3 REASONS BEHIND A LOW SELF-ESTEEM
It seems to be that there are fewer people with high self-esteem than there are with low self-esteem. In other words, the number of low self-esteemed individuals are way more than that of the high self-esteemed.
This has come to be because the society of today keeps compelling and convincing us to do things, or be involved in things that we really don’t want to do, and this kind of suppresses our self-esteem.
The word self-esteem has been used interchangeably with words like; self-value, self-worth, self-respect, self-compassion and the like. These words may be different in their own ways, but they all have a coherent meaning, which is; The way we feel about ourselves.
Self-esteem is simply the way we feel or think—about ourselves—be it good or bad, worthy or unworthy, valuable or not. And the way we feel about ourselves will often reflect in our outer beings, behaviours, and also the ways we tend to relate with other people around us.
We have had a lot going on with the whole self-esteem thing, and it’s pretty clear that we’re getting the whole idea wrong. As it is, we often feel that we need some kind of approval or endorsement from people to love or feel good about ourselves, and this not only diminishes our self-esteem, but it also makes us lose confidence in who we really are. Brigham Young asked, “Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?”
If we really know our worth, and value such worth, then I don’t think we’ll be so worked and concerned about what people feel, think or say about us, as much as we do now.
There really would be less insanity and absurdity in the world, if a good number of us learn to just love and feel good about ourselves, because “the better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off”—Robert Hand.
Low self-esteem doesn’t just come out of the blues—or whatever colour he chooses to come out from, but rather it tends to develop over time because we’re busy seeking people’s attention, approval and appraisal about ourselves, and not necessarily looking within us to see and figure out what really matters. We tend to develop low self-esteem for a good number of reasons, 3 of which will be discussed below.
Not Loving Oneself Enough
Jack Canfield once said, “Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable”
Part of the reason for diminishing self-esteem is because we don’t love ourselves enough to know that we are worthy and valuable. You may claim that you love yourself and all that, but your actions towards your own self is quite the opposite. As it is, I don’t think anything can suppress self-esteem so low as much as not loving yourself enough does.
Loving yourself goes beyond a mere declaration of words, but it also involves doing things that you know is best for you.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”—Lucille Ball
We cannot really over-emphasize how important and quintessential it is to love oneself. Again, most of us feel that we need to accomplish a particular goal or get to a destination in life before we can love ourselves enough.
Now here’s the catch: if you tie your self-esteem and self-worth to what you have or haven’t achieved, you’ll be utterly disappointed because you’ll never be satisfied with your achievement, you’ll always want more and this attitude can make you think less of yourself; feeling that you’re incapable and incompetent which in turns lowers your self-esteem.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you’re not worthy; every one of us is worthy. So love yourself unconditionally and effortlessly.
CARING TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE SAY
One of the things that can hamper and suppress one self-esteem in life is being too concerned about what other people say—or will say.
Most of us expend too much energy and time trying to gain people’s attention to us. We often feel that we cannot be our full selves without other people agreeing to our every action and behaviour. This is highly a misconception because with or without other people we can still be our self and totally love the way we are without getting any approval from any other human living on this earth.
Bill Masur said, “The world will never value you more than you value yourself”. So as it is, I don’t see any reason for you to go about seeking people’s love and value for you before you eventually start loving yourself. Trust me, if you do that—as toxic as the world is today—you would only be sipping in poison into your mind and you’ll end up feeling terrible about yourself.
The best thing you can ever do for yourself is not giving a single damn about what people say about you. “You don’t have to convince anybody of anything, and you don’t have to attract anyone’s attention”, said Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood), just be who you want to be, and forget about how people will react.
Another thing is: no matter what you do in this world we are today, there will always be those set of jobless, heart-ached individuals who will always make out the time of their miserable lives just to criticize and downgrade what you do—even if it happens to be the most sensational-mindblowing-world changing thing.
Well for the record, “no one actually knows what the hell they’re doing. Everyone is just working off their current best guess”—Mark Manson. In essence, nobody has it all figured out, we’re doing our best to be our best; realizing this sole truth will make you think less of what people will say about you the next time you’re out doing something.
TRYING TO BE YOURSELF/SOMEONE ELSE
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trying to live your life in tune with someone else’s life is such a pathetic thing to do; all you would be doing is making a joke out of yourself and your life because you’re trying to live the life of someone else.
There is no greater joy and self-fulfilment than there is in just being yourself; don’t try to be yourself, trying means you would have to fake some things in. just be yourself, whatever it is.
I know it sounds kind of aberrant, and it’s not a usual cliché saying that you shouldn’t try to be yourself—which as a matter of fact, is the truth. Trying to be whoever you are mean that you’ll have to struggle your way through it all the time, and striving to be “you” is not what comes naturally. However, just being yourself doesn’t necessarily take much energy from you, because you are you, and being you will always come naturally.
People with the attitude of always being themselves, tend to have an elevated level of self-esteem and nothing can shudder them off because they know who they are. Whereas, the wannabes are quite low self-esteemed, and they are always out looking for the next “someone” to be like.
“One who knows himself is never disturbed by what you think of him”—Osho
Don’t always look into people’s lives to see what they are doing that you’re not doing. Rather look into your life and see what you should be doing that you’re not doing.
Another thing: if you don’t love yourself, you’re prone to wanting to be someone else because you feel “yourself” is not enough. Naval Ravikant once said, “The worst outcome in this world is not having self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself, who will?”
since you’re now acquainted with the reasons for low self-esteem, it’s of the essence that you look inside you to see if you’re faulting in any.
Remember that “self-esteem begins with self-understanding, grows with courage and perseverance and end with confidence”—Maxime Lagace
“Understand: you should be radiating confidence, not arrogance or disdain”—Robert Greene
With this in mind, I believe you’ll begin to see yourself as worthy—of every good thing, and “I hope you’re able to grow to respect whoever you are inside”—Fred Rogers
Thanks for reading. Kindly leave your honest comments below and don’t forget to share.