I have come across people who suffer from low self-esteem. The inability to truly like or at least appreciate themselves. Many of these individuals find that they disapprove so much of themselves that it becomes nigh impossible for them either to accept compliments or they are very sensitive to criticism from others. Despite the facts to the contrary, from everyday experiences indicating that they are not inadequate, their negative beliefs continue to be reinforced.
Before you can accept positive strokes and learn to handle criticism effectively it is first necessary to know yourself and what you consider your strengths, as well as your weaknesses to be. It is also important to take control of the often runaway 'inner critic' in your mind.
Often we overvalue the opinions of others — for good or ill; and when we do we are are not truly ourselves instead we behave in a manner which denies our existence in order to please others.
A simple exercise is to list five weaknesses and five strengths. I always find it interesting that it's easier to list the negatives than the positives!
Transcribe your strengths onto a postcard and remind yourself what they are each day, even if it's making a good smoothie, or being kind to your pet, because the manner in which you speak to yourself in your mind can make a difference to your well-being.