Are you starving for approval?

By David Joel Miller.

Are you desperate for likes?

Desperate for likes?

Desperate for likes?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are some very mentally unhealthy consequences of using social media in an unhelpful way. Don’t become one of those people who spends their life frantically looking for likes. Remember the like button it someone’s opinion about what you said, not a judgment about who you are as a person or what you are doing with your life. If you find your self-esteem is becoming dependent on likes, you have set yourself up to the victimized by bullies and trolls. Here are some reasons why likes are playing too big a role in your life.

In childhood, approval was your pay.

When you were a small child, adults and caregivers in your life rewarded your behavior by giving approval and attention. As we grow in life, the locus of approval should shift from needing the attention of others to working for our own approval. If other people’s opinions matter more than your own is still have some growing up to do.

Learn to do things because you can be proud of them. Make it a point to notice your accomplishments. Don’t turn your self-esteem over to a button on a social media site.

Social approval looks deceptively like success.

Having lots of people like you is a success mirage. Successful people follow their own path. Sometimes doing good things means doing things that aren’t popular. Don’t mistake following the herd for doing something worthwhile. Highly successful people are not on social media, begging to be liked. Saying something for others approval is not an accomplished. Successful people are busy doing things not talking about them

Beware the effect trolls will have on your self-confidence.

People who don’t feel good about themselves delight in hurting others. There will always be someone out there to criticize you. Don’t set yourself up as a human sacrifice to the trolls. The more you do in life, the more people will criticize you. There will always be haters, the bullies of life, out to build themselves up by pulling others down.

Only your mother cared, don’t expect others to.

When you were small, someone, often your mother, fawned over everything you did. When you were very small, taking that first step may have been a big deal. Don’t forget that every other walking person had to take their first step. If something you do gets around applause, or a compliment, acknowledge the gift of appreciation by don’t start doing things expecting acknowledgments.

Don’t expect adults to care what clothing you bought, on what you ate for lunch. Real accomplishments take a lot of time and effort. Getting likes for spending money evaporates rapidly. What matters in your life is not the round of applause you get on social media but the difficult things you do when you are off-line.

Comparing up keeps you small.

When you start comparing yourself to others on social media, you are likely to develop a very biased view of the world. People very rarely compare themselves to others with fewer friends and fewer likes. If you constantly compare yourself to people with more friends and likes you will always feel small. The person with fifty friends always compares themselves to people with thousands of friends. Don’t forget there are other people will only have five friends. The more you compare, the more you judge and measure yourself, the more you harm your self-esteem and diminish yourself confidence.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Self-esteem boosters.

By David Joel Miller.

Does your self-esteem need a boost?

Proud

Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Many people describe themselves as having low self-esteem, and yet the things they are doing and the way they are doing those things are reducing their self-esteem rather than improving it.

If you would like to grow your self-esteem here are some behaviors to improve your self-esteem, and some things to stop doing that may be damage your self-esteem.

Doing more worthwhile things builds self-esteem.

One cause of low self-esteem is inaction. Doing nothing is hard on your self-esteem. People who are active, living life, build up their self-esteem. Focus on doing things you can be proud of. Rather than aiming for huge world-changing actions, try to make each thing you do throughout the day something you feel good about.

Focus on the positive not the negative.

Only paying attention to your errors is a sure self-esteem deflator. If you only count the negative you build up a wall that prevents you from seeing your accomplishments. Pay particular attention to the positive things that happen each day of your life. When something good occurs, pause and take special note before that accomplishment disappears from sight.

Develop a positive support system.

Surround yourself with people who feel good about themselves and about you. Having negative people in your life is sure to lower your self-esteem. Positive people build you up; negative influences pull you down. Maximize your helpful support system.

Increase your self-esteem by learning to love yourself.

Learn to love yourself exactly the way you are. You are a worthwhile person because of who you are not because of the things you do. Learn to accept yourself, like yourself, and enjoy spending time with you. Everyone needs a best friend. Become your own best friend, and other friendships will follow.

Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

Be kind and gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up will not make you a better person. The way you treat yourself becomes the model for the way others will treat you. Include time for a healthy lifestyle in your schedule. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and when you’re tired allow yourself to rest and recharge. Don’t engage in self-harming behaviors.

For more self-esteem stop the insults.

