Self-Reproach: How to Stop It For Good

December 3, 2018

A woman looking introspective and a bit sad.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.” (Stephen King)

Having self-destructive thoughts can be punishing. It can make a person feel frustrated, flawed and worthless. If not identified and treated, they can get darker and darker, turning your life into a living nightmare.

According to recent research people self-attack mostly in low moments.

These are the most common self-destructive thoughts:

  • Nobody likes me.
  • I am not like other people.
  • I can never have a close friend.
  • I am not worthy of love.
  • I am the one to blame.
  • I don’t deserve anything I want.
  • I am not good enough.

These feelings are the products of the self-destructive self-critic inside of you. They purposely harm you and give you a false perception of yourself and others around you. Realize that these thoughts are lies that leave you feeling anxious during tasks and scared when it comes to bonding with others. They also make it difficult to act like your true self in social situations. As a result, they take away your sense of freedom and self-esteem.

This cycle is a self-fulfilling prophecy: what we believe brings out the outcome we expect. Thus, it is important that we are not absorbed by these negative beliefs and thoughts, as they can carve us into different, often weaker individuals.

A woman looking introspective and a bit sad.

Untitled by Serena West

How can you fight the inner critic?

Identify what these thoughts are. Are they telling you that you are ugly, worthless or that you will never succeed? Write them down. See them in front of you.

Understand where these self-destructive thoughts are coming from. Every negative experience we go through leaves its prints. Maybe your parents thought you were lazy, or someone you liked rejected you at some point. Let yourself see how you might be influenced by and identified with the supposed perception of others.

Once you identify where these thoughts were originally made and by whom, reply to them. Write them down:

“I don’t see myself as lazy, unsuccessful or ugly. I am worthy of love. I am a good, compassionate person. I believe people would be lucky to have a friend like me.”

Show yourself that your true self, unaffected by the negative thoughts, still lives here and that you love yourself truly.

It can be confusing or frightening to live with these thoughts. You might be at a point where you don’t know what is real and what is not. You might have completely lost your self-esteem over these thoughts. If you think this is where you are, please do consider professional counseling. Therapy will help you get your confidence back and make you see your self-worth.


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