For most people it’s easier to start on the outside than the inside. It’s not the best bet, but let’s start there since that’s where most people are comfortable.
Let’s Go Out
If you’re in need of counseling and/or are using (substance abuse) and you’re looking to get help and/or get clean, find the resources in your area that will help you do this. Start with your local hospital or clinic, community center, or outreach center. Prepare for some major changes as you find new (not using) friends and start living life at the front instead of from behind a fog (of drugs and/or low self-esteem).
Boot the negatives from your life. This can and often does include certain family members, some friends, and where we live. Most of us can’t just up and move, so at least show the downers the door – then move the door as soon as you can. This is the external solution.
I’m Going In
The internal solution is getting negative thoughts out of your head, specifically the ones placed there by negative (and sometimes abusive) people. Counseling is the best way to learn new ways to think and process your feelings, and to improve how you see yourself. Visit the library and read (for free) all about the ways others have done this.
In the meantime, this is the logic that worked for me. If some significant person in your life told you you’re stupid and will never amount to anything, consider the source. Seriously, approach this from the most logical angle and then apply your emotional response.
Critiquing the Critic
A happy and successful person does not go around saying critical things to other people, especially those they say they love. Regardless of how educated, wealthy, and respected by others a critical person is, that they would criticize someone else speaks volumes of how unhappy and unsuccessful they really are. Those who respect a critical person are usually critical themselves, have never been criticized by the person in question, or haven’t heard that person criticize others.
If the critical someone in our life is a loved one, it doesn’t lessen how much we love them to stop listening to them. They’ll be fine when they no longer have your self-esteem to use as a dartboard. When you gallivant off in search of greater things, they will find a new target for their misery. The miserable always do.