How to squash morning depression

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Free PDF Guide:

How to Rewire Your Brain & Rebuild Your Self-Esteem


Palms sticky...

Heart pounding in his chest... 

Sweat prickles his brow as he looks at the sea of faces in front of him, expecting, waiting. 

And all he can think is: I am not good enough, I'll never be good enough for this. 

But why do I keep thinking like this? He asked himelf...

Like jack, do you often find yourself in the grip of self-doubt? 

Regularly brushing off compliments as insincere, or often compaing yoursel to others? 

This is a strong sign of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem - it's like a black hole, swallowing up confidence, happiness, even reason. 

It taints our thoughts, colors our perceptions. It creeps into every corner, casting shadows where there should be light.

But, you ask, where does it all start?

Why does it seem like an unwelcome guest that refuses to leave? 

But more importantly... How can we stop it from affecting our lives so badly? 

You see, this beast we call low self-esteem, it's not born overnight. And it's not a random visitor who just decided to pop into our minds. 

Its origin, just like a well-scripted mystery, has a twist we often overlook. 

Brace yourself. It's going to be a journey into the most unexpected territory.

The Root of the Problem

As we all know, low self-esteem is a seed often planted during childhood.

In a child's early years, influential people like parents and teachers shape their self-perception through their treatment and feedback.

Harsh words, criticism, and lack of praise can hinder the growth of a child's self-esteem.

Instead of growing into a tree of self-confidence, it may become a thorny bush of low self-esteem.

Negative experiences during childhood can have a lasting impact.

For example, a child who is constantly told they are not good enough or criticized for their mistakes may develop low self-esteem.

A childhood filled with negative experiences can poison the soil in which self-esteem grows, making it difficult for the child to bloom into a confident, self-assured adult.

This emphasizes that low self-esteem is not something that suddenly occurs in adulthood, but rather a process that starts early in life.

A Distorted Mirror for Seeing Ourselves 

Over time, our self-perception can become distorted like a warped mirror, causing us to focus more on negativity.

Why is this important?

If you've got low self-esteem, you'll see yourself in a negative light, similar to a distorted mirror showing a twisted reflection of reality.

This may seem obvious, but it's essential to realize that we often distort our self-perception without even noticing it.

This subtle influence can affect our thoughts and actions.

It's not just about having negative thoughts, but how these thoughts can warp our self-view to the point where we can't recognize our value and achievements.

This distortion also impacts how we interpret others' actions towards us.

For example, a person with low self-esteem might take neutral or even positive actions by others as negative.

If a friend is busy and can't hang out, someone with healthy self-esteem might think, "Well, they're busy," while someone with low self-esteem might think, "They're avoiding me because they don't like me."

This demonstrates that the distorted mirror affects not only our self-perception but also how we see the world around us.

But perhaps the worst part is that each time a person with low self-esteem reinforces their distorted self-view through negative self-talk, they strengthen the neural pathways linked to those negative thoughts, further trapping them in this mindset.

Breaking free from low self-esteem is challenging because it's not just about changing our mindset.

We also need to overcome the physical changes in our brain caused by constantly thinking negatively about ourselves.

Overcoming low self-esteem may be difficult, but with determination and the right mindset, you can rewrite the story you tell yourself and live a happier, more fulfilling life.

How neuroplasticity fuels your self-esteem crisis

Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to adapt and change in response to experiences, thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. This is how we learn new things and form memories.

Our brains create new connections between nerve cells or strengthen existing ones, much like forging a new path through a forest or walking an existing path so many times that it becomes well-worn and easy to follow.

However, repeated negative experiences or thoughts can shape our brains in a harmful way. For example, being criticized by a parent or teacher, or failing a test can create or strengthen connections in the brain that lead to low self-esteem.

Each time we think a negative thought about ourselves, we're walking down that negative path in our brain, making it more defined and automatic each time. This can become a cycle: negative self-talk triggers a negative response, which reinforces the negative thought pattern, and so on.

The more established these negative thought patterns become, the harder it can be to break the cycle of low self-esteem. But the same process of brain plasticity that reinforces negative self-esteem can also be harnessed to change it.

To break free from this cycle, it's important to identify and address the mental traps that reinforce negative self-esteem. 

Speaking of such traps...

The "Echo Chamber" Trap

The first trap is the echo chamber trap.

Imagine the mind as an empty space.  If you struggling with low self-esteem, this space can easily become an echo chamber that thrives on the repetitive pattern of self-critical thoughts.

A self-critical thought enters the mind ("I'm not capable") and bounces around like a ball in a pinball machine, repeating and amplifying until it fills the entire space. 

