Do you often feel down on yourself? Do you think that you’re not good enough, or that you could be doing better if only you were smarter/thinner/better looking? If so, then you are definitely not alone.
A lot of people suffer from self-loathing, and it can be really tough to break the cycle. In this article, we will discuss 5 ways to start loving yourself and finally put an end to those negative thoughts!
What Is Self-Loathing?
Before we get into the different ways to stop self-loathing, it’s important to first understand what it is.
Self-loathing is defined as “intense feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy”. In other words, it’s when you think really badly about yourself and believe that you are not good enough.
This can manifest in a lot of different ways. For some people, they might constantly compare themselves to others and feel like they don’t measure up. Others might believe that they are completely undeserving of love and happiness.
No matter what form it takes, self-loathing is incredibly harmful to your mental health and well-being. If left unchecked, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other issues.
What Causes Self-Hate?
Self-hate is a serious issue that often goes undiscussed. People who suffer from it feel a deep sense of shame, disgust, and anger towards themselves. What causes this? Let’s take a closer look.
#1 – Trauma
One of the most common causes of self-loathing is trauma. This can be anything from abuse to neglect. If you experienced trauma as a child, it’s likely that you’ve been carrying around those feelings of worthlessness and shame for years.
When children experience trauma, they begin to view the world as unsafe and the people around them as dangerous. This can lead to a lifetime of self-protection and fear.
#2 – False Expectations
Another common cause of self-loathing is having false expectations. We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images of perfection. Whether it’s the perfect body, the perfect relationship, or the perfect career, we are constantly comparing ourselves to an impossible standard.
When we can’t live up to these false expectations, we beat ourselves up and feel like we’re not good enough.
The key to overcoming this is to realize that nobody is perfect. We all have flaws and that’s what makes us unique. Accepting ourselves for who we are is the first step to loving ourselves.
#3 – Attempts to Please Others
The next reason why we self-loathe is that we’re trying to please everyone but ourselves. We put other people’s needs above our own and end up neglecting our own happiness.
This is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you unhappy, but you’re also resentful of the people you’re trying to please.
#4 – Perfectionism
Another reason for self-loathing is perfectionism. We live in a society that perpetuates the idea that we have to be perfect to be happy and successful.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it’s impossible to achieve perfection. Striving for it will only leave you feeling disappointed and inadequate.
It’s important to remember that you are not perfect and that’s okay. Accepting your flaws and imperfections is an important step in self-love.
#5 – Social Comparison
Social media is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to self-loathing. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we don’t measure up.
Remember that everyone has their own journey and you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Comparing yourself to others will only make you feel worse about yourself.
The Tolls of Self-Hatred
Self-loathing can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse. If you struggle with self-hatred, you may experience its consequences in many areas and ways.
#1 – Relationship With Self
The first and most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. If you don’t love and respect yourself, it will be difficult to do so with others. When your inner critic is constantly putting you down, it’s nearly impossible to view yourself in a positive light.
#2 – The Workplace
Your career can also suffer as a result of self-hatred. If you’re constantly putting yourself down, you’re likely not to reach your full potential. You may find it hard to take risks or put yourself out there. As a result, you may end up in a job that’s far below your abilities and qualifications.
#3 – Social Situations
Self-loathing can also make social situations incredibly uncomfortable. If you don’t like yourself, it’s likely that you won’t want to be around other people. You may find yourself withdrawing from friends and family or avoiding social gatherings altogether.
#4 – Romantic Relationships
Self-loathing can also take a toll on your romantic relationships. If you don’t love yourself, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fully love someone else. You may find yourself in a cycle of bad relationships or constantly pushing people away.
Self-loathing can also make it difficult to set and achieve goals. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to see the point in trying. Why bother setting a goal if you don’t think you can reach it?
#6 – Decision-Making
Self-loathing can also make decision-making difficult. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to trust your own judgment. You may second-guess yourself constantly or find it hard to make even small decisions.
How to Stop the Cycle of Self-Loathing?
Self-loathing is a trap. It’s a never-ending cycle of shame and disappointment in yourself that can be hard to break free from. But it’s important to try, because self-loathing can lead to some pretty harmful behaviors. Here are some ways to start breaking the cycle of self-loathing and start building healthy habits instead.
#1 – Tame Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is the voice in your head that’s constantly putting you down. It’s the one that tells you’re not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. If you listen to it too much, it can start to feel like the truth. But here’s the thing: your inner critic is not your friend. It’s just a voice, and it doesn’t know what it’s talking about.
The first step to silencing your inner critic is to become aware of when it’s speaking. Pay attention to the thoughts you have about yourself throughout the day. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, stop and question it. Is it really true? Or is your inner critic just trying to bring you down?
The second step is to start challenging your inner critic. When it speaks up, don’t believe everything it says. Talk back to it and tell it why it’s wrong. For example, if your inner critic tells you that you’re not good enough, you can say something like, “I am good enough. I am doing my best and that is all that matters.”
The third step is to start practicing self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes. Recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that you are not alone in your struggles. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend who was going through a tough time.
The fourth step is to get rid of perfectionism. Start accepting yourself for who you are, imperfections, and all. Remember that nobody is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
The fifth and final step is to start taking care of yourself. This includes both your physical and mental health. Make sure you’re eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when you need them. You deserve to take care of yourself and treat yourself with kindness and respect.
#2 – Inventory Your Strengths
One way to start loving yourself is to inventory your strengths. Make a list of things that you’re good at, things that you’re proud of, and things that make you unique. Remember, there’s nobody else in the world quite like you! Embrace your quirks and your differences. They make you who you are and they’re what make you special.
Once you have your list, refer back to it when you’re feeling down about yourself. It’s a reminder of all the wonderful things that make you, well, you!
#3 – Learn to Accept Compliments
If someone pays you a compliment, don’t brush it off or try to downplay it. Just say “thank you” and accept it graciously. It’s not being arrogant or conceited to accept a compliment. It’s simply acknowledging that somebody else sees the good in you – and that’s something to be proud of.
Compliments are like little boosts of confidence that can help you through a tough day. So next time somebody pays you one, don’t hesitate to say “thank you” and really let it sink in.
#4 – Practice Forgiveness
We are often our own worst critics. We hold onto grudges and resentments, beat ourselves up for past mistakes, and dwell on things that we wish we could change. But dwelling on these negative thoughts does nothing but make us feel worse. If you want to start loving yourself, it’s time to learn how to forgive.
Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean that you’re condoning your past actions. It just means that you’re ready to move on and let go of the negative feelings that are holding you back.
Forgiving others can be just as difficult, but it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes. If you can find it in your heart to forgive others, it will be easier to forgive yourself.
#5 – Surround Yourself with Positive People
Last but not least, surround yourself with positive people. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your negative friends, but it does mean you should spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
Positive people will help build you up and make you feel better about yourself. They’ll also provide a much-needed reality check when it comes to your self-image.
If you’re constantly around people who tell you how great you are, it’s easy to start believing that you really are as awesome as they say. But if you’re only ever around people who put you down, it’s just as easy to start believing that you’re worthless.
So choose your company wisely and make sure the people you spend your time with are the people who make you feel good about yourself.
It’s not easy to love yourself when you’ve been taught your entire life to hate yourself. But it is possible. It takes time, effort, and a lot of self-reflection, but if you want to stop self-loathing and start loving yourself, these five tips will help you get there.
What are some other ways you’ve been able to stop self-loathing and start loving yourself? Share your tips in the comments below!
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