Ask the Doctor

asdoc

In addition to being a clinical psychologist, I am also an author, blogger, and speaker specializing in women’s issues and general psychology. On this page, I invite you to submit your questions about any concerns you have of a psychological nature for me to answer.

You may also subscribe to my blog: Thinking Forward.

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“I often feel like I’m not good enough. I beat myself up a lot for making mistakes or disappointing people that I want to impress. I obsess over every fault I have to the point where I’m afraid to try new things. How can I stop doing this?”

While an occasional self-disparaging comment every now and then is normal, recurrent and chronic negative comments about one’s self is a symptom of low self-esteem. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. And just like we cannot all be great at everything the opposite is also true–we CANNOT be all bad at everything. Generalizing negative beliefs about ourselves inhibits us from having a realistic picture of our true abilities.

Try not to be overly critical of yourself or demand to be perfect. Learning to be more patient with yourself, developing self-compassion, expressing honest emotions, and being open to trying varied interests and new activities are BIG steps towards raising your self-esteem.

Also, take time out to think of a few things you are actually pretty good at and may even enjoy doing. Most likely, your list will be longer than you expected. Make a plan to further develop these skills and interests in order to gain a greater sense of pride and competency.