Five Real Alternatives to Seeing Yourself Negatively

Morgan Harper Nichols: “you are allowed to be free from what anyone else has said about you. even the things you have said about yourself.”

You’re allowed to be free from seeing yourself in terms of your past missteps too. Make amends if you’ve hurt someone (and let them have their own evaluation), but don’t hold in your self-concept that you’re doomed to do it again. Tomorrow will be a new you who might do things differently.

Janina Scarlet: “Perhaps someone who believes that they are a “loser” really values success and determination and someone who believes that they are a “bad parent” may deeply care about their children.”

You know the saying about courage being feeling the fear and doing it anyway? There’s virtue in aiming for your ideals even when they’re a struggle for you. We don’t always understand what makes something easy for someone else.

Maxwell Maltz: “There’s room for differences of opinion about you too! If you hold an opinion of yourself that is limiting and inhibiting, try to step out and examine yourself as an outside analyst, then advocate the opposing opinion. The most adept debators can take either side of an argument and win.”
Is there anyone in your life or your imagination you can imagine arguing in your favor?

Tom Condon: “Consider, for example, the following instances of how a therapist might respond to a client’s stated complaint, “I procrastinate too much.”

(a) “That’s good. Procrastination is a form of caution, after all, and if you’re cautious about taking action, it really means that you care about spending your time and energy in the most effective way possible.”

(b) “That’s good! Think of how many rash, impulsive actions and awful situations you’ve avoided down through the years!”

(c) “That’s interesting. I once looked up the original meaning of the word. It means ‘that which is to come tomorrow.’ So to procrastinate is not to try to do something today that, properly speaking, you really have no business even attempting until tomorrow.”

(d) “How much time do you have left to live?”

Even if a negative quality you see in yourself did last all your life (and it might not!), what else could you achieve or be? For example, what if you were “a failure” who was sweet and funny and beloved and didn’t let failing stop you from trying new things? (I know, you can’t control being beloved. I’m just saying, it could happen.)
How could you embody the high side of a trait you hate? For example, what if you were “a failure” who was humble, wise, and serene, and whose failings made him gentle and understanding?

Go to Part 4: Fill the Emptiness with Love (Ways to Build Relationships and Be Likable When You’re Struggling and Not Feeling It)