In our brains, these echoes create an increasingly well-worn neural pathway. This pathway becomes so established that it forms a neural "superhighway" for self-critical thoughts.

The more this superhighway is used, the faster and more automatically these negative self-perceptions arrive. It's like driving down a familiar route; the more you travel it, the more automatic the journey becomes.

The Comparison Trap

Another snare that adds fuel to this cycle is the habit of comparison. 

The tendency to compare oneself unfavorably to others. 

This can relate to any aspect of life – such as looks, wealth, achievements, or abilities. 

These thoughts lead to self-criticism ("I'm not good enough") and dissatisfaction with oneself. 

The more you compare and judge yourself as falling short, the more negative your self-perception becomes. 

Moreover, every time these comparisons lead to negative thoughts about oneself, those thoughts strengthen the neural pathways associated with low self-esteem in the brain (remember neuroplasticity?). 

The more these pathways are used, the stronger they become, making the automatic response of self-criticism and self-doubt increasingly more likely. 

Picture this as a well-trodden path in the forest; the more you walk down it, the more defined and easier it becomes to follow.

Now, imagine you're walking down this well-trodden path and suddenly, a valuable item is thrown your way. What would you do?

The "Dodging the Good" trap

If you struggle with low self-esteem, you'll know you display this behavior - you brush off compliments or question their authenticity.

It's like dodging the good coming your way. 

For example, if someone compliments them, saying, "You did a great job on that project!" they might brush it off or dismiss it, saying something like, "Oh, it wasn't really that good," or "I just got lucky." 

Or you question whether the person giving the compliment is sincere, thinking something like, "They're just saying that to be nice, they don't really mean it."

The problem with this is that it prevents you from taking in positive information about yourself, which could help to improve your self-esteem. 

Instead, by dismissing or doubting compliments, you reinforce your own negative beliefs about yourself.

Like a groove in a record, each time they dodge a compliment, you're deepening that groove. 

Thus making it more likely that the "needle" (your thoughts) will fall into that same groove in the future. 

But there's great news!!!

You can find hope  in the very thing that keeps people stuck in these cycles.

Hope through neuroplasticity

So by now, you agree with me  that neuroplasticity can contribute massively to low self-esteem.

The brain, by its very nature, can change and adapt, creating stronger connections (pathways) between neurons (brain cells) every time we have repeated thoughts or experiences.

If those thoughts or experiences are negative, the brain can become wired for low self-esteem.

However, the really cool thing about neuroplasticity is that it works both ways.

It's not just about how negative experiences shape the brain, but also how positive experiences can reshape it.

So like we said...

Every day, you walk the same path. Over time, that path becomes well-worn and easy to follow. That's like your brain when you're stuck in a cycle of low self-esteem - you're following the same, negative path over and over again.

But what if one day you decided to walk a different path?

At first, it might be hard. The grass is high, the ground uneven.

But the more you walk that new path, the easier it becomes. This is like practicing new, healthier behaviors and thoughts.

The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and your brain begins to create new, positive pathways.

Here is a quick case study to help show you how to harness neuro plasticity to help you build self-esteem

Case Study: How Jack harnessed the power of neuroplasticity to help restore his self-Esteem

Jack is a 30-year-old software engineer who battles with persistent low self-esteem.

These struggles become particularly prominent within his personal relationships and workplace interactions.

The origins of Jack's low self-esteem can be traced back to his childhood experiences, specifically his relationship with his mother who frequently used criticism and emotional manipulation.

Understanding the cycle of Jack's experiences is critical to comprehending how neuroplasticity - the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections - plays a significant role in his persistent low self-esteem.

This cycle, known as the cognitive-behavioral cycle, demonstrates the interconnected nature of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and provides a blueprint for how Jack's reactions have been shaped over time.

  1. Trigger: Positive reinforcement, such as compliments from his partner or colleagues, triggers Jack's cycle. Instead of pleasure, these compliments induce discomfort and suspicion in him.
  2. Thoughts: These feelings stimulate a sequence of negative thoughts. Jack begins questioning the sincerity of the praise, suspecting that they might be trying to manipulate him, or he simply thinks he doesn't deserve any praise.
  3. Feelings: These thoughts intensify his initial discomfort. He becomes more self-conscious, suspecting manipulation, and his feeling of being undeserving intensifies.
  4. Reactions: These internal feelings lead Jack to react negatively. He often dismisses or challenges the compliments instead of accepting them graciously. This reaction can sometimes be misconstrued as humility, but it mainly stems from Jack's disbelief in his self-worth.
  5. Outcome: The outcomes reinforce Jack's low self-esteem. He becomes more convinced of his undeserving nature, and this belief, in turn, deepens his low self-esteem. The cycle concludes with these beliefs further ingraining themselves in Jack's cognitive processing.

