Apart from death, perhaps the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being has to be low self-esteem. Strangely, unlike other conditions, this one is often taken lightly even dismissed most of the time. The worst thing about this condition though, is that if left unchecked, low esteem sufferers always go on the rampage, destroying anything and everything on their path, as a form of bizarre release.
In textbook terms, self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself — how you feel about your abilities and limitations. When you have a healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. On the other hand, if you have low self-esteem, you put little value on your own opinions and ideas and you may even constantly worry that you aren’t good enough. Herein lays the problem.
Although negative beliefs are said to be caused by experiences one may have encountered in life such as workplace bullying or intimidation, abusive relationships, persistent stress or hardship, or traumatic events, most of the negative beliefs are said to mainly come from one’s childhood. Families may not know it, but they will be raising little Hitler’s and Pinocchio’s right under their roofs.
I have had numerous brushes with such people, all of them total strangers. When you experience this for the very first time, the experience can be both shocking and traumatic. One day you will be minding your own business, the next day a stranger will then attempt to mind not only your business, but even your whole existence! Their modus operandi is always threats to ‘destroy’ you. Yes, they have never seen you, they do not know you, but the little Johnny Bravo wannabes will nonetheless assure you with straight faces that your fate lies in their hands! Usually this is the first red light, a clear indication that the pudding is about to hit the ceiling! One will never know what goes on in other people’s minds, but common sense dictates that in order for one to lure a pig into the mud for a cool dip, the only logical way of doing it would be for one to first jump in the mud pit themselves. Once you are in, the bad news is that it then becomes mandatory that you roll a few times in the mud, just to convince the pig that it’s actually fun and cool!
The most unfortunate thing about issues of low self-esteem is that people who have this disorder can be very destructive. If it weren’t for that, then they would be best left alone. Every time, and that happens a lot, such people have flare-ups they become alarmed and confused, and then they respond by acting in a self-defeating or self-destructive manner. A simple fly can trigger a violent reaction from them, and then they totally lose control! Run if you are close by.
As I have already mentioned, sufferers of this condition often lash out at others for relief, however temporary. Instead of punching at the wall, taking a jog along the Western Bypass or even jumping into a swimming pool for a few laps, they usually pick targets, and it is usually people they perceive to be a little ‘superior’ to them. They will always punch above their weight, any day, anytime! Like I advised a friend last week after she came to me hysterical and in tears after a bruising encounter with one such individual, the best way to handle such situations is just to sympathise, although half of the time it’s tempting to just jump and roll in the mud, get it over and done with. The only problem is that with them it’s never over until they say so.
Because self-esteem is made up of thoughts, feelings, and opinions we have about ourselves, anyone can beat low self-esteem. It is all in the mind; it is about what one thinks. Once you start thinking you are worthless, you become worthless. Same with positive thoughts.
Beating low self-esteem;
Manage your inner critic. Notice the critical things you say to yourself.
Stop focusing on your problems, only focus on the things that go well in your life.
Aim for effort rather than perfection. Don’t be held back by your own pressure to be perfect.
View your mistakes as learning opportunities. Accept that you will make mistakes.
Edit thoughts that get you feeling inferior. Don’t be in competition with anyone.
Remind yourself that everyone excels at different things. Focus on what you do well, cheer others on for their success and don’t be jealous.
Try new things, and give yourself credit.
Set your own goals and stick to them.