If you struggle with hating yourself, you are definitely not alone. Our world is full of pervasive, negative messages that damage our self-esteem by diminishing our self-worth. We see and hear things daily that are trying to convince us that we are:
- Too fat
- Too thin
- Damaged Goods
And the list goes on. But what’s the root of poor self-esteem? Why does your self-worth seem to have hit its lowest point? Truth is, there are a number of factors.
Why Do I Hate Myself?
Think about it: you’re constantly hearing those false “not _____ enough” messages from advertising. Impossible images of perfection bombard us online, in magazines, or on TV every day. But even if you were completely unplugged, low self-esteem would still be hard to escape.
Poor self image also goes hand-in-hand with many mental illnesses (like eating disorders, depression, and anxiety to name a few) which are characterized by extreme guilt, shame, and hopelessness. All of those emotions, when unchecked, tear down our self-esteem.
Often low self-worth and self-hatred are rooted in trauma, such as the verbal and emotional abuse of a family member, close friend, or ex.
If you’ve lived with someone who makes you feel terrible about yourself and who has convinced you that everything is your fault, those beliefs can persist even if the toxic or abusive person is no longer in your life.
With so much tearing us down, it’s no wonder people begin to believe the lies that drive low-self esteem lower.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Once you see how poor self-esteem is completely based on lies, the path to a more joyful self-image becomes clearer: learning the truth about who you are.
Who you are in God: God created everything good – and that includes you (Genesis 1:9,12,18, 21, 26). He created you to “have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Praying and meditating on how God sees you and your life can help you rethink your self-worth.
Who you are to people who love you: You are your own worst critic. Asking the people who know and love you how they see you will encourage and affirm your work toward better self-esteem.The more positive connections you have with people you love, the more you can build one another up during the tough times.
You Can Do This
There is strength in knowing you need help to build self-esteem and in reaching out for it. Talking to someone else is a great way to step back and discover the connections between your strongest emotions, your false beliefs, and your circumstances. Then you can replace the false beliefs with the truth and be set free from damaging thoughts and temptations once and for all.
You can live a life of confidence without arrogance.
You have somewhere to turn when you’re overwhelmed by thoughts of self-hate.
You can learn to feel guilt only when something needs to change.
You can let go of past shame and focus on your future.
Are you ready?