Self Esteem Answers

Why do I lie?

Hi Alto-thanks for reaching out and your question.  How long has this been going on?  There may be multiple reasons and factors at play and depending on the situation and the person or people involved.  The general one underlying concern though may be that when one feels that one is not acceptable or okay as one is, that may sometimes lead to prevarications, exaggerations and falsehoods.  Do you find that you are trying to please others? Do you get even temporarily what you want, e.g. sympathy or connection or relatedness to others?  The bigger or more significant question is what you are looking for in interactions, what you need.  Perhaps the ways that you have related in the past did not gratify or made you feel badly?  Do you find that you do this with everyone or mostly acquaintainces or friends or family members?  Have people uncovered at times the discrepancy with the truth?  How do you feel after blurting out an untruth?  Are you aware of it at the time or is it planned or is the randomness meaning that you just articulate something that you were not intending to entering the conversation?  What are your relationships with your family and friends like?  Co-workers or school mates?  Is there anyone that you haven't told a fabrication to?  What made this person or persons different?  These would be among the many questions and/or information that are relevant and important to consider.  Are you experiencing any other symptoms or concerns?  Such as anxiety or depression?  Have you experienced trauma in your past?  While there have been a lot of questions posed, it is important to consider all aspects of who you are and have experienced and how these factors may be playing into your issue.  Did you notice a change triggering this behavior?  Are you satisfied in other areas of your life?  Have there been strategies that you have tried to address this concern?  It says a lot that you reached out with this question, it demonstrates your motivation to change and meet your needs in healthier ways.  I hope this elicits more thought with you and perhaps an intention to engage in therapy to work through your concerns.  
Answered on 11/15/2022

I don't know where to start.

Hello there AP, My names is James Pelzer. I am a mental health counselor, licensed in the state of Florida. Your question gave me the feeling that you are truly exhausted.  Maybe emotionally more so than physically but yes I can understand being exhausted.  Where do I start? How do I start? These are both anticipated questions when contemplating change. The good news....YOU HAVE STARTED!! Reaching out to BetterHelp was probably not the absolute first thing that you did in your healing process. The acceptance of a need to change along with the identification of which areas you want to adjust are not to be overlooked! So I am seeing that you are interested in improving your self esteem, becoming less anxious, having more physical energy and overall improving your well being along with an increased sense of happiness. I may have missed something but once you move towards prioritizing which area you want to focus on "first' you may find that most of these are interrelated. Let's consider the basic process of change. As I said you have to have some level of motivation, which you seem to have. Then you need to evaluate your day to day routine for habits or sources of distress. Are there specific people, places or things that seem to create the anxiety/sadness within you? If yes, can you avoid them? Example: a certain area of town causes distress because of specific events or circumstances. Avoid going to that area, even if it is inconvenient, or only go with others, not alone. If this helps, repeat. Keep track of each time that you successfully complete a difficult task and acknowledge the progress. Example- set a goal of no use of profanity ... each day that you don't use profanity tell yourself that it was an accomplishment.  Then add, if I can change that what else can I change. This seems simple but when it comes to self esteem building start with something small. Without more detailed information about your specific life events I am limited in knowing how to give suggestions. Keep the momentum going. I hope that you find the right support for your continued progress. Make the next connection whether it be formal face to face therapy, phone contact, online contact, medication evaluation or more research. The immense amount of information available on the internet is amazing. Look for things like "coping with anxiety/depression", "improving self esteem" or " better self care routines." I hope this helps you find the next segment of your path. James
(MS, LMHC, CAP)
Answered on 11/13/2022

I'm feeling hopeless in my job

I'm glad that you decided to come back to therapy. It's important to understand, when we stop doing therapy and don't apply the skills that we have learned previously, that tends to lead us back to that relapse. We lose that consistency and process that has been working for us, and we end up falling apart. We recover, by getting ourselves back into a routine, structure, and back into the lifestyle that has worked for us previously. Coming back to therapy is important, so that you can regain and acquire the skills and techniques that are helpful for preventing relapse and maintaining stability. Therapy is a big part of that, because it provides accountability, structure, support, and the skills that are needed to stay consistent. A lot of times when we stop doing what we're doing that is working for us, we fall into complacency and we can only sit in complacency for so long before we end up relapsing. But relapsing isn't about giving up, because it's something that ends up happening from time to time, even though we want to prevent it. So when we relapse, we want to be able to pick up the pieces and promote our stability again using what works for us. With the imposter syndrome, it's important to understand the strategies to help manage it, and in terms reduce the syndrome and let go of it so that you're able to continue to work on your current meaning in life. It can definitely be very frustrating and a scary experience. Imposter syndrome is a type of self doubt and it's important to be as kind to yourself as possible when you're experiencing it. You don't want to beat yourself up for feeling that you don't deserve your career. it's really important to focus on awareness. When you feel that the syndrome is creeping in or you're experiencing it, you want to focus on embracing it. Don't try to get rid of it and don't try to judge it, but focus on observing the situation and being aware of what's going on. Acknowledge your thoughts, your feelings, the sensations that you're experiencing, but don't judge them just to identify that they are there. Recognize when your thoughts and self evaluations are driven by the syndrome. Naming it can help you to better understand what is going on. Normalizing it is also important. Recognizing that many people face the syndrome at some point, and it's connected to all different types of people. Most of the skills that come with managing imposter syndrome relate to our self esteem, confidence. We want to get in touch with treating ourselves well as I had mentioned previously, because the big thing is that the syndrome is a type of self doubt and we end up doubting our own skills, abilities, and achievements. So we want to be able to bring out those things that we have been doubting. Which will help you to let go of the fear that you are always performing, acting, and being fake with what you do. You want to focus on making a list of your strengths. even if you feel this isn't right, or it's fake, there has to be something you appreciate about yourself. So focus on writing a list of those good sides and look at it every time the syndrome is starting to come back. You may even want to add the accomplishments to this list, and things that you're good at. You can ask family and friends for help if you find yourself struggling. Sometimes we need the assistance of the people around us to pull out these strengths and accomplishments so that we can acknowledge them and know that they are part of us. Working to build yourself esteem will also be important. As the syndrome, as I had mentioned is linked to self doubt. I'm attaching a link to a worksheet that focuses on steps for strengthening your self-esteem. These steps not only will aide in improving your self-esteem, but will also be helpful in managing the syndrome you are experiencing. Building-Self-Esteem-Booklet.pdf (lrjfoundation.com) Our brains like to focus on what we tell them to focus on. When we are experiencing imposter syndrome, our brains are functioning from an illogical belief system so we end up searching for information to support the imposter syndrome. We want to focus on replacing the thoughts that are dysfunctional with facts, logic, and evidence. Reality based information is the best source for replacing thoughts because they aren't opinion based. A lot of times our thoughts are opinion based and not actually factual, so they aren't evidence proven. The big thing we also want to focus on is letting go of perfectionism. Perfectionism is the energy source for imposture syndrome. It's the idea of being perfect or doing things perfectly prompts us to experience the irrational and unrealistic standards that contribute to the syndrome and undermine our goals. Sometimes we focus so much energy on being perfect and doing things perfectly that we don't finish our goal, and then we end up feeling bad about it and being hard on ourselves. Focusing on using your strengths and accomplishing the goals within a specific time will help you refocus and put your mind back on doing things well and reducing the syndrome. I am also attaching another link that focuses on letting go of perfectionism, it has different steps and strategies that will be helpful as letting go of perfectionism will create more management and reduce the syndrome. How to Overcome Perfectionism (anxietycanada.com) What also might be helpful is to write down what success looks like to you because writing down our goals is a strategy towards goal achievement and it also establishes our measurement of the goal. It creates this boundary to maintain our focus so it does not stray towards something bigger or better. Writing down our goal helps to measure our success based on the goal, not something more perfect. This is something that you can control if you allow it. Practicing these strategies are important because they are gonna lead you to success and help you to let go of the syndrome. If we don't practice these strategies consistently, that will prevent us from moving forward and working through the syndrome. Also if you start using them and you're using them consistently, and you stop using them, that is what can lead us towards that relapse. It's definitely not an easy process, and it takes a lot of practice, willingness, and commitment. But it's definitely something that's possible and it's important to hold hope to it. Remember practice is what makes permanent.
(LMHC)
Answered on 11/13/2022