The process outlined above shows how neuroplasticity comes into play. Jack's brain has learned to respond to stimuli (in this case, compliments) in a certain way.

This cycle of thoughts, feelings, reactions, and outcomes has strengthened over time, reinforcing neural pathways in his brain that perpetuate his low self-esteem.

Recognizing this cycle was the first crucial step toward disrupting it.

By becoming aware of these patterns, Jack started to pinpoint, challenge and change his automatic thoughts and reactions to his triggers. This process, involves flipping the negative cycle.

Here is an example of how Jack flipped his low self-esteem inducing cycle above:

  1. Recognizing and acknowledging the compliment instead of dismissing it as manipulation or deceit.
  2. Questioning his automatic negative thoughts and considering alternative, more balanced thoughts about himself and the situation.
  3. Allowing himself to feel deserving and proud instead of immediately falling into self-consciousness and anxiety.
  4. Reacting positively by accepting the compliment graciously instead of challenging it.

Over time, Jack consistently practiced these new patterns, and naturally this helped to rewire his mind.

Jack's self-esteem transformation

Since Jack started consciously practicing to disrupt his cognitive-behavioral cycle, he has experienced a variety of transformative impacts.

Here's a more detailed account of the significant positive changes he  noticed after 3 weeks:

Enhanced Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: By consistently challenging his negative thoughts and responding positively to compliments, Jack is reinforcing his self-worth and capabilities.

He is more self-assured and confident in his abilities, both in his personal relationships and at work. He now accepts compliments with grace, understanding that he deserves recognition for his accomplishments.

Improved Relationships: Jack's new outlook has noticeably improved his interpersonal relationships.

His partner appreciates his willingness to accept compliments and praises without suspicion, which has led to a deeper bond and more open communication.

His professional relationships have also improved, with colleagues noting his increased confidence and openness to positive feedback.

Greater Happiness and Contentment: By fostering a healthier perception of himself, Jack experiences more joy and satisfaction in his day-to-day life.

He no longer dismisses his achievements but celebrates them, leading to an overall increase in happiness.

He is more content with himself, his accomplishments, and his relationships.

Reduced Anxiety: Now that Jack has tools to challenge his automatic negative thoughts, he finds himself less anxious.

Recognizing that he is not constantly being manipulated or lied to has considerably lessened his anxiety levels.

Increased Motivation and Performance: With improved self-esteem and reduced anxiety, Jack finds himself more motivated in his career.

He's more open to taking on challenges, accepting constructive feedback, and striving to improve, resulting in better job performance.

Greater Self-Compassion: Learning to accept compliments and praise has allowed Jack to be more compassionate toward himself.

He's more understanding of his shortcomings and views mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities for learning and growth.

Finally! you too can overcome a stubborn low self-esteem problem

The progress Jack has made is a testament to the power of recognizing and flipping cycle.

This is how we harness Neuroplasricity to achieve mindset and lifestyle changes that initially seem hard to achieve.

Yes It's not an easy task to start, and it requires consistent practice and sometimes professional help.

But the resulting transformation – increased self-esteem, improved relationships, greater happiness, reduced anxiety, increased motivation, and greater self-compassion – makes this well worth the effort.

So, if you find yourself stuck in a similar cycle, know that change is possible.

Like Jack, you too can challenge your negative thought patterns and reactions and experience a dramatic shift in your life.

Neuroplasticity makes it possible for us to rewire our brains, which is a hopeful and empowering message.

With persistence and patience, You too can experience a healthier and more fulfilling life.


The rest of the articles in this series:

Why am I such a failure?

Why positive affirmations might be breaking your self-esteem

How to learn self-value even when the people you love treat you like rubbish

How to learn self-value: The key to an authentic self

Breaking Through Personal Barriers to Reclaim Your Self-Worth

Unlock Your Ultimate Confidence: 100 Game-Changing Self-Esteem Tips

Rewire your brain and rebuild your self esteem (This article)

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa


How to deal with a difficult family member

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


How to Cope Better Emotionally: New Video Series

Enter your details then hit
"Let me know when it's out"
And you'll be notified as soon as the video series is released.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.


Free mini e-book: You’ll Be Caught Red Handed.

Cognitive healing is a natural process that allows your brain to heal and repair itself, leading to improved self-esteem, self-confidence, happiness, and a higher quality of life.

Click GRAB IT to enter your email address to receive the free mini e-book: Cognitive Healing. You'll be caught red handed.


We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.