1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

What is the emotion associated with low self esteem

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by colls100, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    I am doing well on my journey right now.
    I had a 4 week stretch without one tension or migraine headache (had them daily for 8 years so this really is something!)
    Posted about this already but I started a new job and everything just went a bit mental, so many different pains and issues and headaches, flu etc. all at once.
    Anyway, I am REALLY noticing how down on myself I am. To an extreme level, I'm never happy with how I look, feel, behave, perform at work, the role I play in my relationship, all of it.
    Today I got myself into such a state over an event I am attending today and what I was going to wear, nothing looked right and I even went to buy something on my way here which stressed me out even more.
    I practice loving kindness meditations these days and I think I will keep doing even more of them, but for now, how do I approach this?
    Dealing with anger, sadness, jealousy and accepting/processing these emotions through somatic experiencing and journalling is a lot easier than the feeling of low self esteem.
    Is this just negative thinking? Or is it an emotion? Or just a personality trait?
    How do I address it?
    I can say I love and accept myself until I'm blue in the face, but it doesnt seem to improve...
    I feel like I'm really getting there, I'm not even scared of the symptoms a lot of the time anymore. But I do think being so hard on myself is the last piece of the puzzle.
  2. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Oh my gosh, we're so much alike. You can be talking about me. I'm really interested to see your reponses. Thanks for posting such a good question.
    Only 1 thing in the self esteem dept. has helped me. I agree, you can say you love yourself until you're blue in the face. Prove it. When you tell yourself something, follow through. When I put someone else first, or don't go to a social event because I think Im ugly or fat or my clothes are ugly it all builds up. I am starting to see that every single thing I do has to come from a place of loving myslef. Not punishing myself. It's why I have no money, no friends, and why I'm fat. Ultimately, I just think everyone else deserves it and not me. I'm just on the verge of seeing this answer and I am starting to make decisions based on loving myself but I'm just starting. The past couple months have been tough and I've been getting more migraines but overall it's much better than the past few years. I'm hoping this is the last wave of the TMS approach for my migraines.
  3. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    I think this is why going to the gym seems to help my symptoms . Because I am doing something for myself that my body needs and it's a way of showing myself love. And it makes me proud of myself. That's good advice, thank you. I hope for some more replies that shed light for us both. I'm only 6 months since discovering TMS and trying to give myself lots of time and space for this journey . But hard not to put pressure on ourselves. Also worth noting that Louise Hay says headaches are a self esteem issue - the affirmation she suggests is I love and accept myself !
  4. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I just wanted to clarify what I mean by "prove it." I mean that if you promise yourself something stick to it. If I eat right and work out because I have to I'm not going to lose weight. But, if I stop stressing and eat more vital foods becasue I love my body it's a whole different energy. If I enjoy a massage because I deserve one it's a different energy than having guilty thoughts that I should be home helping with the kids or cooking so they have a healthy meal. When you start showing your self conscious that you mean business you may have more of a chance of a change. It's not just talk.
  5. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Really? I never heard that. That makes A LOT of sense though. I remember when I first started and learned of the inner bully I knew right away it was all TMS related. Why are we so mean to ourselves? Thanks for posting this question.
  6. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Honestly I am SO mean to myself. If I was another person I would not be my friend lol. That's not really funny is it? But another way of looking at it is that these thoughts are not real they're just thoughts and as we witness them they literally cannot be us! Mind blown :D
  7. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Yeah, you're so right. It's sad but true.
  8. iwire

    iwire Peer Supporter

    Have you ever considered writing a "love letter" to yourself? I know it sounds kind of silly-- but I am more honest with myself if I write as if writing to another person... What sincere kind and complimentary things can you say about yourself to yourself? What do you love about yourself? When I did this--it helped me to write a letter to someone I love first-- and then model a letter to myself after that. A lot of history came up for me with a similar exercise....and I gained some insight into what experiences from my past contributed to how I feel about myself. Some of those experiences happened when I was very little and I would process them much more positively with my adult mind. Experiences that contributed to my self esteem go way, way back to very young childhood. I think reconciling those can be important.
    Honestly I think you deserve congratulations--- it sounds like you have gotten deeply at what might be the basis for your symptoms.
    JanAtheCPA, andy64tms and Ines like this.
  9. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Even the thought of that - what would I say. So many negative thoughts come up. But I am going to do it.

