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Breaking Free: How to Stop Feeling Bad About Yourself

by | Mar 30, 2024 | Motivation, Self-Help | 0 comments

We’ve all been there – that place where we dwell on our flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings and feel bad about ourselves. While it’s natural to feel down at times, living in a constant state of negative self-criticism can be emotionally draining and prevent us from fully experiencing life. So, how can we break free from those feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy? In this post, I’ll share some tips and strategies for cultivating a more positive self-image.

9 Tips on How to Stop Feeling Bad About Yourself

Having negative emotions about yourself or feeling as if the world’s against you and conspiring your downfall are elements of the victim mindset. True winners adopt a growth mindset and focus on what’s in their control. Let’s explore these powerful tips on how to stop feeling bad about yourself and regain control of your destiny.

1.     Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

One of the best ways to stop feeling bad about yourself is to challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs about who you are. Oftentimes, we’re overly critical of ourselves in ways we’d never be critical of others. Make a conscious effort to catch yourself having these thoughts and question their validity. Are they truly fair and accurate reflections of who you are? Chances are, upon reflection, many won’t hold up. Replace them with kinder, more compassionate self-talk.

2.     Focus on Your Strengths and Accomplishments

When we’re stuck in self-criticism, it’s easy to only see our flaws and forget about our strengths and achievements. Make a list of your positive qualities, talents, and things you’re proud of. Look at situations where you overcame obstacles, learned from mistakes, or helped others. Recognizing our strengths gives us a balanced perspective of who we are beyond just perceived shortcomings. Refer back to the list when you start feeling down on yourself.

3.     Take Action Towards Goals

When we’re down on ourselves, it’s easy to get stuck wishing things were different rather than actively working towards positive change. Identify steps you can take, no matter how small, to make progress in areas that are important to you, like your health, relationships, career or personal growth. Accomplishing small wins and seeing progress over time can tremendously boost your self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

Ronald Steele‘s memoir, “To Be Loved: Ain’t Gonna Be Denied,” gives a candid glimpse into the social and emotional experiences that shaped his journey from a turbulent childhood on the streets of Northeast D.C. to finally finding acceptance and love through community, education, and empowering his voice as an author and activist. Despite being falsely accused of a crime and being sentenced for it, he didn’t let his ex-con status become an obstacle in his path to success. Instead, he set personal goals and took action toward achieving them. He persevered and turned his life around, retiring at the top of the salary pyramid. Actively working to transform his life positively helped Steele tremendously improve his self-image and raise his self-confidence. His book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about how to  replace those negative feelings about yourself with positive feelings about yourself.

How to stop feeling bad about yourself

Steele’s memoir narrates his struggles with self-esteem

4.     Practice Self-Compassion

We often show more compassion to others than we do ourselves. But we all make mistakes and fall short sometimes. Instead of berating yourself, speak to yourself with the same kindness, care, and understanding you would a friend. Recognize that perceived flaws are part of being human and don’t define your overall worth. Talk to yourself with empathy, patience and encouragement rather than harsh criticism.

5.     Surround Yourself With Supportive People

The company we keep greatly influences our self-esteem. Spend more time with people who appreciate you for who you are, who genuinely listen, and who build you up rather than bring you down. Limit interactions with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself through put-downs, criticism or comparisons. You deserve to feel accepted and cared for by the people in your life.

6.     Focus on the Present Moment

Ruminating on past mistakes or worries about the future are some of the biggest contributors to negative self-talk. Make a conscious effort to stay present and notice your surroundings. Focus on how your body feels, the sights around you, the noises you hear and the conversation you’re having. This helps drown out the mental chatter and judgments about yourself. Simply observing what is happening now with kindness and curiosity can help ease self-criticism.

7.     Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations retrain the brain over time to think and speak to yourself with more compassion. When you catch yourself having negative thoughts, replace them with simple affirming statements about who you are and how you deserve to feel. Some examples include: “I am worthy. I am enough. I am strong. I am valuable just as I am.” Say them out loud when you can. Writing them down also helps internalize them on a deeper level.

8.     Value the Journey of Growth

Rather than beating yourself up over perceived flaws or past regrets, celebrate how far you’ve come and how you continue growing into a better version of yourself. Personal development is a lifelong process, and we’re all works in progress. Appreciate each experience, mistake and relationship as valuable lessons that have shaped you into who you are today. Focus on progress over perfection. A growth mindset over criticism allows space for continual betterment.

9.     Remember Your Human Experience

We all have moments of self-doubt. But try to remember that you’re a whole human being – imperfect and complex, just like everyone else. Cut yourself some slack, accept yourself as a work in progress and focus less on perceived flaws. Learn to see your own humanity and inherent worth beyond just accomplishments or what you think others may think of you. Choosing self-acceptance over constant criticism allows you to live freely.

How to stop feeling bad about yourself

Accept yourself as a work-in-progress

Ronald Steele’s Memoir “To Be Loved: Ain’t Gonna Be Denied” Is a Must-Read

We hope these tips on how to stop feeling bad about yourself provide a starting point for cultivating a kinder inner dialogue and stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. Remember that positive change often happens gradually. Be patient and compassionate with yourself throughout the process. You have so much wonderful potential to offer the world, just as you are. I invite you to claim it!

Ready to dig deeper into overcoming self-doubt and fully embracing who you are? In his memoir, “To Be Loved: Ain’t Gonna Be Denied,” Ronald Steele shares his journey regarding overcoming the negative self-image that we often struggle with due to low self-esteem and life’s challenges. Learn how he begins his path of learning to accept himself unconditionally. Order your copy today to be inspired on your own journey towards self-love!


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