by responding and standing up for yourself in a loving way.
Enjoy this short video - Anxiety and Self-Worth.
Written by Kristé Sprague, Doctor of Transpersonal Counseling, Certified Neuroplasticity Specialist, Certified Holistic Practitioner, Certified Recovery Coach and Reiki Master. Kristé specializes in Anxiety Recovery Therapy in Ellsworth, Maine using a compassionate, heart-centered, solution-focused, holistic counseling and coaching model along with neuroplasticity. Kristé is currently seeing clients for anxiety therapy online across the USA. For more information visit www.gatewaytohappy.com.