As much as I’d love to say I took the easy path to all of this personal growth, knowing my self-worth stuff, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I took the long, hard slog way through years of self-loathing, not feeling good enough and struggling with self-doubt.
It took me a long time to learn the things to stop doing to yourself to help build your self-worth and self-esteem.
Come to think of it the first thing I had to do was be aware of what I was doing in the first place so that I could change my behavior.
This change takes place over time, so you need to be kind to yourself during the process.
To help know your worth, here are 10 things to stop doing to yourself.
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1. Stop playing old scripts in your head
What do I mean by old scripts?
I’m talking about hurts from childhood, words said in anger, breakups with people long gone from your life, and negative things someone told you that stuck in your head that you now repeat to yourself.
Think of it as the stuff that makes you feel not good enough, unworthy, unlovable, or ugly.
Often these old scripts in our minds, run over and over again on a loop from hell.
Firstly you need to be aware of what your old scripts are. Have a think about this and write them down. Most likely a few will spring straight to mind but a few others may be hidden deeper and you’ll have to pay closer attention to capturing those ones.
Take note of what you think when you are at your most vulnerable – when you are upset or stressed, that’s usually when they show their true colors!
Once you have some of your scripts at hand then you need a way to stop playing them.
One way is to substitute a positive script every time you think of a negative one. This works affirmation style where every time you think a nasty thought you overlap it with a positive one.
For this to work, you need to do this each and every time your old nasty script plays.
If you think that sounds a little painful, well yes it can be but it also means you are on the right track to feeling great about yourself.
If the affirmation format doesn’t work (and I have to admit it didn’t always work as well for me) then you need to get your brain thinking about something else.
Think about something that you are passionate about and something that is a priority for you.
Focusing on what is important to you is a way to stop those old scripts. A lot of the time when you are thinking about old scripts you are letting your mind wander. It’s just wandering around, thinking about crap that’s not true, harmful, hurtful, or insignificant to your life.
You need to reign your thoughts in and stop them strolling around picking up rubbish.
Awareness and focus are the keys (more on these later).
Related content to rev up your self-worth –
- Know Your Own Worth
- Know Your Own Worth Even When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Quite Agree With You
- Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Worth
- Stop Waiting for Acceptance – Accept Yourself
2. Stop telling yourself and everyone else your story
Without realizing it you might be telling yourself a certain story about yourself.
These can be similar to the scripts but they are usually a lot more complicated.
Not only that but your story could be broken down into categories such as love life, family, work, etc.
Often when we are struggling with a lack of self-worth these stories are negative or at least have a negative overtone.
Let’s use the dating world as an example. You go out on a date, start talking to your date, and before you know it you have told them the story of your hopeless love life and all the guys/ girls that have done you wrong and treated you terribly because that’s your ‘my love life is a mess story’.
I’m not saying that you need to ditch your past or your history.
I’m just saying you don’t need to carry it around like a weight pressing down on you.
It can be far too easy to get bogged down and overly invested in your history.
You are not your history or your stories – you are what you do today (and right this moment you are reading a blog post about improving your life so bravo to you!)
An excellent book to help work through your thoughts and feelings is Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?: Everyday Tools for Life’s Ups and Downs by Dr Julie Smith.
3. Stop beating yourself up emotionally
I used to be the worst for this one. I was my own walking talking torturer.
Man, it sucked!
I think somewhere in the recesses of our brain we think that beating ourselves up emotionally will help motivate us to get things done.
It doesn’t, it just makes you feel awful.
I think the key is finding your own internal balance of being kind to yourself and giving yourself a kick when you need it. There’s no doubt that sometimes you need to be a little hard on yourself to get your butt off the couch and stop your Netflix binge.
Find a balance that works for you.
Related post – How to Stop Beating Yourself Up
4. Stop criticizing the hell out of yourself
I can not stress this one enough. You need to stop criticizing yourself.
I know this one sounds a lot like the one above but they are a bit different and therefore worth a discussion.
When you are beating yourself up it’s often over something you want to do but are struggling to get started with.
Criticizing yourself means you pick on everything about yourself and nothing is ever good enough regardless of whether you have started, finished, or are working hard on a project.
This doesn’t sound like fun and it’s not, so you need to work hard to stop criticizing yourself.
Related post – 11 Ways You Have More Power Than You Think
6. Stop doubting yourself all the time
Self-doubt can be crippling if we allow it to be.
When you doubt yourself you will second guess every decision you make and not fully back the ones you do make. Self-doubt will slow you down and frustrate the hell out of you.
I recently completed an excellent online course by Mel Robbins on How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence. This course was a game-changer for me and taught me some actionable strategies for breaking the habit of self-doubt.
You can read my review of the course on how it can benefit you as well.
If you are constantly criticizing yourself, the above course can definitely help you there as well. 🙂
5. Stop looking at all of your flaws
I have a lot more physical flaws now than I ever did in my twenties (when I thought I had a million of them).
But you know what – I don’t see as many flaws now.
For starters, I don’t go looking for them! I don’t make them the center of my universe like I used to.
Secondly, I don’t see them as flaws as such.
