Mind define low self-esteem as having negative beliefs about yourself. They go on to say “You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made, and may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have.”
Yep that was me. I think I had low self-confidence from childhood, and whereas in the early days of drinking booze was a shot in the arm for my confidence, lately it chipped away at what was already pretty poor on a day by day basis. You couldn’t think worse of me than I already thought of myself come the end of my boozing career.
That’s the think about drinking though as we drink hoping it will help our confidence when actually it destroyed mine, as I would drink too much and then do or say something daft and hate myself for it.
As Mind says:
- Negative thinking patterns associated with low self-esteem, such as assuming you will fail at things you do, can develop over time and lead to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
- Low self-esteem can make it hard to try new things or complete tasks. This can stop you from living your life the way you want, and lead to frustration and depression over time.
There’s that downward spiral again!
So to provide an opposing side to the negatively weighted argument in your head with yourself (hello wolfie!) this is what they recommend:
- Do activities that you enjoy.
- Spend time with positive, supportive people.
- Be helpful and considerate to others.
- Try not to compare yourself to other people.
- Try to do regular exercise, eat healthily and get enough sleep.
- Be assertive – don’t let people treat you with a lack of respect.
- Use self-help books and websites to develop helpful skills, like assertiveness or mindfulness.
- Learn to challenge your negative beliefs.
- Acknowledge your positive qualities and things you are good at.
- Get into the habit of thinking and saying positive things about yourself.
The single biggest boost to my self-esteem and self-confidence has been giving up booze. The internal negative chatter has almost gone and when it does pipe up I know how to challenge it rather than getting drawn into a negative thought spiral. Not drinking has allowed me to respect myself, and therefore also others, in a way that I just wasn’t capable of while still boozing. Give it a try – what have you got to lose? 😉
Sing it Aretha! 🙂