My counsellor and I are beginning to talk about my self-esteem issues and she gave me a "Building Self-Esteem" sheet. I've copied it out below for any fellow (lack of) self-esteem sufferers out there (N.B. I can tick *all* of the items!!!). I put it in a thread on the anxiety/panic board as well and someone there said that similar stuff can be found in The feel Better Handbook. I've not read that, but would assume it's got hints as to how to overcome these feelings. I think my session next week is probably where we start to think of ways to overcome these things ... and boy oh boy have I felt like I need that this week!!!
Please tick the statements that apply to you.
Self-Defeating thinking patterns
1. All or nothing thinking
This is where things are seen only as black or white and there are no shades of grey. One mistake leads to total failure.
Here, one unfortunate event leads to the assumption that this will happen every time, but remember, there is no justification for seeing one instance as proving the rule.
3. Mental filter
This is where you pick out and dwell exclusively on the negative or worrying details.
4. Disqualifying the positive
Here, positive experiences do not count for some reason. Successes are a 'fluke'. No pleasure is taken from positive events.
5. Jumping to conclusions
You assume the worst when there is no reason to, e.g. expecting a failure before having tried.
Here, you exaggerate your own imperfections, e.g. 'I made a mistake, how awful, I can never show myself here again', Common misfortunes become disasters. Do you think about other people's mistakes in the same way?
7. Emotional reasoning
This means taking your feelings as facts, e.g. because you feel afraid there must really be some danger.
8. 'Should' statement
Thinking you should be able to stay calm all the time or you should never get angry. Rigid statements like this are over-demanding and unreasonable and cause unnecessary pressure.
Everything that goes wrong you attribute to yourself, which causes guilty feelings.