Ari posed the question of how someone with worthiness and low self-esteem issues gets better.
I wish I knew.
I mean I think I know a lot about this, and been working in this area for years. But this is really a difficult issue.
First we must deal with the question I get most: which is how do you fix someone else that has low self-esteem. And the only answer is, you can’t. My experience is that the more you try to reassure someone with low self-esteem, the more neurotic they get. You can never give them enough compliments, enough assurances, enough anything.
You say, “You look beautiful.”
They say, “You really think so?”
You say, “Yes, of course.”
They say, “You’re just saying that.”
You say, “No I mean it.”
They say, “Really?”
You say, “YES, I mean it. You’re beautiful.”
They say, “You really mean it?”
You say, “YES!”
They say, “But you don’t think my ____ is too ____?”
(You grab a knife and kill yourself in frustration.)
The only people that can “fix” someone with low self-esteem are professional mental health practitioners. And not just any one either...
Because unfortunately, a lot of really crazy people are drawn into the mental health field, so they can work on someone else’s neurotic behavior, instead of dealing with their own. But a good one can help someone work through the issues that cause low self-esteem.
Which almost invariably come from your childhood and family of origin. Children of alcoholics, victims of abuse, and anyone that had love withheld at an early age faces some pretty daunting challenges in terms of accepting themselves. It’s takes a trained professional with a great deal of skill to work this out. Don’t try this at home.
You can’t “fix” the other person, because the more you are trying to help them, the more they are subconsciously thinking they don’t deserve the help, and the more crazy they get. And that will eventually drive you crazy. Trust me on this one, as I’ve had extensive on-the-job training in this area. On both sides!
Now can someone that recognizes their own insecurity (which is REALLY hard to do and almost no one ever can) work to get better self-esteem? I believe so.
Recognizing an issue is often 80 percent of the work toward resolving it. I had some pretty low self-esteem for most of my life. And in my case, it took going through therapy to come to grips with that.
Once that was done, I was able to move forward pretty quickly, even though I was no longer seeing the therapist. But I did 30 minutes of self-development, every morning religiously.
After about two years, I felt like I had completely made myself over into a new person. (Which is interesting, in that Deepak Chopra tells us that it takes two years for every single cell in your body to completely regenerate itself.)
I went from a pathologically shy, insecure, neurotic, obsessive/compulsive person – into a mildly shy, reasonably secure, mellow, obsessive/compulsive person.
I continued the daily self-development time, and then felt like I completely remade myself again, in a year. Then I felt like I accomplished it again in six months. Now I’m always amazed at how little I knew four weeks ago.
But along the way, I got comfortable in my own skin. I like myself, so I can like others. I love myself, so I can love others.
I still work on myself each day, but now the objective isn’t to “fix” anything. It’s to gain wisdom, develop spiritually, challenge myself, and keep every day fascinating.
Could I have done it without the therapy? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it.
What do you guys think? What’s your experience dealing with low self-esteem, either yourself or others?
OK Randy - I have to say that's about spot on. If i'm like most people with low self esteem it's incredibly difficult to spot on your own. I tried a bit of therapy thinking my problems were elsewher - but to no avail. It's taken me 11/12 years of work to even recognise it. I've read so many self development books, I've lost count.
They say when the pupil is ready - the teacher will appear but wanting to be ready doesn't speed things up. I don't know the answer either - it seems to be time based - when you're ready to learn it suddenly hits you, or that's how it was for me. There are only two bits of advice I can offer
1: try to accept the things you don't like about yourself - try to trace them back to their origins - did a teacher tell you were shit at school etc and
2 Try to allow that sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach to expand and let it dissolve - you know it's not true it's just that negative program in your brain that Randy talks so much about.
Incidently I love your stuff - Im on a parralel path a bit behind. I'm just reading 'Atlas Shrugged' probably the best book I've ever read and an amazing clue to your character!! Good on you..... I could possibly even become a Parrothead - except I don't like yanks.......!
When I asked the question the other day and you didnt reply I was beginning to think I wouldnt get your thoughts and opinions on this and then I checked your blog today to find that you made a whole blog posting regarding my question!!
