Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
How do you view yourself on a daily basis? Now-a-days I see a lot of persons promoting self love and self praise and to an extent promoting a high self esteem. In all fairness, that is a good way to boost yourself and not caring how others see you or feel about you, but are you being true to yourself or is it just a facade?
Have you ever wondered about what having a good self-esteem is and how to get more of it or if you do, how to maintain it?
Do you think your self-esteem is low? Do you know how to tell? Do you know what to do about it?
So it begs the question, what really is self esteem and what can we learn from having it?
Self-esteem is plainly “How do you feel about who you are as an individual?”
It can be classified as:
- Situational self esteem, which tends to be dependent on our various environment, circumstances, where it fluctuates between high and low or sometimes just… ‘meh’
- Global self esteem, this tends to be a constant factor, that affects individuals differently.
Back in high school, my self esteem fluctuated on a daily basis. As kids we can be beyond cruel towards each other and we would do and say things that would pack a serious punch to the other individual’s emotions and not care, because we care more about what we feel personally than what the other individual is feeling and as long as our self esteem is intact that is all that matters. This however, can and will give rise to low self esteem in others and can impact individual/s negatively in the future to come.
Low self-esteem is casting a negative judgement of oneself or even casting it on others to make yourself look and feel good. This usually occurs when some circumstance we encounter in our life touches on our sensitivities and bring us to our ‘lows’. We then personalize these incidents and in turn experience physical and emotional difficulties. With such strong internal feelings we respond in ways that may be defeating and destructive to ourselves and others-in other words, we may lash out. Sometimes because we are so confused our actions are impulse driven and we create chaos and hurt-sometimes not really meaning it. Our thinking and mindset becomes so blocked and tunnel focus that our self care deteriorates and we tend to loose ourselves. Our focus now becomes controlling and self absorbed and with such a mindset we bring others down as well, in an attempt to help us feel better about ourselves.
Some of us who prance around being all high and mighty and thinking that we are better than the average ‘Joe’ are living a life of facades. We are so caught up with making sure that we are ‘OK’ and is ‘doing better’ than the other person, that we spend our time evoking negativity and being ‘bad-mind’. We then overcompensate for our insecurities and portray a well organized and great life.
Truth sometimes is-We may think that a person with a successful career and life, who seems very productive has good self-esteem. But sometimes, that may not be the case. Sometimes, those individuals who are striving for superiority may be attempting to overcome deep-seated feelings of inferiority. And it can be possible that their success is a way of compensating for their “low” self-esteem. Now, I am not saying that, that is the case and everyone who is successful at their careers are hiding low self esteem issues, but are you truly living your life for you? Is what you are portraying on the outside reflective of what you are truly feeling on the inside? Are you putting other people down just for the sake of success?
Not everyday we are going be ‘all happy go lucky’ however, in the event that our self esteem drops to a low, what is it that we do about it to get back up again?
- Do we turn to alcohol and drugs?
- Do we tear down another individual/s
- Do we lock ourselves away from reality?
- Do we become overbearing and demanding?
- Do we become dependent and selfish?
- Do we sit and comfortably blame others for our problems?
- Are we afraid of risk and challenges?
- Are we easily manipulated?
- Are we resistant to change and growth?
- Do we continue to possess a negative attitude on a daily basis?
What is it that we do, to attempt to fix these issues within ourselves?
- For starters, if you are an avid drinker, try and get sober. There are many groups to assist with such behaviors. Alcohol makes us feel good for the moment, but if we rely solely on it, we may be heading for a downward spiral from which we may not be able to retrieve ourselves.
- Try and make genuine and positive lifestyle choices and stick to them.
- Sometimes being too proud can be our own downfall. We internalize and personalize stress, which evokes negativity towards ourselves and/or others. Try to identify any form of triggers that may lead us to this point.
- Pay attention to the familiarity of the impulse, stop and take a breather and take notice of the present.
- Try to choose calm and positive responses. Act or react in a self-caring and effective way.
- Develop skills where we can provide for our own safety and others, try to give hope, try tolerate confusion, and most of all raise self-esteem.
- Take each actions, step by step and day by day.
The higher our self-esteem is, the less likely we seek the need to be validated by others. Because we know our value and self-worth, we realize that it can only really come from within our own selves. In return we allow for our self-esteem not to be easily influenced and manipulated by others.
On the other hand, individuals with low self-esteem believe that they can and need to ‘win’ someone’s approval or permission, thereby establishing their self-worth. In the end, the rewards never last for very long and those who give their approval and validation can easily take it away, because they see that they are in control and if they say “jump” the response would be “How high?”. This will further weaken a person’s sense of personal power and control over their lives, which can then yield resentments, frustrations, anger, depression, and a negative attitude in general.
Bottom line is to always be true to oneself and know your self worth. Don’t watch what the other person has/have, every individual’s path to success is different. And if you falter along the way, because we are all not perfect, take a minute and breath, but don’t ‘wallow ‘ in it. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep it moving. Always try to strive for a positive frame of mind and surround yourself with positive thinking individuals.
In the end…. You will be ‘OK’.