How do I cope with self image issues?

Self image issues are so common among both men and women, especially with social media and entertainment.  We see so many images of people's perfectly curated lives or photoshopped images and people having surgical procedures to make them more "beautiful" it can be very hard to know what is real anymore. It may be helpful for you to evaluate when you feel the worst. Is it after talking with certain people, checking up on things with social media, or watching certain shows?  If you figure this out, it may be helpful to decrease, or stop, your interactions with that trigger of poor self esteem. Another thing you can do is every time you are saying something unkind about yourself, think of what someone who loves you would say. Repeat those words several times so your mind hears those positive words more than the negative. Our brain believes what we tell it so the words we say about ourselves matter.   There are also so many wonderful blogs and podcasts out there about loving yourself, I am sure you can find many by using a search term such as "self worth" in your favorite media site. Please remember that you are worthy of love and self compassion from yourself. Try to be as kind to yourself as you would be to a loved one. If you feel down about yourself, take some deep breaths and ask yourself if you would say the same things about a stranger, your best friend, or another loved one. What would you tell them if they said those words about themselves?   Remember all the amazing things your body does for you. Remember all the things you've accomplished. Be aware that no one is perfect, and that's ok. Also, everyone's idea of perfect is different. I am sure there are people looking at you and wishing they had some of your characteristics. I am sure you have things you admire about yourself.   Writing down your good points and remembering those and focusing on them can be really helpful.  Having a journal where you write the things you did that you are proud of or parts of yourself you like can be really helpful as well.  I wish you the best in your journey toward better self worth. It is a long journey and so worth it.
Answered on 11/13/2022

How can I get out of my own head and understand that what I am doing is hurting other people?

Your question is showing that you are becoming aware of the effects you are having on others. This is good news. You can make the changes that are needed simply by focusing on this very thought. It is the beginning of making changes that will matter. A therapist would be able to help you channel that change in thinking to a change in your behavior toward those people you say you may be hurting. With increased awareness, there is no limit to the power you have to make lasting change. With this awareness it will be important for you to gain an understanding of the purpose of this pattern of lying your way out of situations, as you say.  Your expression about getting out of your own head reminded me of a model I use frequently called Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). The founder wrote a book called "Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life." That is exactly what is needed here. You, like most of us, are getting caught up in your own negative chatter in your mind. What we need to do is to take a look at the values we hold as important to us. What are the things that matter to you? Then we can move toward those things and we can take a look at the things that get in the way of those. We can learn to pivot the energy away from the chatter, the thoughts, feelings, body sensations that get in the way. And put the energy into committed actions we can take to move toward our goals. A counselor could help you identify these. I will add a link here to an exercise they use in the ACT model,  called the ACT Matrix.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrcMyaSgy9A&t=5s It helps you discover the direction you want to go and the patterns you have that keep you from reaching it. The video will help you to take the steps to do this.  It is very good news that you are able to put into words the things that you identified in your question. A counselor would be able to help guide you into a plan that could help you get out of your head and into your life. And you demonstrated some wisdom when you mentioned that it is better, easier to just tell the truth early on. It seems the truth tends to come to light eventually, but there are consequences we would have to face. Getting honest with ourselves and then with others seems to be the easiest path to take. Others may help you through this when they see that you are intending to repair any damage that you may have caused by your actions. A counselor would be able to help you through this process. There are also self help groups with mutual aid where people can help you move through these difficult situations. I am not clear on all that is involved in these situations, but a counselor would listen to you and help you sort it all out.  I encourage you to not sit with this alone but to reach out for support. You seem to already have a good sense of your needs and how to step outside of yourself and look at the bigger picture.  Best wishes in exploring this more!
(LCSW, R)
Answered on 11/06/2022

How do I explain to my hispanic parents that college is affecting my mental health ?

