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please help... Self-esteem crisis...

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Hey... I'm a girl and im in college..

I'm writing here because unfortunately, im having a really hard time. I'm having what ive identified as a self-esteem crisis lately... im going through a period ( a few months) of low self esteem, and Ive always been known to have good or at least normal self esteem but all of a sudden, Im feeling unhappy and insecure and kind of wanting to shy away from the world, always thinking that people will be talking bad about me, im not depressed, but im definitely feeling shy from the world (ive never really been shy... somewhat maybe, but not like this at all)... ive lost all my self confidence and i cant stop punishing myself for certain mistakes ive made recently in my life... just little things that ive done to make a fool of myself or things that i do regret.... and for some reason, i cant seem to be able to just learn from these things and move on, instead, im punishing myself all the time for them, thinking (and my mind saying to me): people will think of you as a fool from now on, everytime you bump into someone theyll be thinking you are a fool... just ridiculous thoughts (which i know are ridiculous) but which are affecting my self esteem and my interacting with others at the moment very much.


ive also had a bumpy period with some of the people i knew or used to hang out with - i never expected id have to not relate to them again, but certain things happened and i was offended in specific ways and i wont be able to talk to them again, at least not for quite some time. So, i thought i was settled with my life and in college, but now i have to make new friends, hang out with new people, start all over, and this, together with my self esteem decreasing altogether, is making me feel really insecure and kind of afraid. i wish i could learn to accept that i make mistakes or learn to love or like myself again but im having a hard time. can anyone help me out a little? or any guidance? or any opinions or support would be useful. thanks.

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I went through a period where I felt pretty crappy about myself. I had this job in college where I was learning how to be in charge of people & events, but honestly I was kind of an introverted person to start with and felt very uncomfortable being the one standing in front of the group. I had weekly evaluations from my supervisors. They were trying to "help" me by telling me what I was doing wrong, but really I felt like they were telling me how crappy I was. At first I kind of felt like they were... I don't know.. picking on me. But then I thought, well maybe I am supposed to accept what they were saying as truth. THAT's where the self-esteem problem started.


So I started feeling like everything I was doing was wrong. Almost a self-fulfulling prophecy of failing because I knew that's what they were expecting me to do. I had to STOP that internal talking down to myself. Telling myself how they were right & how horrible I was doing was NOT making it better, it was making it worse. You have to break that cycle of feeling like everyone is judging you, like they all hate you. You have to feel better about yourself and live to your own standards, not theirs.


My "supervisors" or evaluators barely had seniority over me... just a year more experience than I had. Now I see my self as just as capable as them. Maybe I use different techniques. I still think their nitpicky ways were ridiculous. And one of the guys specifically I still have quite a distaste for. And that was 3 years ago.


Forget about the one's who did you wrong. THEY were wrong. Make new friends. Stop telling yourself you are wrong/not capable/undeserving. Eventually you will start to believe whatever you tell yourself. Change it back to feeling good about yourself because you know you deserve no less.

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I understand. I have times such as you've described, and I find it easiest to break out of them when I stop taking my own bait.


The problem with drilling into insecurity is that puts a warped and one-sided perspective on every detail of our lives. It becomes a 'proof seeking' way of relating. It makes everything about me; who likes me, who loves me, how they show it and how everything affects me.


I decided to make my relationships--with everyone from coworkers to friends, family and community--about focusing on what I'm giving rather than what I'm getting. I started meditating. I started to ID positive traits in others that I wanted to emulate. I started viewing slights as accidental rather than a signal of disregard. I became generous rather than defensively warding off abandonment. I stopped attention-seeking and became invisible. I kept my focus like a tunnel until my new habits took hold and my thinking followed.


When I let go of my need to be validated and dropped my expectations of other people, I enjoyed some new confidence. It was liberating. I stopped taking the temperature of my relationships all the time. Loving others well is a reflection of how you view yourself. So when you're insecure, work backwards. Give yourself a bigger mission than seeking proof of love. Teach yourself your own capacity to love, whether others are capable of giving it back, or not. The rewards will prove themselves in ways you can only imagine--and they are the best possible gifts you can give to your Self.


In your corner.

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