Self-esteem and self-confidence are essential for both personal and professional growth. However, because of the high level of competition out there, many people begin to have unfavorable thoughts about themselves, particularly negative ones. Negative self-perception can be detrimental to overall well-being. Additionally, if you experience low moods, anxiety, or less optimism as a result of this negative thinking, this could be an indication of self-effacing behaviour.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to understand how to control self-effacing behaviour.
Here are 6 ways to control self-effacing behaviour and get rid of negative thoughts:
1. Avoid negative thinking
Negative self-talk can be a significant contributor to self-effacing behaviour. It is crucial to become aware of these negative thought patterns and challenge them. Whenever you catch yourself thinking, “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this,” stop and replace those thoughts with more realistic and positive statements like “I can do this and succeed”. Over time, consciously reframing your self-talk can lead to a more positive self-perception about yourself.
2. Set realistic goals
Setting overly ambitious goals and constantly falling short can reinforce feelings of inadequacy. Dr Anand says, “To break free from self-effacing behaviour, set realistic goals that are challenging yet attainable. Celebrate the small victories along the way, and recognise that setbacks are a natural part of the journey.” By achieving smaller milestones, you’ll gradually build confidence in your abilities and prove to yourself that you are capable.
3. Embrace self-reflection
Engaging in regular self-reflection is an effective way to understand the root causes of self-effacing behaviour. Dr Anand advises taking a moment to assess your feelings and consider the causes of your unfavorable opinion of yourself. It could be influenced by past experiences, societal pressures, or even comparisons with others.” By identifying these triggers, you can work towards addressing and reframing them.
Also read: Caught in a loop of negative thoughts? Learn how to break free
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4. Focus on your growth
Enhancing your abilities and dedicating yourself to acquiring new knowledge can boost self-efficacy. Dr Anand says, “Consider enrolling in a fresh course or workshop, start reading a book that broadens your understanding, or learn whatever you are interested in.” This will help one become more confident.
5. Surround yourself with positivity
Your view of yourself is significantly influenced by the people and surroundings you choose to be in. Spend time with people who encourage and support you. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help counteract the negative beliefs you hold about yourself. Additionally, engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, further boosting your self-esteem.
6. Practise self-compassion
One of the key steps to combat self-effacing behaviour is to practice self-compassion. Often, individuals struggling with negative self-perception are overly critical of themselves, treating their mistakes as unforgivable flaws. “Treating yourself with the same consideration and kindness as you would a friend is part of practicing self-compassion. Acknowledge your mistakes, but also acknowledge your efforts and successes. This shift in perspective can help build a healthier relationship with yourself,” says Dr Anand.
Ladies, overcoming self-effacing behaviour requires consistent effort and a shift in mindset. Follow these expert-recommended tips mentioned above and see a change in your thinking!