“I’m so rubbish at.....”
“I can’t do anything right.”
“I look disgusting.”
Are you someone who speaks to and about themselves in this brutal way?
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
We must acknowledge that self-critique is an important part of growth and maturity, we are here on this earth to improve and evolve. However at points this can go too far.
This form of self judgement and negative self talk can be called many things: self loathing, low self esteem and ultimately it is self hatred. If this is allowed to get too out of control, it can lead to problematic issues such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts/tendencies or other destructive behaviours.
Do any of these questions deliver a YES for you?
“Do my thoughts of self-hatred stop me from reaching my goals or functioning optimally in my life?”
“Can I ‘talk myself out’ of these thoughts, or do they seem to come into my head without permission?”
“Am I experiencing heightened feelings of worthlessness, depression, or just a general ‘darkness’ that is tied to these thoughts?”
We need to better grasp why the self hatred and how to overcome it...
Self-hatred often stems from childhood as well as traumatic experiences along the way. As
children believe what they hear from primary caregivers around us. If a parent tells a child that she is good for nothing or can’t do anything right, then that becomes the truth in the child’s mind. At that point in our childhood, many of us are not at a maturity level to understand that this is actually no fault of our own, however we will make this assumption.
This might not always be the exact root - other experiences concerning environment and genetics/personality; anxiety experiences, perfectionistic tendencies etc could compound a rise in this self hatred, self blame and fear of imperfect based feelings.
There can be link between self hatred and shame. In a healthy context, shame can make us understand when we have done something that we shouldn't repeat, however for many, shame isn't used simply in a "right V wrong" way. For some shame can be a manifestation of self-hatred,assuming that if something wrong/bad happens, it ultimately means THEY are wrong as a person, rather than the context of the event.
For many, to pinpoint where the shame came from can be difficult and it looms over them at all times, like a darkness and heavy weight on their shoulders, and if extreme levels of shame, they make feel if they were to show their true self - no one would love them. Thus not meeting a fundamental basic human need.
In these instances it can be useful to begin to understand your own self-loathing and self-hatred.
But how can we work on this?
SOLUTION? ...SELF -COMPASSION
There are many resources for self compassion on the internet, via books, also via specialised psychotherapists known as 'Compassion-focused' therapy.
For those of you seeking some quick ideas to get you started:
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you truly care about, or if you were to speak to a child you love. Ask yourself:
"What would I say to someone very close to me, if they were going through this or feeling this way?".
Those stuck in self hatred will often say things to themselves that they would never dare say out loud in front of others, so consider someone you love having the same traits as you, then what would say to them?
BELIEFS ARE NOT TRUTH NOR FACT! If there is something you are often saying to yourself, use this technique:
The 3 C's: Catch, Check, Change
Catch what it is you are saying to yourself
Check is you know this to be true and absolutely know that is it true
Change the thought, challenge it!
Scrap perfection! Instead we need to have a range of being 'good enough'. As human beings we still never reach perfection, each of us imperfect in our own ways.
Meditation techniques - this can help to soothe the mind, establish inner peace and mindfulness, plus learn self love and compassion. Meditation does not shut off your thoughts, yet to simply notice and acknowledge, this allows us them to make more of a conscious decision toward how we then react to these thoughts. Do we acknowledge, ignore or simply breathe through the thoughts that emerge?
Make peace and amends! If you have done something you believe to be unforgivable then consider if you would attack another person for this same thing, how would you speak to them? Replaying the past only serves to relive something that cannot be undone. We must learn to play a new movie, acknowledge the mistakes made and ultimately go and pay an act of kindness forward to someone else. Find areas to go and go good for others.
Journaling - I swear journaling cures all! We don't need to be amazing at writing to do this, but allowing yourself to spill into written form on to a page can be therapeutic and reflective to offer us better perspective.
Thought origins. Noone is born in a state of self hatred or loathing. It is often learned through experience of being around others who may have put us down at various stages of life. Comments such as "you will never make anything of yourself", "you're worthless", "no one likes you" etc can massively impact your self perception and your place in the world. We must learn to see that these are not truths and you should not allow these thoughts to steal your power.
Positivity networks. Through the step above, you may see that there could be people in your life who do not deserve to be there, that contribute minimal. You have a choice here - you have it in your control to seek out new people in your life who do breathe a breath of fresh positive air into your soul. People who lift you, inspire you and show you how life can be lived to lead a fulfilled path.
No one deserves to live a life with these thoughts being commonplace, always seek help from someone around you whether that be a friend, medically or via helplines freely accessible.
We are here on earth to help this plant and species evolve, what legacy do you want to leave behind for others? You have the choice to be the best version of yourself.
If you are seeking coaching and guidance - please click here to work with me if body image, food behaviours and beliefs of not being good enough are keeping you for fulfilling your full potential.