Why do I Hate Myself – A Journey to Self-Acceptance
Many people experience insecurity at some point in their lives. Self hate is a dangerous black hole in one’s soul that is nearly impossible to escape from. There are various reasons why people hate themselves: they think they aren’t good enough, they live under the impression that they are ugly or they simply feel out of place. Have you ever heard anyone say: “I hate myself”? Although many people keep these negative feelings to themselves, and having to hear them out loud may sound like a cry for attention, it usually represents the most accurate expression of what they feel.
There is a saying: “You are your own worst enemy” that holds a lot of truth for some individuals. I struggled with self-hatred for a very long time in my 20s, but after having embarked on a journey of self-acceptance I have managed to find the good in, what I believed, was all bad. It all started with the question “Why do I hate myself?” Psychologists like Lisa Firestorne and Dr. Robert agree that the first step to a better you is determining the reasons behind the critical inner voice. Here are some of the most common reasons why people hate themselves:
“Why do I Hate Myself?” – Where the Critical Inner Voice Comes From
- “I am different from other people” – Every person is unique and this is probably what makes us so beautiful. But some individuals see themselves as different in a negative sense. You would be surprised at how many individuals, who are well-liked in their social circles, actually have deep-seated negative feelings about themselves. According to Dr. Robert Firestone, a person has two natures – a ‘real self’ that is goal-directed and self-accepting, and a paranoid and suspicious ‘anti-self’ which is basically the voice that cries out “I hate me”, “This won’t end well’, ‘You will never succeed’ etc.
- “I Hate Myself for Loving You” (related to rejection, abandonment and toxic relationships) – Every person in this world has experienced rejection of some sort at one point. Even if it is part of life, it still hurts. What many people don’t seem to realize is that it is impossible for everyone to love or accept you. There is no need to obsess or turn responsibility onto yourself for things you cannot control. On the same topic, there is also the problem of toxic relationships, in which one individual sacrifices everything while the other one only takes. Self-hate is very often a result of abandonment or unsuccessful relationships.
- “Life is Wearing me Down” – Sometimes, self-hate is nothing more but emotional and physical exhaustion. The truth is that life is exhausting and it is very easy to spiral downwards during difficult or challenging times. We are programmed to work 10 hours a day without thought for our emotional well-being. This type of dereliction usually leads to depression and, ultimately, to hating yourself.
- You are your Own Worst Enemy – Having negative thoughts about yourself is a kind of self-rejection. There is nothing more dangerous in the world than underestimating and berating yourself. If you do not love yourself, why should others? If you cannot see the good in you, how can you expect someone else to see it?
“How does self-hatred affect my life?”
The critical inner voice can impact our lives in a number of ways. Some people simply succumb to the constant destructive advice it gives and give up on social interaction. Others, who constantly tell themselves that they are worthless, may end up having friends who feel the same way about them. There is also the situation when our inner voice tells us that we are not attractive enough. This usually results in choosing not to seek a romantic relationship.
Whatever the case, the facts are clear: when we listen to our inner critical voice, we give it power over us. For example, we may fail to see the positive in other people as we struggle to accept ourselves, or we will have a hard time falling in love because we will always be challenged by our inner voice, and even if we do find love, it will probably not lead to a successful relationship.
What to do When You Hate your Life – Conquering the Critical Inner Voice
There are multiple ways to solve the problem of self-hatred, but each applies to specific situations. For example, if you feel that life is exhausting you should take some time for yourself. I can assure you that the work-place won’t fall apart if you take a 30 minute break to stretch and meditate. Alternatively, you should set up rituals that are healthy & life affirming. For example, you could take 30 minutes every morning to prepare a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, or you could go for a short run.
Exercise can help you clear your mind and feel positive due to the substances that are released during a work-out session. Obviously, you will also feel better about yourself after having run a few miles. Pick-up a hobby or travel more. These are only a few examples of things you can do on a daily basis to center yourself.
Once you have identified the problem you have to take steps in resolving it. This means changing your perception about yourself. I understand that it is hard to turn self-defeating thoughts in positive ones, but if you think better, you will also act better. To lessen your journey to self-acceptance you could also use affirmations. Granted, some may find them useless, but I believe that by repeating a positive thought every day, you will attract positive energy towards yourself.
The ultimate step to self-acceptance is determining your principles, goals and hopes in life. This will make it easier for you to work towards them and focus on the things that truly make you happy. Becoming part of a community or circle that helps you grow and makes you feel safe and loved is equally important.
For more insight and additional tips visit Sandra’s Website