Do you struggle with self-criticism? If so, then noticing your positive qualities can be very difficult. Even the idea that you have positive qualities might not even cross your mind. Receiving compliments might be too embarrassing for you, and thinking and saying good things about yourself might leave you feeling uncomfortable.  We can help you learn to become more self-accepting and developing a more balanced view of yourself.  

People usually develop core beliefs early on in life.  We learn about ourselves, the world and other people from our experiences as children.  We then develop core beliefs which are fixed statements or ideas that we have about ourselves.  They help us to predict what will happen and help us to make sense of our world.

Our day-to-day automatic thoughts echo our core beliefs.  They start to sound like a global absolute ‘truths’ about us and our world.   For this reason, negative core beliefs tend to be responsible for us discounting our positive qualities. It is important to remember that our beliefs are not always accurate. However, it can have a direct impact on your mood and how you feel.  The common feelings that are reported are feeling anxious and depressed. 

Some of the symptoms that you may experience because of anxiety and depression include:  


Pins and needles

Shallow breathing, or breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

Feeling nervous, restless or tense  

Panic attacks

Feeling sick or dizzy  


Experiencing gastrointestinal problems, such as IBS

A fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat  

Trouble sleeping

Sweating or hot flushes  

Feeling weak or tired  

Muscle tension


Feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying

Difficulty concentrating

Having a sense of looming danger, panic or doom

Worrying about anxiety itself (worrying that you’re worrying too much)


Feeling like you’re losing touch with reality

Feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax  

Feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down


Avoiding everyday situations that trigger anxiety

Being unable to enjoy leisure time, such as time off work, holidays or hanging out with friends  

Being bad-tempered

The good news is that there are strategies that can help you to start counting your positive qualities. 

  • Learn to identify your negative core belief and test them for validity.  Check to see if you’re considering the whole story or the bigger picture in the situation you’re dealing with. 
  • Look for the evidence that does not support the negative core belief.  
  • Write down the new core belief that you identified. It is likely that you will not believe it strongly at first.  You will need to work on it to strengthen it.
  • Practice writing down daily evidence that would support your positive core belief.  
  • Practice saying some positive achievements and sharing that with one person then gradually to more than one person. 
  • You can start to use a positive data log to write the date and the event that was good and what you achieved. 
  • You may also consider thinking about someone you admire. Do they hold a positive belief that you want to develop for yourself?
  • Try to be persistent and give it time to become part of who you are: making your positive quality count. 
  • Identifying your personal strengths, skills and talent. 

Some common thinking that gets in the way 

  • Try not to distort positive evidence – “She just said that just to make me feel better” or She just said that because she’s my friend. Remember every piece of evidence counts no matter how small or who its coming from. 
  • Try not to discount positive evidence – “Anyone can do that”
  • Misinterpret the positive evidence- “I don’t want to look arrogant”

Examples of positive core beliefs to learn

  • I’m good enough
  • I’m a good person
  • I’m strong
  • I can be healthy
  • I did the best I could
  • I can be trusted
  • I control my destiny


Please ensure that you’re not searching for positive qualities in a toxic or abusive relationship where you’re likely to be criticized constantly.  


If you would like help to bring out your positive qualities please book a session 


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