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Published on May 19, 2020

Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It?

Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It?

“I hate myself” is a thought that is more common than it should be.

There are many people walking around with feelings of self-hatred and unworthiness, making the phrase “you are your own worst enemy” ring true, unfortunately.

This is a painful reality, but what is the root cause of the feeling?

What is the real answer to the question, “why do I hate myself?” And how can you stop it?

Why Do I Hate Myself?

“I feel like I am different from others and not in a good way.”

This was the most common statement when a group of researchers tested some subjects for their familiar self-critical thoughts. Most people see themselves as different but not in a positive way.

The number of likes and friends on social media didn’t mean so much, as there were still feelings of being an outcast. Each person has a critical inner voice. This voice expresses the anti-self part of us, which exudes self-hatred, suspicion, and paranoia.

This critical inner voice is ever-present to comment negatively on our lives, influence our behavior, and inspire feelings of low self-esteem. You find yourself being more accepting of negative thoughts such as “you can never be successful,” and “you are not good enough for anyone.”

This inner voice also encourages you to act in self-destructive ways while blaming you for it when you give in. You go from “eat as much cake as you want, you deserve it after a stressful week” to “this is why you will always be a fat loser, you can’t stick to a diet.”

As weird as it sounds, we all have this critical inner voice. It goes unnoticed most times as we hardly recognize it as a destructive enemy.

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It has become so ingrained in our consciousness that we mistake its points for the real thing and believe all the negative words it says about ourselves.

How Self-Hatred Affects Your Daily Life

Your critical inner voice impacts you in several ways. When it repeatedly tells you that you are worthless, you decide to choose friends and partners who treat you like you are worth nothing.

If it tells you that you are stupid, you may lack confidence and make mistakes that you would not otherwise make.

If it tells you that you are not attractive enough, you start to resist the urge to go out in search of an excellent romantic relationship.

When you listen to your inner critic, you empower it over your lives. When these negative thoughts become overwhelming, you may start to project them onto others. At this point, you view the world through a negative lens.

This is where suspicious and paranoid thoughts come into the picture, making you question or criticize people who see you differently than your voices. In this scenario, you could find yourself struggling with positive recognition or feedback, as it contradicts how you perceive yourself.

You may have trouble accepting love since you cannot challenge your inner critic. While this voice is painful, it is also familiar and a huge pain.

How to Stop Hating Yourself

How can you stop the thoughts of self-hatred that creeps in? How can you reduce or eliminate the influence of self-hatred?

Here are some great ways to stop it.

1. Pay Attention to Your Triggers

The first step in addressing any problem is to understand its root. If you are struggling with severe self-hatred, it can be helpful to sit down with that feeling and try to identify where it comes from.

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The first step is to consider what might have caused these feelings. Even though you have heard it a million times, a journal will be handy here.

Try to sit at the end of the day and take a mental walk through your day. Write about the people you spent the day with, how you reacted to your different activities during the day, and what you did.

If you prefer not to write, you can use voice recordings.

You can also just reflect for a few moments on the events of the day. Keep an eye out for the common patterns that occurred throughout the day. This will help you identify what triggers your negative thoughts.

Once you have identified this, you can work to find ways to avoid or minimize them.

2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Sometimes, self-hatred comes when you’re not in a good place to reflect. When this happens, try to have an internal conversation with yourself.

When this thought creeps in: “I hate myself,” you can reply right away with “why?”

Whatever the answer is, try challenging that thought as well.

Say to yourself, “that is not true.” Then think about the reasons why this negative thinking is wrong.

Coping with your thoughts can be daunting. It can also be a great idea to imagine someone else combatting these thoughts on your behalf. Think of that constant figure in your life or your favorite superhero.

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Then, imagine them going in and stopping those negative thoughts. Simply challenging these negative thoughts helps reinforce the idea that self-hatred is not an undeniable fact or truth; it is an emotion.

3. Practice Positive Dialogue

Self-hatred often comes at a time when you have no compassion for yourself. If you have a period when you feel good, try writing a list of what you like about yourself.