Nina, I was sent your 'question' and agreed to respond as it appears you are seeking advice on how to address your needs along with the unrealistic expectations you are experiencing. I placed question in quotes as it is not actually a question for an answer, but rather seeking advice. I am reluctant to provide advice, however, I will provide guidance which will allow you to find your own answer. As a person in this world I have experienced strain, conflict and turmoil when I was attempting to please others which was not in alignment with myself. For example: studying a subject family members guided me into instead of what I was interested in learning. However, it is difficult to be in alignment with yourself if you do not really know yourself. I think a great place to begin this journey is by reading "What Type Am I" written by Renee Barron. She breaks down the Meyers and Briggs personality traits into simple descriptions. She has a test which will help you identify your traits. With this you can begin to read about your personality type which will help you understand yourself:  how you interact with people, how you solve problems, how you understand the world around you, how you form opinions, how you structure your activities and the inherent limitations in your personality. No one is perfect, to be human is to be perfectly imperfect. You may find after reading this book you are able to identify your family members traits which will uncover the barriers in communication. This will help you in how to communicate yourself well to your family members, including your parents. You made a point to identify your ethnicity. I am not of hispanic heritage so I am not going to pretend I understand the impact of this fact. Based on how I interpreted your description, it appears your family expects you to attain higher education. The expectation is for you to have a career and be financially stable in the ability to support yourself. These expectations are that of a typical American family. As parents our number one priority in our job in raising children is to make sure they have the ability to survive without us. The longer we live the more we experience life with its unexpected joys, unexpected problems, unexpected pain, and just okay days in between. We want our children to be equipped to manage these situations well. I think in this goal, we forget to also teach our children we cannot control life circumstances. The best we can do is learn how to respond to these situations with rational thought and good judgment. Your parents want the best for you. Despite what they may say and how they deliver the messages to you, they really do love you. The fact they place this pressure on you is proof of the love they have for you. In combining all of this together, approach the conversation from a place of knowing they love you, and want the best for you. Identify where the misunderstandings between all of you tend to be so you can express yourself in a way your parents will understand you. You are asking them to allow you to be yourself, which you are still finding out. Going to college is not the only way to attain a fulfilling career to support yourself. For example, my spouse learned a trade which he loved. Because it was something he was interested in he found it enjoyable and liked working. "If we do what we love we do not have to work a day in our lives." I do not recall who said that, but it is true. Not that it can't be draining, or some days completely frustrating. This happens because of situations, expectations, or other pressures for performance which has nothing to do with the actual work itself. Once you identify your type through Renee Barron you can also take quizzes available on line for free to see if it matches with what you got through Renee Barron. It is called Meyers and Briggs personality inventory, or Meyers and Briggs personality types. Entering this into your web browser will result in a variety of links. Once you have your personality type you can put those initials into your web browser. It will provide a lot of information including career paths which may help guide you into a more fulfilling direction. May you enjoy your journey of life and discover all the various things which make you who you are. I am hoping this was helpful in guiding you. Respectfully, Heather Johnston LCSWR from New York State
Answered on 10/31/2022

How do I forgive myself and move on from an undesirable state of feeling or a negative situation?

I don't think you have to be a victim of your past but your present is certainly informed by your past. Healing childhood wounds can be hard work AND it is very important work. Taking good care of yourself comes first. This can be done by trying to be kind to yourself, say nice things to yourself as often as you can, try to do things that bring you joy, eg. buy yourself some flowers, a candle to burn, a new CD. Or if it's physical things that bring you joy, go for a walk and try to take in the sights around you. Walk with a friend if you need socialization or walk alone if you need time to yourself. Our early relationships with our primary caregivers often informs how we perceive ourselves as we become independent. These perceptions are important to challenge! Oftentimes, eliciting the support of a therapist can be extremely helpful as they are able to provide feedback and can help us to identify thinking patters that we may have developed early on. Often, these thinking patterns were important to our survival in our family of origin but can become cumbersome and outdated as we become involved with relationships outside of our family. Support from a therapist can help us to challenge those thoughts that are not helpful and can also help us to identify thoughts that are in the better interest of our developing a more accurate and kind sense of ourselves--a sense of ourself that allows for us to connect more consistently with others. There are a number of ways to begin to try to identify cognitions that aren't particularly healthy. Once we are able to identify these cognitions, we are then able to challenge them and are able to identify more healthy cognitions that allow for us to grow beyond the limited strictures of our childhood. Positive self talk and positive affirmations are a really good way to start. Some people will put sticky notes on bathroom mirrors, above kitchen sinks and on the steering wheel of their car to remind themselves to indulge in positive self talk more often!!
(LCMHC, LADC, MA)
Answered on 10/30/2022

How can i build my self esteem and confidence

Every person may have a sense of self worth which may or may not be accurate. As you noted you have felt this low self esteem since childhood. This self esteem or self worth is where beliefs and opinions were formed about yourself. High self esteem does not mean pride or inflated ego, but an honest opinion of self. However low self esteem does hint at close mindedness, self hate, self pity, and other such negative views.  It takes work and determination but it is truly possible to change your concept of yourself and to build your self esteem. This is often where counseling can be helpful.  A counselor/therapist can help you: Believe in yourself-learn to love yourself and appreciate who you are. You have been living up to this low image of yourself, you want to reframe the negative views of yourself and appreciate yourself.  Gather courage-take control of your life. Find things that you have the ability to change and work on those.  Be optimistic-challenge negative self talk and challenge belief about self. Learn to listen to the negative self talk you have internally, and begin to challenge those thoughts with more helpful ones.  Treat yourself well-Learn to enjoy yourself, find things you like to do. Participate in life-build relationships, when you learn to love yourself you can begin to build and appreciate relationships with others.  Be self-contained-learn to become self reliant and do not depend on others who do not appreciate you. When you are self-reliant your pride comes from things you do.  Establish a purpose-assess your life values, and set goals that align with those values.  Self-esteem is very important to be successful in life and protect yourself from being used. It creates a feel good factor which makes us like ourselves and others like us as well. Irrespective of how we fare in life, high self esteem always keeps us going and working towards something meaningful. Our self esteem must not depend on our success or failure or what other people think about us. It really depends on how we feel about ourselves and the messages we give ourself. 
Answered on 10/28/2022

Always doubting myself, never giving myself credit. Why do I do this?

