The small self arises when self-doubt creeps in. Everyone who has experienced hurt in the past has a small self. Maybe you were judged or treated poorly by another person. Maybe you did not meet their expectations and felt a deep sense of inadequacy within you. The small self is kept alive when we allow those criticisms and harmful actions to define us.
Break free from small self and negative thought patterns by practicing mindfulness. Awareness of negative thoughts and self-defeating patterns is the first step. The next involves meeting yourself with kindness and compassion. Remember that positive change only happens when we are willing to step out of where we are and open up to a new way of being.