You read the books, follow the lessons, chant the affirmations, but then something happens and poof — there you are, right where you were before, doubting and questioning yourself.
If you struggle with self esteem, here’s 5 things you probably didn’t know.
1. There’s not just one kind of self esteem
Global self esteem is how you feel about yourself in general. But, there’s also role specific self esteem, which is how you feel about yourself in the various roles of your life. How you feel about yourself as a parent, how you feel about yourself as a writer, a cook, a friend, a sibling, etc. You might think you have low self esteem — but when it comes to your photography or those fancy french pastries you make — no esteem issues there!
2. Specific Self Esteem Affects Global Self Esteem
How you feel about yourself in specific roles has an effect on how you feel about yourself in general. How much affect will vary, depending on how important the role is to you. For example a lousy game of golf isn’t a big deal if it’s a hobby. But if you play professionally and you got eliminated from the tournament for that game, your self esteem might take a bigger hit. So when you make time for roles and interests that you’re confident in, you increase your overall self esteem.
3. Self esteem is fluid, not static
We tend to think of self esteem as static. Like, we have generally “good” self esteem or generally “low” self esteem. That’s an over-simplification. Self esteem works like hair —we have awesome hair days and bad hair days. Part of the fluctuation comes from all the things happening around us, because we don’t live in a vacuum. On the days when everyone is grouchy and nothing is going right, and the boss is mad and you stubbed your toe — your esteem takes a hit, too. Knowing self esteem is fluid makes it easier to look at the bad days and recognize that this, too, shall pass.
4. High Self Esteem is Not Necessarily Better
Low self esteem brings a heap of issues, such as thinking we don’t “deserve” better, a tendency to tolerate unhealthy relationships and generally under-mining yourself. But, the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t better. When self esteem is too high, people often fail to learn from mistakes, fail to take sound and qualified advice, and then blame everyone else for their mistakes. High self esteem isn’t what you want. Healthy self esteem is what you want.
5. Self esteem is an inside job
Self esteem comes from both external and internal input to the degree that, of course you’re not going to feel good when someone insulted you, or ridiculed you. But most of the damage to our self esteem comes from the dialogue that runs in our heads constantly. There isn’t another human being we’d talk to the way we talk to ourselves. That negative self talk chips away at our self esteem.
You don’t even need programs and products. Just the simple act of learning to pay attention to your internal dialogue and recognizing negative chatter for what it is — that alone does wonders for developing healthy self esteem.