Okay, so for most of us the idea of self- esteem is something we pay a little amount of attention to, for instance, we may be aware that we have a critical, self-defeating dialogue, or for some reason never feel good enough. And maybe we think we don’t have the time or mental energy to figure out why it’s happening. Also, we may think it will just take too much effort to make any lasting changes in the way we think about ourselves or that we just can’t muster up any positive feelings about ourselves. After all, with the idea of self-esteem comes comparison and it’s difficult to experience self-esteem when you feel you will just never measure up to other peoples standards or what the next person is doing. So maybe next time feelings of judgment start hooking you in, and you start speaking to yourself with that negative self-talk you have gotten so used to, I would encourage you to evaluate the situation.
-How would you treat your best friend if they were in a similar situation? (Self-Compassion)
-Is there a way to change the story (Narrative) about this topic?
-Is this self-talk attached to a core belief?
I attended a fantastic workshop a little while ago by Dr.Kristen Neff, and interestingly she encourages us to choose self-compassion over self-esteem. Dr. Neff rationalizes that self-compassion is there for us when self-esteem fails. For example, when we don’t meet our own expectations or fail in some way self-compassion reminds us that no one is perfect and we all fail sometimes. If you are having problems dealing with critical self- talk, self-judgment, blame and feelings of worthlessness or what we normally call low self-esteem you can read more about self-compassion on this link: