And in terms of 'taking a walk on the dark side' - our mind can focus on things that have emotionally harmed us. If we allow that focus to keep continuing, our brain starts forming connections to support that emotion (which can be very bad for us). The brain has this function to help us learn, but it can also work against us if we dwell on severe emotional trauma.
It's fine to acknowledge
what our doubts are, and we need to do this so as to know what we need to focus on (the positives we see in ourselves, that counteract our doubts)
- I asked myself 'what traits do I admire in people in general'. I came up with numerous traits: empathy & understanding, acceptance of others, generosity, kindness, friendliness, love of life, standing up for themselves, respectfulness, lift people up, inspire people, working to improve yourself etc.
- I identified those traits in myself that I identified in others (I don't possess all the above, and that's okay)
- I now knew I possessed traits that I admire. This is something no one can ever take away from you (a reason it is called self esteem)
I also felt that if I always work to improve myself, that my strengths would improve, as would my weaknesses....and what I found over time, was that a sense of achievement was added to my internal satisfaction, and a improved self assurance that who I was, and who I wanted to become, was within my control to achieve.
That is simply one example of a path taken (yours no doubt will differ in some areas), but it is also to to say, even with the darkness of where you are now...you no doubt have many positive qualities that can support you through that darkness, and there is a path you can take to become who you want to be.