You may not be able to think of anything at first, but don’t panic. Start by thinking of things you don’t hate about yourself. Perhaps you have a meal you know how to cook best or take excellent care of your pet.

Keep this list somewhere you can have easy access to every day. When self-hatred thoughts arise, stop, take a deep breath, and say one of the items on your list out loud.

4. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

This is a therapy technique that is quite common. It is used to address self-hatred and negative thoughts.

It is usually done simply by changing your thoughts to a slightly different perspective. It may involve thinking about the advantages even in a bad situation or considering frustration in a new light.

Here, you train your brain to focus only on the positive. Instead of saying a statement like, “I’m so bad at speaking publicly,” you could rephrase the statement to, “I don’t feel like I spoke well today.”

Yes, it is a small change. But it takes an all or nothing statement and reframes it as a single instance.

With this, the negativity would not feel permanent. This shows that messing up is only at that instance, and it means you accept that you can do better next time.

Anytime you feel like saying, “I hate myself,” shelve the thought and think of a little way that you can rephrase that statement to make it more positive.

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5. Spend Time With People That Make You Feel Happy

Most times, self-hatred comes with the intense desire to isolate yourself. You may feel that you shouldn’t be around your friends or family, or you may feel that no one wants to be near you.

The negative internal dialogue encourages you to believe that withdrawing from social situations is the best action. However, this is counterproductive.

Connecting with others is a significant way to dispel negative thoughts as it helps you feel better about yourself. When you are with people you can easily share laughter with, you are more in tune with an environment that makes you feel valued.

You can combat negative thoughts of self-hatred by spending time with friends or relatives. Take a short walk together, watch a movie, or just go for coffee.

You have no one to contact? Consider talking to others who face similar problems online. There are several online groups for people dealing with a variety of problems.

6. Do Not Hesitate to Ask for Help

Remember, you are never alone on your mental health journey. There is always someone who has been where you are at one time or another.

Most people need a little help getting through tough situations of self-hatred. It is a good idea to seek the help of a mental health expert.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help from professionals. It is one of the best ways to learn to manage your self-hatred and negative internal dialogue.

Final Thoughts

I urge you to feel more confident in your body. As you pursue this goal of discovering your true self, an increase in critical inner voices and anxiety is a high possibility.

However, you must not give up on challenging this inner enemy. No matter how much the negative thoughts of self-hatred come in, be more resolute in confessing your love for yourself.

With time, this voice will become weaker, and you will be able to free yourself from these feelings. You can then open the door to a more fulfilling existence.

Learn to Love Yourself

Featured photo credit: Allef Vinicius via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career? If you’re ready to take responsibility for your life, then you need to tap into some principles for success.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their passion and purpose way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you reach your goals and live a rich life on your terms.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand[1].

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work[2].

Give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life and help you focus on goal setting.

2. Focus on Your Strengths

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

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Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

To use this principle for success, take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it. Is it what you really want? If it’s what you really want to be doing, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP, the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life, it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut[3].

Silencing your inner critic is one of the best principles for success.

    To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

    This is one of the principles for success that will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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    5. Embrace Your Inner Self

    Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid people will find out how odd or strange we are. However, our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths.

    Odds are that you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

    • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
    • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
    • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

    The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

    Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

    6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

    I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you, but you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

    To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

    Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

    A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

    Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

    Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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    7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

    Pretend I’m your fairy godmother, and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

    What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

    8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

    Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time[4].

    Furthermore, a Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere[5].

    What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

    These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

    9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

    Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

    This is one of the most powerful principles for success for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

    Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

    “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

    To learn more about how to get off autopilot and take specific actions towards your goals, check out this video:

    10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

    Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

    Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

    You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, and you can succeed again.

    Final Thoughts

    Eleanor Roosevelt said,

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    Following these principles for success will help you find the time and energy to achieve your goals and live with clear intention.

    Stand still, get quiet, and listen. Your life is constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rock star potential in life and business. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

    More About Success in Life

    Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

    Reference

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