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In this post, we respond to a YouTube viewer question!
I’m sharing how to increase your self-esteem and overcome negative thinking.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
Leave your comments and submit your own questions and maybe we will feature it in an upcoming post.
Sebastiaan: Hello, this is a Sebastiaan from socialanxietysolution.com. I’m a social confidence coach and I help people with social anxiety feel calm and relaxed in social situations so that they can have a good time connect with others and create a satisfying social life.
So, I asked last week because I do videos like this every week, what might be a question that you have that I can answer for you on video and I get a question. So, let’s go over to question and I’ll go answer it for you.
So, the question is from Andrea from Argentina and she says, “Hi, something I would like you to talk about from your experience treating people with social anxiety is how to stimulate self-esteem and stop negative thoughts? I’ve gotten to the conclusion that in order to overcome anxiety you have to change the way you see both yourself and the world around you along with tapping”.
Well, let’s see if I have somewhat of a good answer to that. All right, yeah, so, I’ll talk about self-esteem I’ll talk about “stopping negative thinking” and I’ll just you know, changing how you see yourself and the world and other people. Because you’re right Andrea, that’s true, you indeed want to… I’m gonna go for a walk. I’m in freeze your balls off the Netherlands at the moment, my motherly house but I’ll go for a little walk.
Yeah, so, you indeed want to change your thoughts but not so much your thoughts, it’s more your beliefs. So, what does a belief? A belief is it’s like a thought but it’s a thought that feels true. So, it’s a thought that you’re… you have emotional connection to you know, like because a thought you can easily change you know but changing and belief is a different story because of that emotional connection that you have to the thought. And the thought, the emotional connection comes from painful experiences in your past. So, changing beliefs is as… It takes a bit more work than just changing a thought.
Now your main question was actually two questions – “How do you stimulate self-esteem?” I think you were… I think you meant “How do you raise your self-esteem or how do you unlock your self-esteem?” Or something along those lines. But I almost interpreted it… I almost interpreted you to say, “How do you create self-esteem?” and that’s not really so much what it is about. It’s more that you naturally have that, and you can build it with various practices, but you know, I found that a lot of self-esteem is raised when you go to the experiences where you lost it. So, you naturally have it but then you know, if you have an experience in your life where you fail at something and it’s really important to you then that might make you feel bad about yourself.
Say that I don’t know… You want to get into a particular school and you don’t get into that particular school and now you feel bad because of that. Well, those feelings can get stuck and those feelings then erode your self-esteem, so you lose some self-esteem there. Same thing goes for when you… Say you get rejected you know, you are interested in someone and you find out that the other person is not interested in you. You might find out in a in a mean way or in an insulting way that that person is not interested in you. Again, that erodes your self-esteem.
So, it’s these experiences that that kind of mess up your self-esteem. And what you can do with the tapping is you go back to these experiences… Let’s go there. You can go back to these experiences with the tapping and then when you resolve these emotions, when you we neutralize these excessive and stuck emotions from back then that actually raises your self-esteem.
So, you know, it and that can be very powerful. So, it can be like one single experience that you go back to where you lost some self-esteem such as the example you didn’t get into a particular school or something. And when you use the tapping to get rid of the emotions there that will significantly raise your self-esteem and you’ll feel a lot better already.
Now there are a lot of things that you can do to you know, raise your self-esteem, in other ways than tapping but you know, I suggest you use Google and there’ll be many people giving you a wide variety of suggestions on that. That’s not really… That you know, that’s not really a special kind of advice. That’s just taking better care of yourself, working out, you know, those kinds of things meditating, looking after yourself, treating yourself nicely and that kind of stuff. So, there you go. So, then the other part which is kind of interesting… Can you see where I’m at? Probably not. Anyway, this is Holland -2. Like it’s time for a walk. I should walk backwards so you can actually see me.
Anyway, yeah, how to stop negative thoughts? Well, actually you don’t. You can’t really stop negative thinking because the things that you try to suppress, the things that you resist they start to bug you more. I used to have really annoying obsessive thinking come up for me and I tried all these things to change my thoughts and to be really clever about them and to think about other things and to try to avoid those thoughts. And they just kept haunting me to the point where I was actually scared of them you know, these thoughts would come up I’m like “Oh, you know, I would have a significant fear of response to having the thoughts.”
You know, there were thoughts around sexuality and weird, just bizarre thoughts and I was afraid of them and what I’ve learned since that you can’t push them away. But… So, what do you do instead? Well, you actually accept them but that’s easier said than done if you don’t have the tapping. But you can use the tapping to allow the thoughts to be there. So, you just add tapping to whenever those thoughts show up. So, you might have those thoughts and then you just do the tapping.
And you don’t do the tapping in order to get rid of the thoughts, but you just do the tapping wow you allow them to be there. So, while you are kind of like observing those thoughts. So, you’re observing the thoughts and you’re doing the tapping and you are kind of like saying, “Yes, welcome. Welcome in my world. Thoughts, I’m not my thoughts, you know, I’m aware of you”. You’re not really saying that. Yeah, you could say it if you wanted to, it doesn’t really that matter.
But you’re observing your thoughts, those crappy thoughts that you don’t want and the main reason why you don’t want them is that because they feel so bad. But when you’re just there, you’re observing them, you’re allowing them to be there like you’re watching TV or something and you’re doing the tapping simultaneously they’ll start to bother you less and less and less. That’s what I did. You know, you can even say “Yeah, I’m accepting this thought”. Or you can verbalize them out loud while you tap and that will that will be really, really helpful I think.
Other things that you can do with persistent negative thoughts, other than this technique. This would be the main thing that I would do but sometimes I go sit down to just write down my thoughts and see, “Hey, you know, it’s my… Is the kind of thinking that’s repetitive for me, is this serving me?” So, I just write down on a piece of paper all of the crap on the left side of the page and then I just look at it. And I just look one thought at a time and I start the question, “How true they are?”
So, you know, I questioned the validity of a thought. So, but, you know, for certain thoughts you can do that but for other thoughts that doesn’t work so well. Sometimes you just need to accept the reality of what it is, you know, of how things are and other times you can change your thought because it’s so negative.
So, when you’re actually challenging your thoughts you might simply ask, “Well, is this true? You know, is this really true?” And other questions you could you could ask, “Does this hold, does this thought… Is that true everywhere for everyone in every situation all the time?” And you know, “Could the opposite of this thought also be true?” You know, and “What if this thought actually means the opposite?”
Basically, you’re playing around with your mind to see the thought from different angles. And just knowing that you have that flexibility we’re already loosen up the grip that the thought has on you. And you know, when you play around with this you’ll start to come to two different perspectives and then the original negative thought doesn’t bother you anymore or it has a completely different meaning and can shift from a negative meaning to a more empowering meaning.
So, there you go. Thank you very much for your question. It was very helpful. And my name is Sebastiaan from socialanxietysolution.com and have a great one, signing off from freezing Holland. Bye for now.