Stop negativity gnawing on your self-esteem.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


Is Negativity taking over your life?
Photo courtesy of

Does your doubt chew up your self-confidence?

Negativity chews up your self-esteem. Photo courtesy of

Negativity chews up your self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of

Many people have negative self-talk, those unhelpful things we tell ourselves about our lives. Having that load of negativity in your head and life is a sure way to damage your self-esteem. Do you tell yourself you are not good enough? That you can’t do this or that? That you will never?

Those nagging self-doubts amplified each other to a roaring negativity and drown out any possibility of healthy self-esteem. Judging yourself harshly will not make you a better person. Running yourself down will not empower you to do better. Beating yourself up leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless. The key to feeling better about yourself is to stop judging yourself and start believing you like all other humans are capable of good things much of the time.

Here are some ways to stop the gnawing doubts.

Embrace your flaws.

Those wrinkles are character lines, you earned every one of your scars. There is no such a thing as a perfect person. We all have our flaws. Those nicks and scratches are what makes you unique. Accept that how you are is just fine with you and those who care will accept you also.

Someday you like me, will become an older person. Those nicks and scrapes you have gathered up along the way will make you that cherished antique person someday.

Cut yourself some slack. Let your mistakes go.

Errors, mistakes, and missed opportunities are not signs you are a failure. They are the price you pay for being a human. We are all required to make some mistakes. The only person who thinks they make no mistakes is the person who does nothing. Doing nothing is a mistake.

Decide where you want to go in life.

You may not be able to decide what will happen but you can choose where you will go. Life is a journey, not a destination. That saying should ring true for anyone who has lived any portion of time. Live life. Take chances, accumulate memories and you will have a richer experience.

Life’s with no goals and values meander along and never go anywhere.  Want to feel good about yourself? Do lots of things. Do the best things you can to feel good about yourself. Regardless of where you place you will have run the races in life to the best of your abilities.

Give yourself a round of applause, recognize the good things you do.

Focusing on the less than perfect experiences robs you of the joy of the accomplishments. Give yourself credit for all the things you do, large or small. Your accomplishments should matter. They should especially matter to you.

If no one has ever told you that what you did was good, then be that person that cheers you on. If you think back was there someone who was in your corner at some point, maybe a grandmother or close friend? Then remember how they used to acknowledge what you did and repeat that praise to yourself in your head.

Do good deeds to be a good person.

Do things that make you feel good about yourself. The more good things you do the better you will feel. Any time you do something good, for yourself or another person, it improves your self-esteem. Something as simple as a smile can brighten someone’s day. Give a word of encouragement to someone who needs uplifting.

You do not need to do great grand gestures to feel good about being helpful. Any time you are of service you can take credit for that accomplishment.

If you want something to change do something different.

Ruts get deep. The longer you stay in them the deeper they get. To make a life less negative and improve your self-esteem reach out and try something you have never done before. Take a class, start a new hobby, read a self-help blog or book. Each new experience adds to your feeling that you are living this life not simply existing through it.

Jump off the diving board.

Nothing changes until you take that first step. First steps can be scary. If you have an anxiety monster chewing at your self-esteem you may need to stretch out that comfort zone a little at a time. Some new experiences, they can’t be done with a toe in the water. You either stay stuck or you step off the diving board and see what will happen.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at


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