Hello sad dreads, Let me start by saying thank you for sharing what you are suffering through, and I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. You’ve explained that you ‘constantly fear’ that you are ‘dumb and incompetent’. Nevertheless, you have taken the step of reaching out so we can work together on these issues. The self-awareness shown here is impressive.  How long have you been feeling this way? You said that in social situations, when being ‘put on the spot’ you freeze and feel this ‘hit’. Sounds like it is quite challenging when you are in social settings. What is the ‘hit’ you speak about? Do you recall what is happening for you in these moments? After reading your message and seeing how you’ve expressed yourself as ‘dumb’ and ‘incompetent’. When you say these words out loud, how do you feel about them?   I hear you saying to me that you have never trusted yourself but there has been a change lately and you have proved to yourself that these things are in your head, yet you feel it. How did the change come about? The subject line says you’ve always doubted yourself and never give yourself credit, yet you are wondering why you do this. Is it your voice you hear when you are doubting yourself or it is someone else’s? Why do you feel it is hard to give yourself credit? It’s great to know how much you have been working on yourself over the past few years and have begun to grow, to change and you’ve been pushing yourself to do this work. However, you said yet, you’re still here writing this out. How are you processing how hard you have worked on yourself? There seems like a real need to want to love yourself, trust and to have faith in yourself. What do you think stops you? How do you feel about yourself as an individual? Yet you do say that the anxiety is still here every day, yet you do love yourself. Can you identify what the triggers are for the anxiety? It must be hard feeling that ‘everyone's watching’ you and you feel that they think that you are ‘an idiot’ and ‘I'm weird’. Is there any reason why you are so hard on yourself? How did the language you use about how you describe yourself come about?  How do you feel about having therapy to explore in more detail what you are going through? Counselling is a non-judgmental space where you can talk opening about what you are going through. They could be things in the here and now or things that you may want to discuss in your past. As humans, we all have things in the subconscious but only through exploration, can we become aware of them and make lasting change. Should you feel in need of urgent help or that you are in crisis at any time, please call Samaritans on 116 123 [24 hours a day]; or 999. Thank you for reaching out. I hope talking about this has helped you. I am available for sessions if you would like to explore this further. Warmest wishes, Mehreen.
Answered on 10/27/2022

How do I stop feeling useless

I am wondering first of all, what is causing this hate for yourself, I am also wondering if you are aware of the emotions that you are feeling or if this is something you are struggling with. Firstly, I feel that you would need to look at what it is about yourself that you hate. I am sensing this may be related to guilt or shame, and then looking at what it is that makes you feel unable to show any emotions. I am sensing this is because you would feel vulnerable if people know your true feelings. I sense that you need help with being aware of these feelings recognising them and looking below the feelings to see what lies beneath them. Such as anger, what lies beneath your anger. Is it disappointment, frustration, resentment, contempt? We can explore all these feelings and look at ways that you can express them. Being vulnerable in situations and allowing people to know how you truly feel will help you grow in relationships with everyone around you this will also help you to feel good about who you are! Our emotions are there to help us recognise what is going on for us. They are there to help us navigate situations. For instance: We are walking home in the dark, we feel anxious that something might happen to us on our way home, that anxiety makes us think, next time I will walk with a friend or get a taxi. This then keeps us safe! When our anxiety level is too high it may make us think I am never going out ever again, but then we can challenge that thought, and look at the evidence. The evidence could be I will go out but I will make sure I only walk in the dark if I am with someone else and we can keep each other safe, or I can get a taxi. By changing our negative thoughts around something we can change our feelings and also our behaviours. By looking at why we hate ourselves and challenging these thoughts, we can change the way we feel about ourselves.
(Bsc, hons, counselling, and, psychotherapy, Psychotherapist)
Answered on 10/27/2022

How do I start to appreciate myself, how do I see my own accomplishments?

Hi Mr. Wolf, I am really glad you reached out with your question. It sounds like you have been struggling with your sense of identity and self-esteem. One thing I picked up on in your question is that it appears you rely on your sense of yourself and your own self-worship to be determined by external factors like the opinions of friends or family. While most everyone cares to a certain extent on the feedback of others, relying on it extensively can leave you questioning who you are and even contribute to the development of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. One way to combat this is by working on developing your sense of self. The more certain you are internally about your identity, the less you will be swayed by the comments and opinions of others. One way to begin developing your sense of self is to explore your values and interests. What is important and sacred to you? What character traits do you admire and wish to develop? What goals have you set for yourself? All of these questions can help you to discover the foundation of who you are. Another step that can be helpful in developing your sense of identity is to reflect upon your personal boundaries, or the social, emotional, and physical lines or space between yourself and others. How do you choose to spend your time and who do you prefer to spend it with? Do you have difficulty saying no to others? Do you crave more time to yourself or do you really thrive on being social? These are all questions that can help you understand where your personal boundaries are drawn between yourself and others. The development of your sense of self is a process that will take time. It is a lot to do on your own and it could be very helpful to explore this process with a therapist. This person will not be biased and can prompt you to reflect more deeply. As the strength of your sense of self builds, your reliance upon the opinions of others and vulnerability to being swayed by them will diminish.  I wish you all the best, Mr. Wolf, as you embark upon this journey. 
(PhD, MSW, LISW)
Answered on 10/27/2022

Hi!I'm having trouble forgetting bad things that happened to me a year ago

Hello Ester, With the information provided, I know you want to stay in present day and your current thoughts and feelings, however, it appears that it is old wounds that are dictating those thoughts and feelings you are feeling now.  When we have unresolved feelings of hurt, betrayal, trust, etc. it can be hard to move on and not bring that into our next relationship even when we are willing to process through it.  Furthermore, I know you mentioned pregnancy which can affect your hormones and make you feel even more vulnerable towards others.  From what you mentioned, it sounds as though your current relationship with your boyfriend is a healthy relationship.  It is good that you were able to find someone whom is treating you correctly.  With that said, re-building trust with others should now be your focus.  When there is betrayal in our prior relationships, we can begin to feel incapable of being good enough, incapable of being loved, insufficient and unlovable.  The real issue becomes to work on yourself to rebuild your self-esteem and confidence and once you can gain closure that someone betrayed you, that it is no reflection on you but that other person, the healing will begin.  By carrying around this past hurt, you are letting those feelings take control over your current relationship which is not fair to your boyfriend nor yourself.  This will not change overnight, you may have to do a lot of self-reflection to get past betrayal, however, you cannot penalize someone (your new boyfriend) for something that he had no part in.  Trust that you were capable of looking for a new partner who would not share similar traits with your ex.  The first step is realizing that this is an issue for you and looking to fix it.  I commend you for joining BetterHelp and looking for assistance.  I would suggest doing some work with a therapist in order to work on your self-esteem, confidence and trust with others.  Otherwise, being honest with your boyfriend about your past and letting him know where these feelings are coming from and that they are happening due to your past betrayal trauma.  You can get past this but you have to revisit those feelings in order to gain closure from the situation.  
Answered on 10/26/2022

How do I navigate through my life, find myself and solve my sexuality issues?

