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Evaluating Your Self Image


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I've been catching myself in this negative loop about my self image. Feelings of worthlessness and self doubt, whenever I am told something negative about me from someone, regardless of whether or not it is a constructive statement I tend to immediately agree with what the person is saying about me without a second thought. How do you begin to reconstruct a positive self image and regain confidence after a bout with severe major depression. Can you ever regain your confidence again?

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Hi fat_cole,

As you say, you need to reconstruct a positive self image and stop being dependent on other people´s opinions about you. You can regain your confidence back, but it will take some time and practice.

Check out CBT therapy. You can see a therapist or just do exercises online.

Talk to yourself in the mirror. I know it sounds strange, but it´s effective and it works. Talk to yourself and tell yourself that you love and value yourself and will do everything in your power to protect you.

When someone tells you something negative about yourself, think before you agree. When someone tells me something negative, I usually say: "You gave me something to think about." If it´s constructive criticism, I will think about it. If not, I disregard it.

Good luck and please share how it goes.

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Like Violet said CBT is a great choice in learning to build a positive and strong sense of self where you don't need to rely on other's opinions of you. Especially when things are said out of anger or spite. It really does help change the way you see yourself.

Make a list of what you like about yourself. Or what you see as strengths in your personality. Start small and keep those things in your head.

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What worked for me (and what I learned in CBT many years ago) was to keep a little spiral notebook and pen with me at all times, and every time I had a negative thought or feeling about myself I would write it down and analyze it, work it through. Seeing my feelings on paper somehow made them easier to deal with and counteract, and also less huge and scary and true. This approach worked really well for me for quite a long time, and I highly recommend it.

I also try to look at it like this: If my best friend/sister/niece, etc. was having this experience and feeling this way, how would I react? What would I say to make them feel better? And then I try to treat myself the same way I would treat them (which is, inevitably, a LOT more kindly).

I used to have that same knee-jerk reaction to criticism, even the constructive kind, and would immediately believe that every bad thing someone said about me was true. But you know what? I realized after many years that it isn't all true, and what's most important is that I understand that, even if the other person never does.

Edited by epic_sky
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