    I've done alot of self discovery and it really is the one theme - not good enough. At work, for my boyfriend , my friends, not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough . Not good enough at TMS healing. That's the one that gets me .

    And I think it is rooted in childhood too. Anytime I do a meditation that talks about the inner child I cry so much. I can't even look at pictures of me as a child. There's something there .
    Ines and iwire like this.
  10. iwire

    iwire Peer Supporter

    That makes me want to give you a hug. It does sound like finding out what that is all about might be an important key to your healing.... Have you worked with a TMS doctor or therapist?
    Ines likes this.
  11. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I forgot where I read it but I remember this helped. When you're laying in bed in pain or feeling emotions.. imagine that either yourself or someone is petting your hair and saying nice/soothing things. You can even image yourself as a child and that you are soothing yourself as a child.
    JanAtheCPA and colls100 like this.
  12. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    You saying that made me want to cry! Maybe the love I am missing is my own :) the answer is always inside of you right? Can't keep searching for it everywhere else.

    I guess my brain keeps telling me that getting to the root of it all still won't help my symptoms. Which creates doubt and fear all over again.

    Thank you for your help x
    Ines likes this.
  13. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    The one major breakthrough I had with this work was soothing my inner child. I was literally beside myself with anxiety and dizziness and I started to talk to my inner child and all the physical feelings lifted away for a while. might have to read up a bit more on it as I haven't been able to replicate that experience
    Ines likes this.
  14. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    I am working with someone now yes and she is great. I am getting better. But I have had symptoms for 10 years and it's a journey !
    Ines likes this.
  15. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    It must sound like I'm not working with a therapist, I am but with my typical TMS personality I like to question everything and doubt everything so this forum is helpful for me :)
  16. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Hi Colls100,

    We beat ourselves up with Low Self Esteem. I read somewhere that Dr Sarno suffered from this in some ways; his was derived from not being accepted, which he wasn’t at least by his peers.

    I think Low Self Esteem can be the symptom of many different emotions. If we had continued Low Self Esteem then we surely have to recognize where it came from. People who show signs of low self-esteem have a damaged sense of self-worth that most likely began in childhood. We were not born with it so to speak, so maybe family or our social environment caused it.

    I have written about how from a young child I was neglected and in unloving surroundings. Shyness and low self worth followed, I ended up becoming an introvert and eventually a perfectionist. Perfectionism was for me a big cover up, I am much happier inside now and accept myself, not as: ‘who I want to be’, but as: ‘who I am’.


    Lack of nurturing caused REASON

    Lack Self Worth- Low Self Esteem, SYMPTOM

    I became a perfectionist RESULT

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    zclesa, Lainey and Ines like this.
  17. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Here is some wisdom from ISTDP therapist Jon Frederickson for people who constantly attack themselves: “I don’t need to be fixed. I just need to be accepted. By me!” By "don't need to be fixed," he means you don't have to be perfect. He says the proper role of the superego ideal of how one ought to be is as a North Star one can use to steer the boat while realizing one will never end up at the North Star. No one will ever end up at the North Star.
    zclesa and Ines like this.
  18. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am really enjoying this discussion. Highlights for me:

    Tenderness and understanding for our striving and our endless doubts about being enough is a most precious experience! In my experience, and as reflected in this discussion, the level of work we're discussing here is core TMS work, ripe with insights, love, and the desires of the soul to be more itself. The path to being "more itself" seems to be acceptance, which is the antidote for superego activity. When we can finally allow the extra pounds, the non-perfect lives --all the things which catch our attention when we look inward --then we're not distracted from the loving presence which we already are. With acceptance the essential beauty of our lives ---of our existence, becomes more available to us.

    Thanks for such a heartfelt discussion!!!!
    Ines, Ellen and Lainey like this.
  19. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member


    What a great topic
    Today i had my first appointment with a therapist and basicly the subject became low self asteem what is at the basis for my perfectionisme
    I left with ‘homework’ that includes listening to my inner child..

    This song from alanis M always makes me weak cause it says just that :

    BloodMoon and Ellen like this.
  20. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    It's so frustrating that what causes our symptoms also prolongs our illness/symptoms.
    I get so down, I try to journal and my mind is literally telling me this is pointless it won't work you're not doing it right etc.

Share This Page