Good morning Euphoria! Thank you for sharing your question and reaching out! It sounds like you are going through a tough season of life, questioning your identity, your sexuality, and your desires more so in adulthood can be a confusing experience and it is important to remember you do not have to do this alone! In fact, it is really hard to heal in isolation which is probably one of the reasons you reached out asking this question today.   I would love to encourage you to begin a counseling experience and see if working with a counselor could be beneficial in getting your needs met to working through this confusion. Having a nonjudgmental, supportive, validating, and comforting third party to share about the experience you are going through can be so beneficial when it comes to working through your identity crisis. You might be struggling understanding yourself and not ready to share with family or friends yet, and that is totally OK! A counselor can be a great fit for support because of the confidentiality piece to the work you are doing, and the opportunity to feel safe, supported, and comfortable during the experience.   BetterHelp makes it easy to match with a counselor you feel supported and comfortable with! With BetterHelp's network of thousands of online providers, you are bound to find the fit that is right for you! Therapy is not one size fits all, and sometimes it does take a few tries until you find the perfect fit with someone who is able to meet all of your needs. Maybe you have specific gender preferences, expertise, specialities, or areas you are hoping your counselor to have knowledge about. BetterHelp makes it easy to share those requests and matches you with a licensed counselor within twenty four to forty eight hours upon joining your service. You can begin immediately upon being matched by reaching out to your counselor in the room you are assigned in a HIPPA compliant, safe, place to share what you have been going through.   One benefit you will get from signing up with services on BetterHelp that you would not see offered when receiving traditional therapy is the option to be able to begin your counseling right away and message your counselor in between sessions. The option to have discussion with your counselor through the messaging can be pivotal for those beginning a healing journey. A lot of the work you are going to be doing in counseling is implementing healthy strategies, habits, and rituals into your day to day life outside of the time you are meeting with your counselor during your session time period.   For example, your therapist might help you with implementing healthy self-care strategies, learning how to practice self-love, supporting you in communication strategies, setting boundaries with interpersonal relationships in your life, teaching mindfulness strategies, becoming an accountability partner, and more.   Being able to message your counselor anytime, anywhere, from the comfort of your smart phone and device about any barriers, difficulties, progress, growth, or needs that you have can become incredibly pivotal in your ability to see progress in treatment. Where as in a traditional counseling setting, you may wait a week or even longer before seeing your counselor again you can instead report immediately on these challenges and it decreases the likelihood that you will forget and not be able to share when your session does come around the next time.   Your therapist likely is going to help by encouraging practice in being vulnerable. It is incredibly tough and not an easy task. By practicing being vulnerable in a safe, comfortable, supportive environment like therapy you are gradually exposing yourself to being open with others in your life such as family, friends, and loved ones and experiencing confidence building as you begin building a therapeutic relationship with your counselor.   Your therapist can support you as well in helping you implement healthy self-care strategies to support your longevity in this self-discovery journey. For example, have you ever heard the phrase or saying "You cannot pour from an empty cup"? This emotional work you are doing is taxing, can be stressful, and takes a lot of time, intention, and emotional energy. You want to ensure you have healthy habits, strategies, and coping skills in place to provide you with success in this journey as much as possible. Some ideas your therapist might recommend is supporting you with practicing self-love strategies daily. Maybe this looks like beginning a positive affirmation practice.    Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors actually all interact and are interconnected in a cognitive behavioral triangle and if you can change one part of this system, the others will follow. We tend to be our own worst critics, and can be incredibly negative in self-talk or the way we perceive our circumstances. Your therapist can help point out cognitive distortions you might be telling yourself, identify unhelpful thinking and behavior patterns, and keep you accountable in actively noticing and increasing self-awareness around them so you can begin to unpack and unlearn these strategies over time.   Positive affirmations are something you can begin today as well! I like this strategy because it does not take a whole lot of time out of your day, and it you can couple it with an already existing healthy habit or strategy it is easier to stick long term. Next time you are in the bathroom brushing your teeth or flossing try taking a few minutes to look yourself in the mirror and repeat the following phrases "I am worthy of love. I am enough. I matter."    At first, this is going to feel very uncomfortable but slowly over time it will begin to feel more natural and believable! I wish you best of luck in your healing!
(LPC, LMHC, MS)
Answered on 10/25/2022

