Stop Judging Yourself Negatively to Increase Self-Esteem

June 23, 2015 Fay Agathangelou

Judging yourself negatively is destructive to your self-esteem. Learn to stop judging yourself negatively to increase self-esteem. Here's how.

It's important to stop negatively judging yourself to increase self-esteem. Many people are afraid of being judged negatively by others, however, they overlook the negative judgement coming from themselves. Negative self-judgement is damaging emotionally and it leads to all sorts of problems. As well as damaging your self-esteem it can be associated with anxiety or depression. It may prevent you from doing things you want, and it can isolate you from people. However, you can lead a more fulfilling life and increase your self-esteem when you stop judging yourself negatively.

How to Stop Judging Yourself Negatively

Negative self-judgement might be a habit and something you do automatically. You need to get out of that habit. Stopping the negative self-judgement is all about changing your thoughts and words. The good news is that you have the power to change the way you think and talk about yourself. Here are some tips on how to stop judging yourself negatively and increase your self-esteem:

  • Catch your negative thoughts and words. Pay attention to and stop the negativity in its tracks. Resist the habit of calling yourself stupid, ugly or incompetent. Stop putting yourself down. Challenge, and replace the negativity with positive thoughts and words.
  • Practice mindfulness and being in the present moment. Practice being present and noticing things as they are without making a judgement. Use your senses to see, hear, smell, feel and leave it at that. Just be present.
  • Stop overgeneralising. Failure in one situation does not mean you’re a failure, stupid or incompetent in general. Don’t judge yourself negatively based on a single experience. Instead focus on the lessons you've learned, what you did well, and think of failure as a growth opportunity. Judging yourself negatively is destructive to your self-esteem. Learn to stop judging yourself negatively to increase self-esteem. Here's how.Make any criticism specific and constructive.
  • Don’t believe your negative thoughts. The more you talk or think about yourself in a negative way, the more you believe it. Get out of that habit. Know that you are not stupid, ugly or incompetent even if you believe it.
  • Accept compliments with gratitude. Say "thank you" and show appreciation for the compliments you receive. Don't respond by saying something negative about yourself; that is a form of negative self-judgement. Additionally, it could be taken as a rejection by the person who gave the compliment, and that could turn them away from you.
  • Focus on the positives about yourself. You have many positives and it's important to keep those in mind.
  • Love yourself in your entirety. You are valuable as a whole person, including your imperfections.
  • Treat yourself as you would a best friend. This is very important. Other friends will come and go but you're guaranteed to stick around for your entire life. Treat yourself with care and respect and practice positive self-compassion.

It's important to know that change is not going to happen overnight. Stopping the negative self-judgement will take effort and commitment on your part. However, it's well worth it and you deserve it.

Increasing Self-Esteem When You Stop Judging Yourself Negatively

In this self-esteem video, I talk about improving self-esteem when you stop judging yourself negatively.

You can find Fay Agathangelou on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.

APA Reference
Agathangelou, F. (2015, June 23). Stop Judging Yourself Negatively to Increase Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Fay Agathangelou

June, 25 2015 at 2:39 am

acceptance starts with self, believing in once self. this means that judging your self positively builds once self esteem.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fay Agathangelou
June, 25 2015 at 9:03 pm

Hi Becky, thanks for your comment. I agree that believing in yourself is a good starting point. It's important to know that you are worthy as a person. Self-acceptance and self-love is crucial for a healthy self-esteem.

Carolyn Hughes
June, 30 2015 at 6:07 am

It took me a long time to realise that I had internalised many negative words spoken over me in childhood, but when I realised that I had the choice to think positively my life changed for the better. Thank you for your wisdom and insight!

July, 2 2015 at 11:55 pm

I agree with you stop judging yourself negatively is one of the best way to Increase your self-esteem. We should believe in ourself.

July, 11 2015 at 8:02 am

I agree with becky. we should not underestimate our selves. Love and believe your self.

November, 2 2015 at 2:06 am

i would start believing in my self, rather than self denial. Thanks a lot.

November, 2 2015 at 2:09 am

i enjoyed the video too.was nice. i will start believing in myself

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fay Agathangelou
November, 2 2015 at 7:43 pm

Hello Pamela, thanks for your comment. It's great that you can start believing in yourself, that will make a huge difference. Glad you enjoyed the article and video.

December, 6 2020 at 9:29 am

I've been really working to notice the voice of judgment in my mind and notice the stories it tries to spin. Guided meditations like this one ( definitely help me to recognize it and release it instead of judging myself for judging!

December, 9 2020 at 9:28 am

That's wonderful, Elizabeth! I love using guided meditations also, and there's a great assortment of them on YouTube. I like to remember my goal to treat myself as my best friend. As it's important to me to be nonjudgmental to others, this reminds me to treat myself in the same caring manner. Happy holidays!

Sarvesh Mahamuni
November, 15 2021 at 5:15 am

I always used to underestimate myself by making a very very clear judgement that i can't do this, but the other side also talked by saying you can do it and that created an anxiety in my mind. Because of it I couldn't even focus at my studies or daily work and always stepped with fear. But then I tried identifying it and read this, and this article changed me.

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