Don’t call yourself names. Calling yourself stupid or fat or any other insult will destroy your self-esteem. Learn to view your shortcomings as improvement opportunities. Rather than call yourself stupid, tell yourself that you, like all other humans, sometimes make mistakes. If there are things you don’t know, learn more about them, get more education. If you’re unhappy with your physical condition, see a medical doctor, work with a counselor, and begin the program of self-improvement.

Remember the compliments.

Never getting a compliment undermines self-esteem. Complements are gifts, learn to give them and to accept them graciously. Give honest compliments. See the good in yourself and others. Don’t lie to yourself or pretend you accomplish things you never did. Do learn to recognize the progress you make in your life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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 counselorfresno.com.

Signs others opinions matter too much.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you paying too much attention to other people’s opinions?

Living your life based on other people’s opinions results in you living someone else’s

Self-confidence

Self-Confidence
Believe in yourself.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

life. Do you find yourself asking other people for their opinions on what you should do? If you find it hard to make decisions about your life without consulting others, the problem may be that you are paying too much attention to what others think and not enough attention to your own feelings. Here are some signs that what others think is running your life more than you are.

You measure yourself by other people’s opinions.

You are the expert on your life. No one else knows your particular struggles and challenges. Constantly seeking others approval results in a needy person. The person whose opinion most matters is yours. If your primary yardstick for measuring your self-worth is other people’s opinions, you are using the wrong ruler.

You ask what they mean by that a lot.

Do you find yourself questioning what others mean? If you’re asking “why did you say that” and “what did you mean by that?” a lot, it is very likely that you have become overreliance on other people’s opinions.

You let their opinion stop you.

If you find yourself not doing things that you enjoy or that might benefit you because of other people’s opinions, you’re losing control of your life. Other people’s opinions may be fine for them, but if you over-rely on their opinions, you are living their life and forgoing your own.

You worry about saying the right thing.

Healthy communication includes being able to tell others what you think and how you feel. You find yourself censoring what you want to say and searching for just the right words to say it you’re probably overly concerned about what other people think.

You try to please everyone.

If you try to please everyone, you’re likely to end up pleasing no one. In your effort to please everyone you will end up sacrificing your own opinions. No matter what view you take of things, some people will disagree, and some will not like what you say.

You put others needs before yours.

You must take care of yourself for you to be able to help others. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Neglecting your own need in the process of caring for others robs you of the life you should have.

It is hard to say no.

Not being able to tell others no devalues you and your needs. You have the right to say no.

Taking credit embarrasses you.

Good self-esteem comes from recognizing the things you do well. When somebody gives you a compliment, accepted it.

You are ashamed of things you like to do.

Everyone has the right to have interests in life. Don’t be ashamed of your hobbies and interests.

You continue to do things that don’t make you happy.

If you find that you’re doing things that don’t bring you joy, weed them out of your life. Filling up your life with things that do not contribute to your happiness is sacrificing the life you should be leading to live

You let others set your goals.

Are you living your life pursuing someone else’s goals? That’s clear evidence their opinions are outweighing your own. You will only get this one life. Get clear on your goals. If our not clear on what you want out of life, you may be paying too much attention to other people’s opinions and not enough attention to your own.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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 counselorfresno.com.

Overthinking takes you nowhere.

By David Joel Miller.

Thinking the same thoughts over and over does not lead to insight.

Overthinking

Overthinking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

In overthinking you get stuck on thinking the same thoughts over and over. To gain insight, you need to think about things from a different perspective. Take a break from your problems, sleep on it overnight, have some fun, and your problem is likely to look different the next time you think about it.

Overthinking is sometimes described as racing thoughts. These racing thoughts are different from the kind of out of control thoughts described in Bipolar Disorder. Overthinking is related to anxiety disorders in that these thoughts look like a hamster in his wheel, running as fast as he can around and around in the same place. In overthinking your thoughts take you nowhere but they do increase your anxiety. The racing thoughts of bipolar take you farther and farther into grandiose beliefs and urges.

Things will change whether you think about them or not.

Whether you think about it or not the weather will change. You can prepare for the weather but worrying about it will neither prevent the storm nor make it worse. Know that, regardless of what you think, the summers and winters will come. Overthinking steals your life.

The time you spend overthinking is time you are not doing.

