If you are struggling with low self-esteem, you may find it difficult to look at yourself in the mirror. Mirrors reflect our image to us. When we don't love ourselves, it can be difficult for us to look at our reflection. However, you can overcome low self-esteem by making some changes in your thoughts and behavior.
Method 1 of 2: Changing Thoughts
Step 1. Determine the cause
Ask yourself why you can't look at yourself in the mirror. Have you done something that goes against your beliefs and makes you upset? Don't like your looks? Before you can overcome the cause, you must honestly tell yourself what is bothering you.
Step 2. Judge your actions, not yourself
It is very important to separate your behavior from who you are. Feelings of guilt or dissatisfaction with your actions indicate that you are a good person who admits to mistakes. You can deal with barren guilt by accepting that you were wrong. Take a lesson from this and move on.
Guilt and shame can (and do) go alongside each other. Shame is when you feel contempt for yourself, unworthy or worthless. To relieve shame, avoid associating with people who do not accept you for who you are, instead cultivate relationships with those who see your true worth
Step 3. Fight negative thinking
It is very easy to let negative thoughts lower your self-esteem. Therefore, it is very important to avoid immersion only in the negative, try not to notice only the bad, reproach yourself and discount your achievements.
Step 4. Try to love yourself more
Take proactive steps to accept and love yourself. This will help you start looking at yourself in the mirror. There are many ways to love yourself for who you are:
- Write down your strengths. Think about what you are good at. It could be that you are a good person, that you have empathy for others, or that you are good at tennis. If you find it difficult to find your strengths, ask the opinions of others.
- Talk to your best self. Imagine that you are in dialogue with the best or ideal version of yourself. Think about what advice this version would give you. You may find that part of your mind can tell you smart, kind, or meaningful things.
Step 5. Forgive yourself
If you can't look in the mirror because you've done something embarrassing, try reminding yourself that we all make mistakes. Of course, it's easier said than done, but instead of self-criticism, think about how you can avoid these mistakes in the future and how to fix what has already been done.
Step 6. Stop comparing yourself to other people
Concentrate on yourself and how you can become better, instead of constantly thinking, "Oh, look at her. She is much more beautiful than me. Why don't I look also?" Feelings of inferiority are strongly associated with shame, depression, and social anxiety.
To stop comparing yourself to other people, try the following. For example, you think that someone else cooks better than you, and this makes you feel jealous and dissatisfied with yourself. Try changing the direction of your thoughts by focusing on something else that you are good at. Then, instead of comparing yourself to someone else, compare your progress against two years ago. Instead, focus on how you have grown and improved, and don't compare yourself to someone else
Step 7. Remember that when we compare ourselves to other people, we often over-idealize that person
Conversely, when we compare someone to ourselves, we do not see the real version of ourselves. We tend to see ourselves in the worst possible light, not giving ourselves the praise we deserve and letting an inner critic creep into our heads. By actively trying to get rid of it and being proud of yourself for what you are really good at, you can get rid of this bad habit.
To stop comparing yourself to others, first of all, you must learn to catch yourself thinking like that. For example, you thought: "Lord, I wish I had the same cool career as Olga." When you catch yourself thinking like that, you might say, "I bet she worked very hard to achieve what she now has. I wonder what I could do to make a career in what I love." Then you can make a list of things that will help your career move in the right direction
Step 8. Remind yourself that everyone is wonderful and that life is a gift
Your beauty is unique. Your combination of genes and the environment in which you grew up have shaped you into an individual personality with unique perspectives and character. Use it as motivation, work with what you have, learn to accept it and love yourself.
Method 2 of 2: Behavior change
Step 1. Fall in love with others
Concentrate your attention on the outside, not the inside. Direct yourself to love and help other people. This will increase your self-esteem and you will feel better about yourself. This love can be mutual, making you feel better and more comfortable in your body. There are many ways to take care of others. You can do the following:
- Buy movie tickets for the people in line behind you.
- Dedicate time to charity.
- Buy a cozy blanket or lunch for a homeless person.
- Think about what makes someone in your life special. Write this person a letter of appreciation and gratitude for being a part of your life.
Step 2. Try to change what is in your power
You may find it difficult to look at yourself in the mirror because you don't like your appearance. While for the most part your physical form is what you have by default and that it is psychologically important to accept yourself as you are, in some cases you can take some steps towards to change.
- If you are trying to accept your appearance when you are overweight, take steps to lose weight. Try to eat small portions, say 10-15% of the whole meal. Try your best to exercise regularly.
- If you don't like your looks, you can also do a complete makeover. Buy yourself new clothes, do a different hairstyle, or put on your makeup a little differently. Take a look in the mirror and check out the new look!
Step 3. Seek outside help
If you are being consumed by negative thoughts about what you have done or simply who you are, you might want to discuss your feelings with someone. Pour out your emotions to heal wounds in your soul.
- Talk to your friend about your concerns. You may find that letting go of steam and pouring out your soul will make you feel relieved.
Talk to a therapist. Find a doctor who can help you deal with your problems.
- You can try to find a doctor on the Internet - for this, type in the search: "psychotherapist + the name of your city".
- If you live in the US, you can search for a psychotherapist here:
Step 4. Straighten your posture
If you feel small and don't want to look at yourself in the mirror, try straightening your posture. Research shows that standing up and straightening your shoulders for at least 2 minutes will make you feel more confident and powerful.
To straighten your posture, tilt your head back slightly, spread your arms or place them on your hips, straighten your legs and / or thrust your chest forward
Step 5. Start small
Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you will only look at yourself for a couple of seconds. Glance at the reflection and, looking directly into your eyes, count to 2. Once you can do this, increase the time to 3 seconds, then to 4, then to 5. This is called exposure therapy, and it can be effective in dealing with various fears.