If you have been abused as a child or as an adult, you might feel worthless. If as a child you underwent neglect, rejection or abuse from your parents, confidence might be harder to find. A child who has experienced verbal abuse and neglect will begin to believe that they are worthless and horrible. The damage from abuse might take years to undo, here are some pointers to set you in the right direction.
1. Don’t judge yourself or others. When you judge other people, you also judge yourself. If you change your mindset to acceptance of others, you also learn how to accept yourself. This takes patience and practice as it is human nature to judge.
2. Speak kindly to yourself. Notice when you are abusing yourself and rephrase. For example, “I’m an idiot,” becomes, “I am capable of fixing that mistake. I can handle this.” Speak to yourself like you would speak to someone that you respect and admire.
3. Understand the abuse has nothing to do with you. When you are abused, you might begin to believe that you deserved it, or that you are worthless. Understand that people who are happy and comfortable with themselves do not abuse others. Abusers tend to be people who are hurting deeply and want to control by devaluing others. Break the cycle of abuse by healing your emotional wounds and treating yourself and others with respect and compassion.
4. Set boundaries. Learn how to communicate and put your needs before the needs of others. Don’t allow people to violate or own your physical or psychological space.
5. Explore your fears and insecurities. When we have been abused, we might have more fear of rejection and failure than others. Be brave enough to look at your insecurities and ask if they are preventing you from reaching your potential. Some fear is a liar. You are not worthless, and you can accomplish goals.
6. Set goals and accomplish them: Push through your self-doubt and set manageable goals for yourself. As you reach your goals, you become more confident. Believe in yourself and tell yourself you can handle it.
7. Reach out for support: Speak to those who support you or reach out for professional help. The effects of abuse can be unconscious and hard to detect.
Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment. Reach out to Dr Borschel: firstname.lastname@example.org