You have really made my day. Thankyou!
My experience so far is that reading self development material has helped to an extent and I have changed my mentality and my way of thinking.
However, what seems to be helping my esteem and worth the most is actually taking action in creating the life of my dreams and achieving my goals.
I have been taking small steps and still have a long way to go but the fact that I am setting about it and have made some progress is making me think and feel better about myself and I am developing greater comfort within myself.
In essence it seems to me that these issues can be helped by stepping out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself, facing fears and going after your goals. This all seems to affect the way you think and feel about yourself.
Great point! A few quick points:
* My coaching tells me that the path to reaching someone with low self esteem is inspiring them to see what could be in an area that they want to be. With the right seeds planted for the they will likely realize that this may be realistic. As soon as they feel that "it" could happen for them and they begin to reach for it, it becomes appaerent to them how pathetic their attitude about self has been and they will abandon the "old me".
*Positive self-talk, Positive self-talk, positive self-talk. Maybe the number one thing that a poor thinker can do to begin their turn around is to speak positively about themselves internally 24/7. I will, I can, when I... Never allowed are the weak words like i wish, I should and I'll try.
*Understand as a development coach or well meaning individual that all of the motivational speaking in the word amounts to nothing if they don't give a damn about themselves. Know when to leave them along and give your attention to someone who deserves it.
- Matt Chamberlain
I was pleasantly surprised to find this blog post. I feel that it is a really important subject to address and it's good to read about it.
People are so busy playing 'cool' that they are often too embarrassed to face up to these kind of issues but are dying inside.
When I was a kid I had a tough time and growing up was a bit of a struggle. I knew what my issues were but still it was difficult to find someone with an answer.
The thing that has helped me the most, without a doubt, over the years has been reading uplifting books. I have done that for years but since I started to do it every morning, no matter what, my life is better. I don't know why - it just is easier to deal with things.
It's amazing how a word from Catherine Ponder or Randy Gage of course (!!) can just put you on the right path for the day.
I'm really enjoying connecting with you guys on this blog.
Some paradoxical truths:
Developing positive self-regard usually requires taking action, e.g., eliminating self-destructive habits; establishing life-enhancing routines; taking risks.
And, taking action does not necessarily lead to improved self-esteem as evidenced by financially successful, physically fit, well-respected men and women who nonetheless believe they are worthless.
So what does it take to develop positive self-esteem? First of all, there is more than one path to change. The path one takes depends in part on the potential causes of one's low self-regard.
I suggest considering five broad areas of possible causes and solutions:
1) Behavioral - Engaging in new or different behaviors often leads to improved self-esteem, e.g., Working harder and more efficiently to achieve a desired goal; quitting smoking; exercising; showing more affection to one's spouse or partner; spending more time with one's children; waking up earlier; meditating; praying; socializing; etc.
2) Cognitive - Identifying and changing false beliefs about ourselves often leads to improved self-esteem. Three important facts in this regard:
a) We developed inaccurate beliefs about ourselves based on faulty information;
b) Such beliefs helped us to cope or even survive;
c) Many of these beliefs exist in our unconscious mind and, as a consequence, changing these beliefs very often requires "making the unconscious conscious."
3) Emotional - a) Behavioral change almost always requires increasing one's capacity to "live with" or tolerate painful emotions.
b) Similarly, striving to be 'comfortably numb' usually results in even lower self-esteem.
4) Physical - a) For cultural and biological reasons, generally speaking, improved physical health leads to improved self-esteem.
b) Physical conditions (illnesses, disorders) can cause changes in the brain which adversely affect self-esteem. Clinical depression, bipolar disorder, hypothyroidism, traumatic brain injury, and dozens of other conditions fit into this category.
5) Spiritual - People who possess strong faith--which may or may not be associated with an organized religion--report greater happiness and self-esteem than those who don't.
This is of course a generality; we all know devoutly religious people who are bitter, mean, and spiteful as well as self-professed atheists and agnostics who lead meaningful, fulfilling, and happy lives.