Living is about the things you do, not the things you think about doing. The best way to prepare for the future is by living today. It’s easy to stay busy thinking about the past, worrying about the future, all the while avoiding taking action in the present.

Don’t believe everything you think.

Sometimes we take our own thinking as evidence for the truth of what we believe. IF something is making you anxious, you need to take a good look at it, and sometimes you need to listen to your gut. Consider however that just because something scares you that does not make it dangerous. Often our preconceived views of things turn out to be wrong. Be careful that you don’t jump to the conclusion and then because you think it; you look for evidence to support that view.

Don’t recruit others to overthink with you.

Group overthinking has been called co-rumination. If every time you get together with your friends, you go over and over the same problems in life, these relationships have moved from being supportive to keeping you stuck in your problems. You don’t need half a dozen people helping you think about how awful things are.

The more baggage you accumulate, the harder it is to move forward.

Do you have a lot of baggage from the past? Do you spend a lot of time taking it out, looking it over and then packing it up again to take it with you into the future? Constantly dwelling on the mistakes and the pain of the past keeps you stuck. Learn life’s lessons but be careful not to carry any more baggage into the future than is absolutely necessary.

Overthinking prevents you from making decisions.

The more you think about something, the harder it may be to decide. Unfortunately, not deciding and not acting are decisions. Don’t let overthinking make your decisions for you by preventing you from ever doing something which might benefit you.

Overthinking destroys your creativity.

Creativity is about new ways of looking at things and new ways of combining them. If you are stuck in overthinking and worry about what the right way to do something is, you will become afraid to take the chances necessary to be truly creative. Overthinking will tell you that there’s only one correct answer and you need to find that answer. Creativity will tell you that there are many possible solutions and the more open you are to those solutions the more creative you will become.

Overthinking tells you there’s only one way to do things.

The longer you think about things more likely you are to doubt each possibility. Overthinking by pointing out the pitfalls of potential decisions takes away your choices. If you want to be truly free, don’t let your worried mind tell you that you shouldn’t make the choices that appeal to you. Often when presented with a choice, our first thought is the correct one. People who are high in test anxiety often find the more they go over their answers and change them, the lower their test score goes. Don’t let overthinking talk you out of the choice that’s right for you.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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 counselorfresno.com.

How to stop overthinking.

By David Joel Miller.

Overthinking is harmful to your mental health.

Overthinking

Overthinking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

People who do a lot of overthinking, sometimes called rumination, increase their anxiety and their sadness. Unchecked overthinking, far from being helpful, can result in worry and leads to mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and depression. In overthinking your mind becomes your adversary, not your ally. If your mind is constantly turning things over and over and is wearing you out or if you find your overthinking has begun to interfere with your sleep and your relationships, it’s time to do something to put a stop to that over thinking.

If you suffer from overthinking here are some ways to get off that destructive path.

Notice when you overthink.

Overthinking can become an insidious habit. Become aware of when you are feeling distressed or anxious. The first step in getting overthinking out of your life is to become aware of how frequently you are overthinking. Avoid the trap of overthinking your overthinking.

Practice thought stopping.

When a child is doing something, they shouldn’t, we tell them to “knock that off.” When your mind starts taking you into bad neighborhoods, tell that mind to “stop that.” Another technique for stopping negative thoughts is to shift your focus to something positive. Search your memory for the happiest event in your life or imagine a happy event. When your brain begins to overthink possible negative occurrences, tell it to move to the positive.

Focus on the things that are likely to happen.

Most worry and overthinking is the result of an excessive focus on things that might or could happen but are very unlikely. Don’t spend large amounts of time thinking about things that are unlikely to happen. Most of the things we worry about never happen. Overthinking low probability events distracts you from dealing with the things that need doing today to prevent problems in the future.

Become a happiness expert.

Overthinking makes you an expert on unhappiness. Having a laser focus on what could go wrong obscures your vision of what could go right. People who are high in anxiety and depression develop a cognitive bias towards the negative. They don’t see the positive in their lives, and when they do they discount it. Notice small positive events in your life. When something good happens, don’t blink right away. Continue to look at and think about those positive, happy occurrences.

Avoid perfection paralysis.

Frequently people who are high in overthinking consider themselves perfectionists. An excessive focus on a perfection can leave you paralyzed. Pursue excellence. Try to become the best person possible, but avoid an emphasis on absolute perfection. Whatever you achieve should be valued.

