Thank you for sharing this! I hadn't really consciously thought about focusing on finding things I'm good at and trying to feel more proud about them, so I'm going to try to start doing that more consciously. And thanks also for the book recommendation; I decided to order a used copy. I've noticed a similar lack of self-esteem in my mom in some areas of her life (which makes me sad because my mom is great), so I've wondered just how related my confidence issues are to hers. I'm hoping the book you mentioned will have some good insights about that.
Thank you for sharing your experience, and hugs right back at you. <3 I can relate to basically everything you wrote, and feeling that way does indeed suck. I try to remind myself of what you mentioned, i.e. that everyone is dealing with their own problems, and even if I had excessive flaws (which I don't think I actually do, but my brain makes it seem that way in the moment (thanks, brain!)), people are too busy with their own stuff to really be that bothered. I need to do a better job of keeping that in the forefront of my mind, though.
Thank you for sharing and for the empathy! What you mentioned about slowly becoming a person who doesn't really care what other people think of you is a big thing that I need to work toward. I so admire people who are able to just do their thing without getting held up by worrying about how they're being perceived. I also really like your "if they're sticking around I guess they kinda like me" perspective. I need to remember that about the people in my life.
I know a little bit about CBT, mostly from reading stuff about it when I first realized I had social anxiety years back, but I haven't done much with it beyond that. I think my therapist uses some CBT stuff, but I'm not sure how much; I need to look into that. Thanks for bringing it up, along with the other stuff you mentioned!
And I can definitely relate to the baking doubts—it's maddening when you start to question whether even nice, seemingly genuine people really like you, or things you've made, or whether they're just being polite. In those moments, my brain feels like such a ridiculous place.
"Because it is internalised from somewhere outside of you, it is not something you were born with." I don't usually think of it in those terms, but that makes a lot of sense—thank you! What you wrote reminds me of something I read in a recent review of Amy Poehler's new book, where it mentioned that Amy Poehler talks in her book about her own internal criticisms and how she tries to stick up for herself in the same way she would for anyone else she cares about, i.e. by telling herself stuff like, "Hey, don't talk about Amy like that, she's my friend!" Anyway, again, thank you—this perspective is definitely helpful.
This is something I've been thinking about lately but am embarrassed to really be open about, but I figure Toast commenters hopefully have some badass Toastron wisdom to share:
I have really low self-esteem in some areas of my life, especially basically anything pertaining to social relationships or how other people perceive me. It's been an ongoing issue, and it's even starting to affect my own romantic relationship negatively (e.g., my significant other makes a joke that I interpret as a serious criticism of me, and then I feel hurt by it).
I don't really know how to improve my self-esteem, though. There are times when I can cognitively understand that I'm good enough, and doggone it people like me, etc. but most times my immediate, default reaction is to assume the opposite.
Does anyone have experience with steps to take for making this kind of thing better? I used to hope that it would naturally improve as I got older, but I'm not really young anymore and I'm tired of this being such a recurring issue in my life. I've started talking about this more with my therapist, but I'm also wondering if anyone has any first-hand wisdom or helpful reading recommendations or anything else to share.