How do I stop fearing rejection

Hello Rosie, thank you for reaching out, I will do my best to answer your question with as much useful and insightful information as I can. Fearing rejection is one of our deepest human fears. Biologically wired with a longing to belong, we fear being seen critically. We’re anxious about the prospect of being cut off, demeaned, or isolated. We fear being alone. We dread change. The depth and flavor of fear vary for each individual, although there are common elements at play. If we’re willing to look, what is our actual felt experience of rejection? What are we really afraid of? On a cognitive level, we may be afraid that rejection confirms our worst fear, perhaps that we’re unlovable, that we’re destined to be alone, or that we have little worth or value. When these fear-based thoughts keep spinning in our minds, we may become agitated, anxious, or depressed. Cognitively-based therapies can help us identify our catastrophic thoughts, question them, and replace them with more healthy, realistic thinking. For example, if a relationship fails, this doesn’t mean that we are a failure. A big part of our fear of rejection may be our fear of experiencing hurt and pain. Our aversion to unpleasant experiences prompts behaviors that don’t serve us. We withdraw from people rather than risk reaching out. We hold back from expressing our authentic feelings. We abandon others before they have a chance to reject us. Being human, we long to be accepted and wanted. It hurts to be rejected and to experience loss. If our worst fear materializes, if our catastrophic fantasy becomes a reality and we’re rejected, our organism has a way of healing if we can trust our natural healing process. It’s called grieving. Life has a way of humbling us and reminding us that we are part of the human condition. If we can notice our self-criticisms and tendency to sink into the shame of being a failure and accept our pain just as it is, we move toward healing. Our suffering is intensified when not only do we feel hurt or grieve, but we think something’s wrong with us for feeling this. If we risk opening our hearts to someone who rejects us, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. We can allow ourselves to feel sorrow, loss, fear, loneliness, anger, or whatever feelings arise that are part of our grieving. Just as we grieve and gradually heal when someone close to us dies (often with the support of friends), we can heal when faced with rejection. We can also learn from our experience, which allows us to move forward in a more empowered way. I hope I’m not making this sound easy, or that we can heal on our own without support. I’ve often been in the room with clients who have experienced a devastating loss when their hopes and expectations were rudely dashed, especially when old traumas were being reactivated. We may benefit by processing our feelings with a caring, empathic therapist, as well as availing ourselves of trusted friends who know how to listen rather than dispense unwanted advice. The term personal growth is often used loosely, but perhaps one meaning is to cultivate inner resilience by acknowledging and even welcoming whatever we’re experiencing. It takes courage and creativity to bring a gentle awareness to what we may like to push away. As we become more confident that we can be with whatever experience arises as a result of connecting with people, we can initiate, deepen, and enjoy relationships in a more relaxed and fulfilling way. As we become less afraid of what we’re experiencing inside, that is, less afraid of ourselves, we become less intimidated by rejection and more empowered to love and be loved. Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow. And most of us have had a good dose of it. Whether we didn’t get a job we applied for, weren’t admitted to our top choice college, didn’t make it to the team we tried out for, or didn’t score a second date with the person we were sure was going to become our soulmate, many of us have experienced rejection first hand. Hearing “no, not interested” doesn’t feel good. Regardless of how hard you want to look at the bright side of it, rejection doesn’t build character. It breaks hearts, brings tears, and it raises fears. And that fear can stick and become a hard-to-remove stain. Fear of rejection, or rejection sensitivity, as it is often referred to in the psychology literature, can become an obstacle to success and happiness. Research shows that fear of rejection can harm emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, and psychological functioning. It affects the way we feel about ourselves, the decisions that we make, and the goals we choose to pursue. Fear of rejection can make us think small and act even smaller. All fears are evoked when after we appraise a stimulus, we find it dangerous and potentially harmful. Fear is the internal alarm system that we are equipped with and which exists to warn us against threats to our survival. In the past, survival meant staying alive. It meant not getting killed by a predator, a disease, a rival, or a natural disaster. And threats included anything that could cause death or serious harm. But in a relatively safe, socially complex, and intellectually demanding world, the meaning of both survival and threat has changed significantly. For most people in the developed world, it is no longer our biological survival that we are preoccupied with daily. Our worries extend beyond just staying alive. We still care about our physical health, but we also care about our mental, emotional, financial, relationship, or spiritual health and we want to protect them from any threats. And when any of these are threatened, fear arises. So what is it that fear of rejection protects us from? The commonality may be pain. We are generally hardwired to avoid pain, whether it is physical or emotional. Pain is associated with harm, invasion, and potential damage. Pain is a signal that we should avoid, correct, or withdraw from a situation. It is easy to imagine how this plays out with physical pain. If your coffee is so hot that it burns your tongue, you wait until it cools down. And the beautiful thing about our brains is that they register those painful events, so we can avoid them in the future, and prevent harm. We learn what’s causing us pain and we take steps to protect ourselves from it. The same is true about emotional pain. We, consciously or unconsciously, avoid entering situations or creating circumstances that could get our feelings hurt. The brain centers that register the magnitude of pain and the subjective experience of pain are closely connected. This doesn’t mean that the cure for fear of rejection is taking painkillers. It means that emotional pain is a natural response to rejection. This may also explain why we tend to avoid situations in which we expect to be rejected. Consciously or unconsciously, we stay away from people, places, and events that we have associated with rejection either through experience or based on expectation. And that fear and the subsequent avoidant behavior can have a serious impact on the goals we seek to accomplish and the life we aim to build. To handle the fear of rejection, the first thing one can do is to identify the fearful stimulus. That is, become aware of the situations or circumstances that we are actively avoiding because we worry that they will lead to rejection. What ideas are we not sharing because we worry that others won’t embrace them? What requests are we not making because we worry they will be denied? What steps are we not taking toward a goal because we worry that we will be exposed and vulnerable? What “no’s” are we afraid to hear? Second, turn avoidance into action. If a goal still seems important and meaningful, take steps toward achieving it, even if that increases the risk of rejection. Avoiding is safer and less painful. Without an “ask,” there is no rejection. But without it, there is no acceptance either. Third, remind ourselves that the pain caused by rejection is a normal feeling and that it will pass, just like any other painful sensation or feeling. We can’t fully control whether our ideas, our proposals, our applications, or our pitches will be rejected because rejection is in the hands of others. But we can control the intensity of our emotions and we can train ourselves to become emotionally stronger. Being a good emotion regulator is one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence. And finally, reframe rejection as an opportunity to improve our approaches and tactics. There are many reasons why we did not get a “yes” this time. The timing might not have been right, we may not be a good fit, we may not have been thorough enough in our preparation, we may not have presented the best sample of our work, and the people who rejected us may have their own needs, biases, or limitations. The list of situational factors is endless. It is easy to personalize rejection and think of it as a reflection of who we are and what we are capable of, as opposed to what we did and how can we do it better next time. Changing what we do is easier than changing who we are. And people will evaluate us by what we do. All in all, rejection doesn’t feel good. But letting the fear of rejection dictate what we accomplish in our lives can make us feel even worse in the future. I hope that this answered your question adequately and that it provided you with useful information. I hope that you have a great day, and please do not hesitate to reach out again if you need further assistance in the future.
(MA, LPC)
Answered on 10/25/2022

Why do I push people away, regret it and alternate between idealizing people and demonizing them?

