Do you ever put yourself down with what you say to yourself? It’s not uncommon for people to put themselves down through negative self-talk. They will often say things more negative to themselves then they would accept from a stranger. Putting yourself down is a problem generating negative syndrome.

Negative things people have said about you tend to produce insecurity. Insecurity, or a negative self-image can lead you to put yourself down. Ridicule has the same debilitating effect. You put yourself down by statements such as “I can’t,” “I’m stupid,” “No one likes me,” “I’m useless,” “people laugh at me,” “I’ll never amount to anything,” or “I never get anything right.”

Putting yourself down creates numerous problems. Your outlook becomes negatively tainted. You won’t feel good about yourself. Your enjoyment of activities can be diminished. Your self-esteem and self-confidence can be further diminished. When you put yourself down, you are more accepting of other people putting you down also.

Learning how to stop putting yourself down is a worthwhile endeavor which significantly boosts your self-esteem. Start with a list of your accomplishments. Anything you’ve done qualifies. No achievement is too small or insignificant. Proudly take credit for each item on your list.

Next, itemize all of your good qualities along with the aspects you like about yourself. Don’t dismiss this step by claiming there’s nothing worth noting. Are you nice? Do you have a pleasant disposition? Are you willing to help others? Are you friendly? Do you have a sense of humor? Are you mechanical, artistic, musical, or athletic? Each personal trait which you have been taking for granted should be identified.

Now, enumerate everything you have achieved. Don’t sell yourself short. Include family, employment, education, skills, knowledge, and abilities. All components are important. People who put themselves down overlook these aspects in favor of things they believe are lacking.

Pay attention to exactly what you say to yourself. This conversation programs your brain. Purge any negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is destructive. You become so habituated to your self-talk over time that you are not aware of what you are saying, or the impact it’s having.

Purging your negative self-talk requires constant vigilance. Don’t let any negative statements slide. Avoid making excuses which attempt to justify putting yourself down. Changing your thoughts is imperative.

Problems are a normal part of life. Putting yourself down enables problems to get the best of you because you are not solution oriented. Once you identify a problem, devote all of your energy to finding a solution. Don’t waste any time complaining.

Comparing yourself to others accomplishes nothing, so don’t do it. One aspect of putting yourself down is telling yourself that you’re not as good as, not as smart as, not as attractive as, or not as rich as someone else. It’s your life, not a competition.

Mistakes are not a reason to put yourself down. They are however a great source of learning. Mistakes point out some issue which needs to be adjusted. Learn from your mistakes rather than becoming dejected.

Never accept guilt for taking care of yourself. Ignore those who try to make you feel guilty for being OK. Putting yourself down in the hope of being accepted is destructive behavior. No one will have a better opinion of you because you put yourself down.

Believe in yourself. If you have been putting yourself down, realize that you are a better person than you have been giving yourself credit for. When you stop putting yourself down, you will start feeling better about yourself.

NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.

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