Accept yourself as you are.

Failure to accept yourself, as you are, leads to a lot of unhappiness. However, you are, is perfectly acceptable. Acceptance values how far you have come. If you spend all your time looking for flaws you will miss your unique, individual qualities. Acceptance of yourself, others as they are, and the world the way it is rather than insisting that people places and things must be the way you want them to be will increase your happiness and reduce your anxiety provoking overthinking.

Inventory what you have not what’s missing.

Our society today, with its emphasis on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, has resulted in a lot of people believing their life is missing something. Constantly thinking about what’s missing from your life robs you of the enjoyment of the things you do have. When your focus is on keeping up with the Trumps, you will never have enough. When you adopt an attitude of gratitude, you can enjoy the people and the things you do have rather than grieve over your lack of those things that others have.

Take the long view.

Overthinking takes the short view. The focus is on what’s lacking now, the problems of today. Ask yourself what difference today’s problem will make 20 years from now? How about 50 years from now? When you start focusing on where you want to be in the future the problems of today shrink and become insignificant.

Reframe the scary as exciting.

Before an athletic contest, teams try to psych themselves up. If you expect to be beaten badly, it will take all the energy out of your performance. Worry about failing a test is likely to result in lower scores. Go into life’s adventures expecting them to be exciting and regardless of what you do you can have fun. Focusing on the scary parts of life prevents you from ever-living.

Get into action.

A great way to overcome overthinking is to get into action. Stop ruminating about what could go wrong and start doing. Some of what you do today will be the great memories you will be storing up for the future.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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 counselorfresno.com.

Do you overthink things?

By David Joel Miller.

The more you think about things, the worse you feel.

Overthinking

Overthinking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Overthinking, sometimes described as rumination, is a common feature of several emotional problems, especially anxiety disorders. These constant thoughts can leave you both physically and emotionally exhausted. At times, you may feel as though your thoughts are racing away without you. Because you think these thoughts so often and they are so upsetting, you may begin to believe that the things you think about are very real possibilities.

Overthinking what might happen in the future increases your anxiety. Overthinking your past, beyond the point of learning from your mistakes, can result in depression. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that going over and over the same issue in your mind, in the same way, will result in additional insight. Overthinking increases self-doubt. The over-anxious brain is constantly on the lookout for threats and magnifies the smallest risk to terrifying proportions. Here are some of the common causes of overthinking.

Overthinking is about judging yourself too much.

Overthinkers judge themselves more harshly than they judge others. Self-evaluation, looking at both the things you do well and the things that you could improve on can be helpful. If your self-evaluation does not move beyond repeatedly reviewing less-than-perfect behaviors, you are judging yourself too harshly. Using the same scale to judge yourself that you use to judge others can reduce excessive self-criticism and prevent overthinking.

Comparing up causes overthinking.

Overthinkers always compare themselves to others who are better looking, more successful or seem more important. Constantly comparing yourself to others who have more or accomplish more, results in discounting everything you have accomplished. Rather than comparing yourself to someone you admire and feeling you are inferior, look for ways to learn from what they do and improve your performance.

Focusing on the negative increases your anxiety.

When you constantly look for the negative, that’s what you will find. Avoid focusing on what’s wrong in your life. Look for opportunities to improve yourself and the life you’re living. Spend less time thinking about what’s wrong and more time focused on the actions you need to take to reach your goals. Overthinkers look for the negative and disregard the positive.

Too much attention to other people’s opinion is harmful.

If you constantly are focused on other people’s opinions of you, your self-doubt increases. Everyone will have an opinion about your life. Sometimes it’s helpful to seek out advice and information from teachers or mentors. Too much attention to other people’s opinions results in you not having an opinion of your own. Be very careful whose opinion of you receives your attention. You are living a real life, and the person whose opinion matters most is yours.

Not knowing who you are creates confusion.

Not having a clear picture of who you are, results in a great deal of confusion and uncertain. Be careful not to be simply a reflection of other people’s opinions. Get clear on your values, your goals, and the person you want to become. Learning about yourself is one of the most important tasks you will undertake in your life.

Believing mistakes mean you are flawed undermines your self-confidence.

