Building self esteem is something that, if done successfully, can change your life. Being able to accept yourself, to have confidence in yourself, and to know that you are good enough can take you a lot further in life compared to thinking that you’re worthless and that no one likes you or accepts you. In this article, I will talk about where having low self-esteem comes from and what you can do to help build it back up.
If you want to build self esteem, the first thing you need to understand is how it got so low in the first place. Understand that much of how you see yourself was formed from a very young age. For most people, having low self esteem has to do with their parents. To be more exact, it had to do with your misinterpretation of what you experienced or what you were told as a child.
One of the most common beliefs that people with low self esteem have is the belief that they are not good enough. No matter how hard they try or how well they do, they will feel like it just wasn’t enough. This is most likely caused by having parents who said things that made you believe you weren’t good enough. They may have communicated this verbally or through their body language. Either way, the message you received was that you were not good enough.
It doesn’t stop in your childhood though. Because you developed this false belief, you went through life looking at the world with this false perception of yourself. It’s like walking around with a pair shades with yellow lenses. Everything you see, hear, or experience is perceived through those yellow lenses. In other words, the reality that you have experienced has been tainted by the beliefs that were instilled in you at a young age. Someone can compliment you on a job well done but through your eyes, you’re still not worthy and may even believe that person is being insincere even though they are not.
Understand that reality and what you perceive to be reality can be two very different things. Building your self esteem will be a lot easier when you realize this. What you experienced as a child that led to you having self esteem issues, has been misinterpreted. What do I mean? Well, if your parents told you that you are not good enough, does that really mean that you are not good enough?
Think back to when you were young and try to remember an incident where your parents or some other authority figure told you something negative like you’ll never amount to anything. Notice how that feels. Now think back on that incident or incidents again but only this time, see it as a third person watching the event take place.
If you could talk to that child version of you, what would you say? Is it possible that your parents just said those things because they thought it would motivate you to do more? Is it possible that their opinions about you as a child have nothing to do with you as an adult? Do you think your parents have special powers that enable them to predict a person’s future? Do you believe that people can change?
What do these questions have to do with self esteem and confidence? If you can understand that it’s possible that you may have misinterpreted what your parents said or at least decipher their true intentions incorrectly, then you will realize that you have been walking around with a false sense of low self esteem all of these years. When you don’t think highly of yourself, when you believe that you aren’t good enough or important enough, your mind will search for evidence to make it true.
On the other hand, if you realized that your are good enough, that you misheard your parents or interpreted their intentions incorrectly, you can start to destroy your low sense of self esteem by using logic and questioning whether or not what you believed to be true all of these years is actually wrong.
There are tons of ways to build self esteem but one of the most powerful ways is what I just described. It is to simply recognize the fact that you have been looking at the world through a lens that only focused on things that reinforced your false belief that you aren’t good enough. After all, your mind doesn’t want to make you a liar. If you believe you are worthless, your mind will prove that you are by warping reality to make you see things that will back that belief up.
If you are unfamiliar with how beliefs and perception works, that’s okay. The good news is that the reverse is true as well. If you believe that you are good enough, that you are a likeable person, that you are meant to do great things in life, your mind will create a new lens and focus on things that will back up that belief. There is no “reality”. Reality is what your mind perceives it to be.
So to summarize, realize that the cause of your low self esteem started when you were a child, before you knew how to use logic to determine what was true and what was false. This is why there is a lot of self esteem building in children programs. That’s where it all starts.
Realize that all of the so called “evidence” that you have seen up until this point of your life that “proves” you aren’t good enough or people don’t like you or you’re not important was a distortion of reality caused by your belief that you are worthless. Now that you know better, use your logic and common sense and go back into your childhood memories, to those times when you were told that you were a piece of crap, and challenge those statements. If parents can predict the future based on the past, they would all be filthy rich by investing in the stock market.
You are much more than who you think you are. Besides, now that you know you have been wrong in thinking that you aren’t good enough, you can begin to take charge of your life. Building your self esteem comes down to understanding that you can control your beliefs. The belief in who you are and what you are capable of achieving in life is up to you to decide, not your parents. Now that you know this, make sure you say the right things to your kids if you have any. It will have a major affect on their life.
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