Building more self esteem is one of the most important things you can do in your life right now. And I take the audacity to make such a statement even without knowing a single thing about you because I know that it is a statement that is true for 99% of the people who walk on this earth.
Maybe you feel inferior to others. Maybe you feel inadequate, insecure and lack confidence. All of these are symptoms of an underlying lack of self-esteem.
The irony is that most other people feel the same way: inferior, insecure and doubtful about themselves and their own abilities.
Most people live a life in which they try to live up to other people’s standards, and they measure their self-worth by the standards that others have set for them. Our community and our family are often the ones that set these standards early in life. And instead of questioning whether there are valid standards, we try to live up to them in order to gain other people’s approval or admiration.
While we try to exceed to these standards, we are often oblivious to the fact that they are arbitrary in most cases and really do not mean anything. It is only when we experience emotional pain, dissatisfaction or frustration that many of us start to realize that there are other things to live up to than what other people want us to. It is often the pain that leads us to discover our own self.
Some people then get stuck in these negative states. They blame others. They blame their mother, their father, their brother, their sister, their teachers, their uncles, their friends, their partner… They spend all their energy showing how wrong these people were. They use the creative potential of their mind to prove that they themselves are right, and that they have good reasons to be the way they are.
Unfortunately, this does not lead to change – this will not help you to overcome low self-esteem. It will just get you stuck.
This is still staying at the same state. Remember, the first state is living up to the expectations of others to validate your sense of self-esteem. Then, when you recognize that this does not work, you might become frustrated and lay the blame on others. But if you think about the nature of blaming, then it is the same thing as living up to the expectations of other people, but in a even more negative way. Because blame is about proving something to others. It is about convincing others of something. It is about pulling other people on your site to oppose the people that you blame. And that is in a way the same thing as living up to the expectations of other people. Because the “measurement stick” is always being held by other people. In one situation, you are trying to measure yourself with another people’s stick, in another situation, you are trying to make other people change the way they hold their measurement stick – but it is still not about you.
It is almost like “showing off scar tissues”. Yes, wounds are important, wounds can teach us lessons in life and help transform us into stronger human beings. But if we start to worship our scars, we lose track of what we want in life, and why we ended up with these scars in the first place.
It is important that you realize there is nothing bad about the fact that other people made you live up to their standards. In fact, it was their way of preparing you for life. For example, in the case of their parents, they wanted to pass on to you the lessons they had learned from life. They wanted you to do things the right way. And it is an important stage that we humans have to go through, and that is exactly how you should look at it. Rather than turning around and saying: “Why did you made me come here?! This is not where I want to be!” you should look around and say: “Okay, what’s next?” And then move on.
And all of this is still about building self-esteem.