How can you stop having poor self belief.

I feel like recently I’ve been down in the dumps and feeling like I’m not good enough for people. It's making me go through depressive spells affecting my mood as well as hurting others emotionally.
Asked by L.


Here are some general ideas that can help with improving your self-esteem and believing in yourself more, and some self-doubt in your relationships with others. 

1. As a therapist, I'm naturally going to suggest that you consider participating in therapy. Self-esteem challenges, a depressed mood, and feeling inadequate are very common reasons that people participate in therapy, and all of those challenges can absolutely be worked on with a therapist. So, while there are things you can do yourself, you'll probably have better success working with a professional who can help you navigate these concerns and cope with the challenges that you face along the way.

2. Positive affirmations are an extremely effective yet simple way of working on self-esteem. Telling yourself "positive" things on a regular basis can absolutely help. The key is to make these affirmations realistic for you. It's also important to practice them consistently. Changing how you view yourself takes time and practice. Your self-concept wasn't created overnight. Your belief that you "aren't good enough for people" didn't happen spontaneously. So, if you want to counter that way of thinking, it will take practice. Come up with some positive affirmations that you can get behind, and designate a couple times per day to review them, saying them out loud. Doing so in front of a mirror can be especially effective.

3. Evaluate your peer associations. If you're feeling like you're not good enough for others, determine whether the people that you're allowing into your life are good enough for you. Do they truly care about you, or do they take you for granted? Sometimes eliminating unhealthy relationships in our lives, even though it can be hard when we have limited support, can go a long way in improving our self-esteem.

4. As you described feeling depressed at times, know that while working on changing your self-talk can go a long way in changing how you feel, for some people psychiatric help can be incredibly beneficial and actually make it easier to utilize the therapeutic methods to improve your mood. Medications today are quite effective at treating mood disorders. You probably won't notice immediate relief, but many antidepressant medications can be incredibly beneficial if taken for at least 4-6 weeks. 

5. Take a look at whether you're putting the needs of others before yourself. I don't know that this is what's happening, but if it is, you can do some research online to learn about codependency. If you feel that codependency is an issue, I suggest ordering and reading the book Codependent No More--it can be absolutely life changing.

Anyway, I'm sorry I can't give you more specific responses, but I hope based on your message that something here was helpful. I do encourage you to give therapy a try (you don't have to do it on this platform--there are many opportunities to seek help). Take care of yourself.

Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC