Monday, January 31, 2011

Part 9: Six Thinking Patterns That Can Keep You Stuck in Low Self-Esteem

Part 9:
6 Thought Patterns That Keep You Stuck in Low Self-Esteem

So far we’ve discussed useless two useless tips for improving low self-esteem: 1. Refuting your inner voice; 2. Think positively. 

The #3 Most UseLESS Tip for Improving Self-Esteem:
1.        Be assertive. Take Action.

#3 UseFUL Tip for Improving Self-Esteem:  How to Identify Destructive Thought Patterns

To be assertive and take action, you need to have some confidence about what you are doing.  Without self-esteem there can be no confidence.  And many times, you can feel absolutely paralyzed about making any decision for fear of making the wrong decision.  And being assertive can only gain a positive result if you feel certain about what you are asserting…which again can only come when healthy self-esteem is established.  It’s a circular mess for anyone who suffers from self-esteem issues in one or more areas of their life.

Therefore, to ask someone to be assertive and take action when they have low self-esteem in a given area, is like asking someone to jump of the boat and swim to shore when they can’t even float.

It always comes back to identifying the TRUTH and FACTS surrounding a low self-esteem situation, before that situation can be overcome and conquered.  And finding the truth can be difficult, because often we accept our current, long-standing beliefs and ideas to be factual and correct.  But many times they are just are perceptions and opinions.

Six Thought Patterns that Erode Self-Esteem

 According the research done in Cognitive Behavior Therapy at the Mayo Clinic, there are six thought patterns that can continually hurt and erode your self-esteem.

1.       All or nothing thinking. You see things as either all good or all bad.  “If I don’t succeed at this task, I am a failure.”
2.       Mental filtering. You see only the negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation.  “There are a few dishes in the sink. Now everyone will think I’m a slob.”
3.       Converting positives to negatives. You reject positive experiences and diminish accomplishments. “I only did well on that test because it was so easy.”
4.       Jumping to negative conclusions. You jump to the most negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. “My boss hasn’t replied to my e-mail so he must be mad at me.”
5.       Mistaking feelings for facts.  You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. “I feel like a failure, so I am a failure.”
6.       Self put-downs. You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humor.  This can result for overreacting to a situation, such as making a mistake. 

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Does any of this sound like you?  If it does, the awareness alone
will help you start to overcome the thoughts that are holding you back.

Next, Part 10: How to Identify Low Self-Esteem

To your TRUE success!


Kathleen Aston
Founder & Life-Fulfillment Strategist

For more information on your complimentary 30-minute coaching session, call 888.447.1191.

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