How to Overcome Your Negative Self-Perception

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to stop caring what others think and live life for yourself? Wouldn’t life be more productive and fun if we embraced ourselves instead of having a negative self-perception?

To counter a negative self-perception, try seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires you. Eventually, you can become your own fan, look at yourself from the outside, absent of self-doubt, and see your true potential.

Keep reading to learn how you can stop caring what others think and overcome your negative self-perception.

Your Negative Self-Perception Is Holding You Back

Too many of us have a negative self-perception. We think we’re inferior and inept. But you get to choose how you perceive your reality, and it takes the same amount of energy to see yourself as a loser as it does to see yourself as a rock star. Wouldn’t life be more productive and fun if we embraced ourselves instead of having a negative self-perception?

The author of You Are a Badass refers to self-perception as a zoo. Intelligent people think they’re dumb, beautiful people think they’re ugly, great speakers think they’re boring. People vacillate between seeing themselves as awesome and unworthy. 

When someone we admire does something phenomenal, we are happy for them but not surprised. Of course they did something phenomenal. They are phenomenal! But we have a hard time accepting ourselves as a phenomenal being.

Perfectly Imperfect

To counter a negative self-perception, try seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires you, someone not connected to your negative self-perception and insecurities. This person will see only your full potential and talents. Eventually you can become your own fan, look at yourself from the outside, absent of self-doubt, and see your true potential.

The reality is, as the author puts it, “You are a badass.” It is how you were born, who you are, and what you’ll always be. The Universe loves you unconditionally and wants to give you everything you desire, including happiness. It wants you to see in yourself what it sees in you.

You are perfectly imperfect and it’s your job to love yourself and laugh at yourself.

Stop Caring What Others Think

Now that you understand your subconscious beliefs about yourself, we’ll discuss what you need to do to free yourself from insecurity, love yourself, and live your best life.

When we truly believe in ourselves and love ourselves, we free ourselves to live rich, full, authentic lives. 

We are born with the ability to trust our own instincts: breathing, eating when we’re hungry, not worrying about being judged on our dancing or hairdos. We play, create and love without holding back. But as we grow, we start caring what others think — their thoughts, beliefs and judgements — replacing our instincts with negative false beliefs, fear, and self-doubt. This leads to physical and emotional pain we numb with alcohol or other crutches. We settle for a mediocre life. 

It’s like we’re born with a big bag of money to fund our dreams, but instead we listen to other people and invest in what they believe. You may believe you’re too old to dance, or become ashamed of your sexuality. You accept that you shouldn’t be doing things you want to do. As we buy into other people’s beliefs, our inner fortune dwindles.

We invest everything we have into believing we’re not good enough.

The other choice? We can reclaim our power by connecting with who we truly are and invest everything we’ve got into believing in ourselves. We reclaim self-love — not narcissism, but a deep connection with our higher selves. It allows us to tune out the outside voices. 

How to Overcome Your Negative Self-Perception

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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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