First of all, I want to say thank you for making this question. It's something to appreciate that you made the effort to explain your current situation and the fact that you are challenging your own way of behaving. It's something very important and brave that not always is easy to do, so I send you my honest congratulations on that.    It's normal to feel ups and downs in our life now and then. It's something that depends a lot on how are things going in our 5 main contests in life, which are work-studies, couple, social life (friends and colleagues), personal (the way I treat myself, the confidence that I have in myself, how much I love the person that I am) and family. If we go through a time when we have, from our own point of view, a lot of ups and downs, or mainly downs, perhaps it's something that is related to some permanent issues that we are having in one or more of those contexts.    When we get very emotional or feel extremely hollow, these are good examples of not being in our best situation. From my point of view, this can be very related to this other thing that you speak about, self-esteem and self-confidence, as I was saying before is part of the personal context, probably the most important one, as it's difficult to be well with others while I am not fine with myself. When this happens, it's normal that sometimes I shut down or that I eventually explode because I am too defensive. It's completely normal and you need to know that it can be changed.    I would recommend trying to improve the way you like yourself (your self-esteem). Try to improve your relationship with yourself. To do this, you can always talk to yourself and assess your behaviours kindly, try to keep an assertive way of communication (respecting your point of view while respecting others' points of view) and find things in your life that you would like to eventually change to make yourself happier, mainly regarding the 5 principal contexts of your life.    I honestly think you will be able to achieve this and any other thing that you want in your life, you only need to believe in yourself and try your best. 
(Master's, Degree, in, Third, Generation, Psychological, Therapies, Bsc, in, Psychology, Msc, in, Prevention, of, Addictions)
Answered on 10/25/2022

How to want to find your true self when you feel like your persona self is the best version of you?

It sounds like you don't feel like you can be your authentic self in front of other people. There may be different reasons behind why this is the case. Sometimes it can be the surrounding environment around us that makes us feel like we cannot be our true selves or due to past situations that made us feel this way or negative thoughts that are leading us to believe that we cannot be ourselves.  Something to think about is where do you think this idea of not being able to be your true self comes from. For example, if you moved away from the perceived image that you believe people want you to be, what would this mean to you? If people disapproved of your true self, how would this affect you? Sometimes we may feel like others around us may not approve of who we are if they knew we had a particular interest, personality trait, or even opinion. Is it possible to still have a good relationship with people even if we don't see eye to eye? And yes, of course it is possible. Sometimes it may take people some time to process how we see things or feel about situations, but it also doesn't mean that people will stop speaking to us or think less of us. And if they do, are these people that we even want to be around us? If we are unsure if it's worth being open and honest about our own feelings for fears that it can jeopardize our current relationships with others, then we must really think why this is the case. If people think less of us because of the way we perceive a situation, we really need to think if these are individuals that we want in our lives. For example, let's say that everyone at school is getting straight As in classes or building their resume to get another job. And let's say you are getting B's or not quite there in having the time to build your resume. You may feel like you also need to be at the same place where your peers are in their lives. And this is not always the case for everyone. And if we are in different places than our peers, does this mean we are valued less or less worthy? Let's consider that some people would stop speaking to you as they may not want to speak to you anymore because you are in a different place. What would this say to you about that person? Is a person's worth only based on where they are in their career? If not, then let's consider a peer who is honest, trustworthy, and kind, but perhaps focusing on their studies right now. Would this make you want to be their friend any less? Let's say this friend is having some major stressors due to family issues and doesn't have the time to build their resume at the moment. Does this mean they won't ever advance in their career? It may seem sometimes like things are very apparent or clear based on what we see in front of us, but there may be more to the story than we know. And if there is a chance that you would be friends with someone who is still trying to figure things out for themselves, is it possible for you to also be kind to yourself and accept that you may be in different places in your life than others? And this does not mean all people would necessarily think less of you as a result. But perhaps we have been in situations were people thought less of us because of an assumption they made, then we have to really think if this is really about us (who we are as individuals or more about the person making the assumptions about us). One way to start practicing being true to yourself is by practicing words of affirmation as it can help you start believing in yourself. In addition, I would practice assertive communication as it will help you explore your own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, wants, and needs. Here is a worksheet that I would encourage you to explore that can help you navigate this type of communication style: https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/assertive-communication   There are some great self-help books out that there that can help you better explore self-growth and exploring your authentic self. I would encourage you to check out: 1) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck 2) Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff 3) Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your world with the Practice of Rain by Tara Brach 4)Self-Love Workbook: Love and Heal Yourself with Mindfulness, Forgiveness, Loving-Kindness & Authentic Self-Expression by Lola Malaika  5) Ten Days to Self-Esteem by David Burns   If you still feel like you need additional support, I would encourage you to seek your own individual counseling services. Best of luck to you with everything on your self-growth journey.
Answered on 10/24/2022

Why do I feel like a burden/inconvienence to people?

Sometimes we feel like we are a burden to others when we have experienced trauma and have faced situations in our lives where we have been told that we are a burden or think that we are a burden. If you believe that you are a burden then that is what you are going to feel.  Whatever situation is making you feel that way, you have to begin to reframe those thoughts and find the truth in that opinion. Think, if she didn't want to go with you she wouldn't have offered.  Have you been dealing with depression in your life and if so how long have you been feeling this way?  Also, start to ask yourself what is making me feel this way versus why do I feel this way. What type of childhood experiences have you had that contribute to this current feeling of " I am a burden"? Sometimes the experiences in our lives can cause us to experience low self-esteem and have less confidence in our abilities. Sometimes when you feel like you are a burden, it can be expressed outwardly such as feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, guilty, alone, invisible, unloved, unwanted, etc.  I would encourage you to use affirmations of how you would like to feel instead of "thinking that you are a burden". If you write an affirmation of how you would like to feel and repeat it to yourself on a daily basis, you will begin to believe that.  Is there a family history of depression? Have you ever been diagnosed with depression? Sometimes depression can cause us to have pessimistic thinking and will cause us to think that we are a burden to others as well.  Did you have a lot of responsibility as a child growing up? Did you experience unconditional love within your family? Did you have an experience in school that contributed to the feelings of "being a burden"? Here are 4 ways to help reframe thinking that you are a burden: Talk it out, find someone that you can trust when you start to feel that way Try to catch your feelings when that thought pops into your mind Try to let go of the fear of feeling like you are a burden to someone, go with if they have not told me, that I am not a burden.  Reframe your responses   Thanks for your question.
(LPC, MA)
Answered on 10/24/2022

How do I know if I am handling my situation properly?