Yes, I have wrinkles, and yes I have cellulite. Do I like it? Not really. Would I like the cellulite to disappear while I sleep tonight? Sure. Do I see it as an end-of-the-world apocalyptic event, that makes me hate myself? No.
My wrinkles, cellulite and the extra weight I have put on over the years are all part of me.
And I love me.
So I have learned to make peace with them. Sometimes it’s not just about love, it’s about making peace. It’s about calling a truce with yourself.
I’ve also learned the importance of good health over good looks.
Stop looking at your flaws.
If you want to improve your health and lose a bit of weight or tone up, that’s great but just make sure you still respect yourself during the process.
Related post – Know Your Own Beauty
7. Stop waiting for someone else to fix or rescue you
When I was younger I think I acted a bit like this.
Somewhere along the line, I thought if I got a man to love me that would make me love myself and all of my insecurities would just magically disappear without me having to do any work on myself.
While having someone special in your life is wonderful and it can help with how you feel about yourself and enhance your life in incredible ways, those insecurities are still there.
They just bury themselves deep inside of you, waiting for you to have a fight with your partner or have a challenge that you have to deal with then they boil to the surface and make a mess of the place.
You need to do the work and get rid of them yourself, instead of waiting for Mr or Mrs. Right.
This doesn’t mean that you have to do this alone. If you need help reach out for it.
This doesn’t mean that you need years of therapy either.
You could work with a personal coach, doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, take courses, read books, and keep reading this blog 🙂 or get whatever level of help you need from the right person to provide it.
You are responsible for yourself, no one else.
Stop waiting for someone to rescue you. Rescue yourself.
8. Stop thinking you are broken
I write about personal growth and I’m all about self-improvement and growing as a person but let me clarify one thing.
You are not broken.
I wasn’t broken either when I didn’t know my worth. I just needed to get myself on the right path.
Believing you are broken or this terrible person who needs to be put back together is just another way of putting yourself down.
So stop thinking of yourself as broken (or a total mess or a loser or a failure or whatever words you might use in the dark corners of your mind to describe yourself on your dark days) and start thinking of yourself as a work in progress who is getting better, stronger and more amazing all the time.
Related post – 12 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough
9. Stop believing your own bullsh*t
This one was a big turning point for me personally.
I got to a point, and to be honest, I can’t tell you exactly when this happened (probably around the time I was working with my personal coach because that was a huge transformational time for me), but I just got sick of my own bullsh*t.
I got sick of hating myself and putting myself down. I got sick of all the self-loathing and constantly feeling like I was at war with myself.
It was exhausting and I decided it was time to stop.
You might not realize it but hating or disliking yourself takes up a huge amount of emotional energy.
Energy is a limited resource, so make the decision to channel that energy into improving your life and making great things happen.
10. Stop letting other people define your worth
This is where many of us come unstuck.
You might think you believe in yourself and think you know your worth, then someone says something negative about you and your house of self-worth comes crashing down.
The truth is people are always going to be saying negative things. Always.
So you need to build your house on a strong foundation, one that can’t be swept away in an instant by someone saying – You’re fat, you’re fired or I’m disappointed in you (or about a million other things).
Sure these things might upset you but they won’t crack you to your core because your core is your self-worth and that is strong stuff.
Things to stop doing to yourself
If you read all the way to the end of this post, you might be thinking a few different things by now.
They could be –
1. I’ve stopped doing those things. (To which I say to you a big woo-hoo that’s fabulous!)
2. I’m super excited and inspired to up my sense of self-worth (Excellent, I’m excited for you as well)
3. You make it sound easy when it’s not
Let’s focus on that last one for a second. You’re right it’s not easy but it starts with the commitment to try.
Make a commitment to yourself, then look at the awareness side of things mentioned earlier. Commit to being aware of when you are doing these things.
This isn’t about being perfect and never doing any of these things.
Hey, I still do some of these things, truth be told I will probably do one of them today as I work on some tech stuff that I’m having trouble figuring out and that is frustrating the hell out of me.
But I catch myself putting myself down and snap myself out of it.
On a bad day, I might find it harder to snap myself out of it and that is perfectly okay. Some days will be harder, some easier.
The point is that you keep trying and keep persevering and keep moving forward even if it’s by taking baby steps. Before you know it those baby steps will be turning into huge leaps forward.
The big thing that helped me a lot – having a purpose and making that purpose a priority in my life.
That purpose is actually this blog that you are reading. Write Change Grow has turned into a driving passion in my life.
Once I dedicated myself and committed to that passion and priority, a lot of the trivial stuff in my life that I used to obsess over or get bogged down by just wasn’t important anymore and I let it go.
It wasn’t who I was anymore.
If you don’t have a purpose or goals in your life, then you need to get some! Having goals and working towards them will keep you focused on the big picture.
You deserve to love yourself and treat yourself with respect. You are in charge of that happening. Work through this stop-doing list and start reveling in the power and strength of truly knowing your worth.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. It just might stop someone from saying something nasty to themselves today!
Read Next – 12 Ways to Show Up For Yourself