If you've never been afflicted with low self-esteem and all that comes with it and can't relate to those of us who have, you should probably stop reading now. And should you chose to keep reading, I can assure you the last thing I need to hear as the solution is "just don't think like that." Because trust me, it's not so easy.
Let me back up a half-step. I've been working really hard on the self-esteem thing. It's very much a three steps forward, two steps back process for me. Lately, though, it's more like three steps back. No, take two more. Maybe another one. Mostly because I have this tiny little problem of basing my sense of worth on the words and actions of others. Oh, but not the positive words and actions. I can dismiss those with lightning speed.
As a result, I have been searching for validation lately that never seems to come. Even though plenty of friends try to validate me, it doesn't matter. (My brain tells me that of course they'd say what they think I want to hear, so it doesn't really matter when they say it."
The problem is that I cannot validate myself. (Insert "duh" here, should it be an obvious thing to you.) I realize now that is, in fact, the problem. And a problem for which I have no immediate solution. I don't know how to convince myself.