Hi Paco,  Thank you for your question. You've taken an important step in bringing your concerns here- it sounds like you have some insight into the areas that you want to work on and that is really helpful in getting started. You want to work on yourself in order to better manage anger, improve your self-worth, and communicate better as a partner (or ex-partner). All of these things can be helped by working with a mental health professional and I would recommend getting connected to therapy- in the meantime, there are also some strategies that you can start trying to implement on your own. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival. On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful. Avoid over-generalizations. Keep words like “always,” “never” or “everyone” out of discussions. For example, instead of saying “everyone takes advantage of me,” and getting more and more worked up, focus just on the other person in the conflict. You might say instead “I can’t do this for you over the weekend. I already have plans.” This keeps the discussion to the issue at hand and helps anger from building to unmanageable levels. Focusing on managing your anger and improving communication skills may help you to feel more in control and as a result start to impact your self-worth. In addition, there are strategies you can use for specifically improving the way you view your self. A lot of this has to do with recognizing and challenging negative thinking.  Notice your thoughts about the situations that tend to trigger feelings of low self-worth. This includes what you tell yourself (self-talk) and how you view the situations.Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts. Or they may be irrational, based on false ideas. Ask yourself if these beliefs are true. Would you say them to a friend? If you wouldn't say them to someone else, don't say them to yourself. Your initial thoughts might not be the only way to view a situation. Ask yourself whether your view is in line with facts and logic. Or is there another explanation? Be aware that it can be hard to see flaws in your logic. Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel factual even if they're opinions. Also notice if you're having these thought patterns that erode self-esteem: All-or-nothing thinking. This involves seeing things as either all good or all bad. For example, you may think, "If I don't succeed in this task, I'm a total failure." Mental filtering. This means you focus and dwell on the negatives. It can distort your view of a person or situation. For example, "I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realize I'm not up to the job." Converting positives into negatives. This may involve rejecting your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don't count. For example, "I only did well on that test because it was so easy." Jumping to negative conclusions. You may tend to reach a negative conclusion with little or no evidence. For example, "My friend hasn't replied to my text, so I must have done something to make her angry." Mistaking feelings for facts. You may confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, "I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure." Negative self-talk. You undervalue yourself. You may put yourself down or joke about your faults. For example, you may say, "I don't deserve anything better." Now replace negative or untrue thoughts with positive, accurate thoughts. Try these strategies: Use hopeful statements. Be kind and encouraging to yourself. Instead of thinking a situation won't go well, focus on the positive. Tell yourself, "Even though it's tough, I can handle this." Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. But mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're moments in time. Tell yourself, "I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a bad person." Avoid 'should' and 'must' statements. If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting too many demands on yourself. Try to remove these words from your thoughts. It may lead to a healthier view of what to expect from yourself. Focus on the positive. Think about the parts of your life that work well. Remember the skills you've used to cope with challenges. Consider what you've learned. If it was a negative experience, what changes can you make next time to create a more positive outcome? Relabel upsetting thoughts. Think of negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy patterns. Ask yourself, "What can I think and do to make this less stressful?" Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. For example, "My presentation might not have been perfect, but my colleagues asked questions and remained engaged. That means I met my goal." Try making some of these changes and monitor what impact they have. Consider if it's time for professional support. Best of luck, Paco!
Answered on 10/23/2022

My main question is why is it I'm so quick to be defensive

Thank you very much for your question. I know that it is not easy to ask for help or challenge our behaviour, and that's why I truly appreciate the effort that you are doing by asking this question.    Let me also say that I completely understand what you mean, it happens to all of us that, sometimes, we take things as an attack and we get a bit defensive, it's completely normal. We do feel angry because of this and react to that anger, with the outcome that you are describing so well: we try to prove our point even knowing that we are wrong.   The main reason that is behind this situation, from my honest point of view, is the fact that we try to be perfect and don't allow ourselves to be wrong. We tend to feel like, if we fail, our knowledge has been challenged and we "need" to be right.   Why is this happening? Normally, because we are too judgmental with ourselves and don't treat ourselves as good as we should, as good as we treat others... Because of this, our self-esteem is not as high as it could be, and we don't like ourselves as much as we should. When this is happening, we don't have the best of confidence in ourselves either, as we feel like we are not that good. Finally, also related to this, we criticise ourselves a lot and we are so hard when we assess what has happened that everything looks like a mistake.    In this sense, I would recommend trying to improve your self-esteem, mainly by talking to yourself in a kind and not judgmental way, and also acknowledging all the little and big things that you do well in your day-to-day. Another important point is to start communicating in an assertive way, so you respect your point of view while respecting the others' points of view, making an improvement in a lot of contexts of your life. One other thing is to learn how to deal with our emotions in a more useful way. Finally, speaking with a professional about your issues to feel listened to and understood is also something that can be very useful. 
(Master's, Degree, in, Third, Generation, Psychological, Therapies, Bsc, in, Psychology, Msc, in, Prevention, of, Addictions)
Answered on 10/23/2022

How do I begin to love myself and stop being so angry?

Hello ISO, It is very nice to meet you! Thank you for reaching out, you ask a wonderful question. If you and I were working together in therapy, I would want to know more about your background and what it was like for you growing up. Has this a pattern for you? From what you describe, it sounds like you often feel used by others, feel that people only reach out to you when they want something from you? Of course, that feels frustrating. Are these people friends, family, coworkers? If you are missing mistreated by others, you do have a right to set boundaries with them and limit their input in your life. I hear a pattern of feelings of low self esteem and low self worth. The first step to feeling differently is going to start with you. You are the only one who can change your thoughts and feelings about yourself. It must be very difficult and feel very isolating to hate yourself. I would ask you to find things that you like about yourself. What are some of your positive qualities? Instead of focusing on what you do not like, think about what you do like. Think of it like this - thoughts control feelings and feelings control behavior. For example, if your thoughts are "I'm not going to do well, I'm not smart, I'm not adequate, etc" then your feelings will be insecurity, discomfort, nervousness, etc. The behaviors will be negative self talk, keeping head down, not talking around others, not sharing your opinions, asking permission from others, etc.  Turn the "I cannot" into "I can". When you wake up each morning, tell yourself that you will have a good day and accomplish your goals. I do realize that what I'm saying is much easier said than done, but know, that it can be done! You are able to do this for yourself. Practice kindness for yourself. Shut down the negative thoughts when they come up. I would also encourage you to consider working with a therapist to help with reframing the negative thoughts and learn to change the thought patterns when they come up. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you all the best moving forward on your journey. 
Answered on 10/23/2022