Thus, "faith" in this instance might be best defined as beliefs and associated activities which provide purpose, meaning, and structure to one's life.
So what should you do?
I agree with Randy that psychotherapy works. Most people with agonizing low self-esteem should consider psychotherapy because it will probably make the most positive difference.
By the way, I'm not making this claim simply because of my work as a psychologist. Rather, there is abundant scientific evidence that therapy leads to improved self-esteem, as well as other desired changes.
In fact, psychotherapy enjoys higher success rates than the vast majority of treatments for medical disorders.
Psychotherapy in particular helps one change faulty beliefs about oneself; develop and implement behavioral change strategies; and learn skills for "living with" painful emotions.
But along with psychotherapy, particularly if you experience symptoms of depression, bipolar illness, disabling anxiety, and other psychological problems, I strongly recommend obtaining a comprehensive medical evaluation.
I've seen so many people over the years who suffered from debilitating depression that psychotherapy did not improve, only to find that a simple thyroid medication resulted in a dramatic improvement in mood, functioning, and self-esteem.
I should note that the odds are that one's low self-esteem is not fully or partially caused by a medical disorder. But why not find out for sure?
I have known some people who at one time suffered from low self-esteem but who had a profound spiritual experience that led to a major transformation in their lives, including a dramatic improvement in their self-acceptance and self-regard.
Such "spiritual awakenings" are less well-documented or studied, so I wouldn't recommend seeking such an experience as your sole course of action. At the same time, I wouldn't want to negate the potential for spiritual or religious practices or experiences to improve one's self-esteem.
In addition to psychotherapy, the following resources are often important adjuncts during and after concluding therapy:
* Self-help media--books, audio, web-based, etc.
* Mutual support groups, e.g., 12-Step groups (although there are many others and not all have to do with addictions)
* Beliefs and associated activities which provide purpose, meaning, and structure to one's life, e.g., religious or spiritual faith, family, friendships, work, community involvement, etc.
* Psychiatric medicines are, in the short-term, as effective in treating conditions such as clinical depression or severe anxiety. Therefore, to the extent that a psychological disorder contributes to one's low self-esteem, medication can help.
(Although be aware that psychiatric medicines are not as effective as the pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies, and some doctors would have us believe. They almost all have moderate, if not significant, side effects, which you need to take into consideration. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions before taking psychiatric medications. I'm not saying they won't help or that you shouldn't take psychiatric meds; but I am saying be a savvy consumer.)
All the Best,
Mark D Worthen PsyD
Park City, Utah
Doesn't that beg the question?
In other words, if someone "doesn't give a damn about themselves" they have, by definition, very low self-esteem. Randy asked how we believe a person can best overcome low self-esteem. Your answer seems to be that people with low self-esteem don't deserve help.
I might be misunderstanding but as written your comment comes across as condescending and uncaring.
Hello Randy and friends,
This is the first time I have ever responded to a question in this kind of setting, so it feels a little intimidating however, I have a great interest in this topic....so here it goes.
I am currently employed as a pre-school teacher, and so I am very aware of how important it is to nurture self-esteem at an early age. I agree wholeheartedly with Randy that anyone who has been withheld love at an early age is most certainly going to have deep-seeded issues with self-esteem. I see it every day.
Unfortunately, it is never to late for this love deficit to occur in anyone's life. So if you think you are off the hook because you had a great childhood....think again!
Personal experience has taught me that a pretty confident nurtured individual can go through a period of time in which they lose their self-esteem. This can occur rather quickly or most often over a period of years.
In my own case, it was a slow process over the last 10-15 years. I have finally realized that slowly but surely I have created patterns of failure in my life, caused by internalizing whatever negative feedback I received in my life. By internalizing this negativity I magnified the meaning of such and translated it into low self-esteem. This of course turns into repeated failure and then eventually depression.
Once you get to a depressed state it is extremely difficult to rise above. I don't know what the statistics are of people in this state but, I'm sure it is epidemic. I had given up on virtually all of my dreams...which lead of course to depression, and self-loathing and very little growth.
