Category: self-criticism

Self-Esteem Building: Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin


Where Does Self-Esteem Begin?


Feel comfortable in your own skin...We’ve all heard the phrase, but what’s wrong with our skin? I’m all about visualization, but if you really think about this one, it’s kind of gross! This saying is clearly a metaphor for being comfortable with who you are. You know, really liking ourselves, feeling confident and secure. So why is building self-esteem so hard?



We constantly compare our insides to other people’s outsides


We don’t feel like we fit in with the people we surround ourselves with


It's easy to feel like we don't belong


Media is a constant reminder of how great everyone else’s life is (btw, so not accurate!)


We embarrassed ourselves at some previous time in our life, and continue to fear this happening again.



There are many reasons why we don’t feel secure with who we are.



Why is so difficult to focus on our strengths?


1. Our brains are really good at creating patterns and habits. When you try to insert a new thought, emotion or behavior, its first function is to resist it.


2. A lot of us believe that if we focus on our failures or the characteristics we don’t like about ourselves, we will be reminded not to act/think this way in the future.


3. Negative experiences pose a threat of danger. We see potential seclusion, “differentness” as a threat to our lives. Really!



So what builds self-esteem?


Learn to befriend that inner critic of yours. Your worst enemy belongs to you.


Identify the negative self statements and ask yourself “would I talk to a friend this way?”


Practice self-compassion. See how you were able to practice compassion in #2? Talk nice to yourself!


Remind yourself that nobody’s perfect. Everyone that you compare yourself to has flaws too. Some of those people may actually think you’re pretty great.


Take a breath and ask yourself. “What do I appreciate about myself?” Really think about this one. It’s important.



It's OK to be who you are!


Most of us, at some time or another, feel uncomfortable in our own skin. Just like you created a habit of self-doubt and insecurity, you can create a habit of self-love and self-compassion. You can learn to identify real danger from perceived danger. You can learn to love that evil bully in your head and make him or her your buddy. It’s time to be nice to yourself. You’re the only self you’ve got!


Lindsay Melka LPC Empathic Counseling and Therapy Denver

Lindsay Melka, LPC 

Empathic Counseling and Therapy



Are You Too Self-Critical? Reveal What’s Keeping You In Self-Attack Mode.

When Things Go Wrong In Our Lives


When things go wrong in our lives, and we feel we could have done something better, we often have negative, self-critical and angry thoughts about ourselves. These may take the form of feeling ashamed, less-than or inadequate etc. Listed below are several statements that are indicative of someone who feels useless or inferior. If you identify with some of these, it may be time to learn some self-compassion. There is hope that you can turn self-attack into self-reassurance.


Take a look and notice how you feel reading each statement.


  • I am easily disappointed with myself.
  • There is a part of me that feels I am not good enough.
  • I feel like a loser a lot of the time.
  • I have a sense of disgust at myself.
  • I remember and dwell on my failings.
  • I am a disappointment.
  • I stopped caring about myself.
  • I call myself names.
  • I can’t accept failures without feeling inadequate.
  • I often feel like everyone is better than me.
  • I feel I will never measure up to others.
  • I do not like who I am
  • I think I deserve my criticism


Am I Doomed?


If you’re thinking “wow, I’m doomed," I get it. Be assured that there is no need to continue to worry. Most people who identify with a list like this would feel that way. The good news is, now that you have identified your self-talk, you can start to change it! The process of beginning to build self-awareness of self-critical thinking and shame begins the process of decreasing it. Really, it works.


As Jason Luoma, a leader in compassion studies exclaims “if shame is like a festering wound, then talking about it is like bringing light and air the wound that allows it to heal”.


Can Therapy Help Me?


Working together with a therapist, you can begin to understand the causes and consequences of your shame and self-criticism. Beginning to catch the negative self-talk that is no longer serving you, can transform your life. For example, you’ll learn the difference between “I’m a loser” and “I notice the belief that I feel like a loser when I don’t succeed to the best of my abilities." Therapy can provide you the opportunity to really learn who you are, and to learn what continues to hold you back and perpetuate all that negative self-talk. If you are feeling sick and tired of beating yourself up and are ready to start believing in yourself it may be time to reach out and talk to someone. You are worth it.



Lindsay Melka LPC Empathic Counseling and Therapy Denver
Lindsay Melka LPC Empathic Counseling and Therapy Denver, CO