Focusing only on your mistakes put you on the path to overthinking, self-doubt and anxiety. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you must be perfect to have value. All humans make mistakes. Cut yourself some slack. Accept that making mistakes is a necessary part of learning, growing and becoming who you can be. Learn from life experiences but don’t judge yourself harshly. Looking only at your mistakes leads to a very negative, biased, opinion about your self-worth.

Being overly judgmental of others creates uncertainty.

Avoid judging others using a stretched yardstick. If you expect an unreasonably high standard from others, you will find that you are unable to measure up to the standard you have set. The more judgmental you are of the people you meet, the more difficult it will become for you to feel good about yourself. Humans are not infallible computers, but then computers frequently make mistakes also. Avoid expecting impossibly high standards from yourself or others. Accept that you like all other humans are a work in progress.

Work on making overthinking a thing of the past. If you’re overthinking has gotten out of control, consider working with a counselor or therapist to get your thoughts back on a helpful path.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

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 counselorfresno.com.

How to destroy self-esteem.

By David Joel Miller.

How many self-esteem destroyers have you experienced?

Proud

Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

People around you may be doing things that undermine your self-esteem.

You may have done some of the same things to your family or friends.

Worse yet, you may have been doing these confidence-destroying things to yourself for a long time.

Look at these methods of undermining self-esteem. How many of these things are damaging your self-esteem?

Point out every mistake.

Having someone constantly point out every mistake you make is annoying. When others do this to you, it can lower your self-esteem. When you do it to yourself, it will undermine your confidence. Continually pointing out mistakes but never recognizing accomplishments can create a condition called learned helplessness. When you get the message that you cannot do anything right, you give up trying.

Withhold all praise.

Parents sometimes treat children this way. The old belief was that praising someone too much would give them “a swelled head.” Occasionally pointing out a shortcoming may help someone improve. Continually pointing out every mistake causes people to give up. Why would you continue trying if it is not possible to do it correctly?

Be careful not to praise someone for things that are trivial. Telling your child how great they did when they came in last in a race does not raise their self-esteem. When everyone gets a blue ribbon, the awards do not raise self-esteem. Recognizing effort, regardless of the outcome, does raise self-esteem.

There’s nothing wrong with taking credit for things done well. Make it a point to praise your family and friends and recognize their accomplishments. Give yourself credit. Don’t discount your accomplishments. Taking pride in the things you do results in taking pride in yourself.

Don’t expect others to be better at everything.

The expectation that everyone else is better than you at everything sets up an unrealistic standard. No one is the best at everything. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be careful that you do not set a higher standard of behavior for others than you set for yourself.

Self-handicapping, telling yourself that you are not capable of doing what others do may at first seems like a way to avoid disappointment. However, continually setting lower expectations for yourself damages your self-esteem. Accept yourself and others as good enough just the way you are, while you continue to work on improving yourself.

Don’t make your love conditional.

Being loved only when you do things for others, makes love a commodity. Accept yourself just the way you are. Don’t start believing that you are lovable only because of what you do for others. People who only love because you give them gifts, or do acts of service for them, are confusing love with using people.

Avoid role model failure.

Be careful about whom you pick for a role model. Avoid comparing you in your work clothes to others dressed for the red carpet. Avoid the trap of social media comparisons. If you have ten friends, be happy with that. Don’t compare yourself to someone who has 50 friends and then start believing you do not measure up. If you grew up without a role model, or with poor role models, spend some time becoming the kind of person you want others to model themselves after.

Expect perfection no matter what.

Quality is good. Striving to be your best is wonderful. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you must be perfect or you are no good. Perfectionists tend to drive themselves and others crazy. No matter how well things are done, it is never good enough. Trying to be perfect demolishes self-esteem, is an impossible goal, and is likely to lead to depression and giving up.

Criticize individual differences.

Avoid trying to be exactly like everyone else. Don’t be one of those people criticizes everyone who does not fit the ideal exactly. Embrace your individuality. Allowing you to be yourself and others to be who they are, results in feeling positive about yourself and others.

Use shame to motivate.

Shame is the feeling that you are a bad person. Some people in families try to control others by shaming them. There’s a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says you did something bad don’t do it again. Shame says you made a mistake; you are a bad person. Shaming yourself and others undermine self-esteem and can lead to giving up all efforts to improve.

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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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 counselorfresno.com.