Manifestations of Low Self-esteem & How to Handle it
I look terrible. I’m not worth anything. No one likes me. Bad things keep happening to me. Why does this keep happening to me? Why can’t I be happy? I’ll never get it the way I want it. All my relationships are bad. Everyone always hurts me.
Do you ever say these sentences to yourself? Do you recognise yourself in them? Do you feel like the whole world has turned against you? If so, read on, because you probably have a problem with low self-esteem. However, everything can be fixed.
Where did those feelings come from? Probably in the first six years of your life. Mostly this was caused by statements like: Look at yourself, how you look. Go away and come back when you’re sane. Yes, they are doing great, they have money. But what about us? Are we not thought of? You’ve drawn it nicely, but you’ve got the colouring wrong here. Look at Anna, how good she is.
Playing the good and bad child
What kind of naughty little girl has come to us again to be so angry? We want that good little girl back. And the little girl will understand that parents do not want a naughty little girl who is angry, but they want the good one who is always kind. And so the little girl, who is angry at the whole world, learns to repress her emotions. Even when she wants to cry, she endures it, and here she gets parental love because she doesn’t get angry and doesn’t cry. She also starts doing things she doesn’t like to do at all, just to please her parents. But that little girl grows up and finds her first partner. But he won’t treat her nicely at all. She’ll be upset, she won’t like it, but she wants her partner to like her. So she doesn’t express her emotions, keeps everything to herself, acts according to his rules, and cries into her pillow in the evening when no one sees or hears her. She’s dissatisfied and unhappy and doesn't understand what’s wrong at all because it all worked so beautifully in her childhood. Does that remind you of anything?
Fortunately, the human brain is genius, and just as we learn something in childhood, we can learn something in adulthood. It also has one big advantage – we can learn it consciously!
|Make yourself happy with a healthy pie.|
We do things without joy
At one lecture I heard a very interesting phrase – learn to recognise what is yours and what is other people’s. In other words, what you want to do and what your environment expects from you. Or you’re stuck with “that's the way it is” because we often do things that don’t bring us joy, nor are beneficial to us in any way – easy to say and a little worse to do. Here is a little exercise for you:
Take a pencil and paper and draw a line. The beginning is your birth, the end is now. Mark the point on the line when you felt the best you have ever felt in your life and write your answers to the questions next to that point:
What was the meaning of my life then? What were my priorities? How did I live? What was different? What made me happy? How did I have fun? What kind of people did I surround myself with?
Think completely about every detail of the period – even what music you associate with the period, and answer a few more questions. What did you get out of it? What of this can you apply in whole or in part to your current life? What do you need for this? Who or what would help you in this?
We are each unique
And now it’s up to you to start taking incremental steps. Much can be drawn from the past. We have been through a lot of situations and we can inspire ourselves. Because only we know the recipe for a happy life.
I won’t be happy in my brother’s life, your neighbour won’t be happy in yours. We are all unique and we all have different needs and priorities. Once we start truly listening to them and acting on them, we are well on our way to improving our low self-esteem.
If you feel that the topic touches you and you don’t know how to deal with it, I would be happy to be your guide to a happy life.
Jana Stáňová – Life coach