Don't stop reading yet!! This is not a pity party, but rather a realization that I really am a great person who can be successful in my life, whatever that may look like to me.
I came to this realization by being open to new opportunities and people who were uplifting, positive and nurturing to me. So my point is that while you can't fix someone with low-self-esteem you can certainly be part of the healing process for someone in need. .
I appreciate the time you take to address people's struggles.
Mom/Pre-school teacher/Agel Interprises
Not only "children of alcoholics, victims of abuse, and anyone that had love withheld at an early age"; try a spouse you were in love with who now continually knocks you down verbally, telling you that you're useless and you're no good, even after a long time divorced, and all born of their own internal fear. That, my friend, can be equally as effective in causing someone to seriously doubt their worthiness. Practising 'daily' gratitude certainly helps and yes, you're right, it takes around 2 years or so. No quick fixes, just determined focus on daily disciplines.
Daily sounds easy but it's not. To quote an ancient proverb from a far away land - 'like a fly on the toilet, only those that stick to it get to eat their pie' 🙂 And on that sticky note I wish for you and your readers a fabulous day.
Tony, Your not alone...a spouse can be very destructive to one's self esteem no matter how confident you are. Daily attacks can wear you down. Hang in there, keep believing in yourself!
Randy, It is a difficult area, it is easy to talk and fix others or give opinions and solutions, but every case is a case, because there are not standards in the sence that when you are perciving that the person inf front of you has low steem, that is your own experience and you are creating that experience, most of us said"oooh this person does not love itself" , but I am creating that, we will be surprised that the same person acts in many different ways with other people, so I think we are responsible for what is going on at that moment , we are lettting happen, alowing it to happend, pretending is not happening and some times I may like it too, why?, because my EGO will feel great and busy comparing myself to others, I have a low steem person in my life for 18 years and I have not let her go, yet, why?, maybe because I am the one with the low steem.....if you have the answer to this please share it.. Javier..
I think the other parental situation that results in a very hard to overcome lacking/poor self esteem problem is when your parents work in the Arts like mine, and themselves had poor self esteem. I have been working for years at this and feel more confident and have been succeeding over the past 8 years or more, but not nearly where I feel I'm worthy.
The other comment/question I put to you has to do with finding your purpose and passion. I have been gifted with many talents and am commited to finding purpose now, but even in my meditations it's not coming. I want to wake up every morning eager for my work, Life, etc and am in this inquiry for guidance. How did you find the path that lead to your prosperity and can you help?
Randy recommended some subliminal CD's by Stephen Halpern in his "Dumb Sick and Broke" book. There is one on self esteem that I have used with my daughter and I think it has helped greatly.
I don't agree..
Here are my thoughts...
A belief is only a thought that has been reinforced enough times to create enough neural links to be brought forward easily. If a thought jumps into your head enough time, you will generally begin to believe it.
Does therapy work? Yes, but not because of the therapist. It has nothing to do with the therapist. The patient decides to change their thoughts and this creates new neural links, creating new and better beliefs. Now I know some of the people who have posted will want to wield knives and throw them my way, but I believe that the most empowered person is YOU and in many cases a mental health practioner has the opposite effect in that years pass with no breakthroughs. Why? Because the patient is relieving the things that they don't like, generating more neural pathways that lead to the same problem.
Ok, I'm ready to catch the knives now...
Only if the person wants it the therapy can work. Actually all the power a man needs to change himself and his life is hidden within him alone.
But I also think that the key method to use that power is not in self digging things, but in setting up goals and life purposes and putting all the power and heart to achieve them.
If you set up a goal that corresponds to the system of values you have and your life purpose then every necessary tool to change your heart, will and mind will surely appear along the way.
You will actract it whatever it may be - a therapist, a loving man, a self developing book or CD.
Why is that? That works this way because any external change that wished to be occured only will take place if there is necessary conditions inside of man already exist. So naturally if you want to achieve something great you just ought to have that greatness within yourself first.
And if you set a big goal before you achieve it you will naturally work on yourself along the way.
Helping somebody with low self-esteem is nigh on impossible. Let me explain where I'm coming from.
As I may have mentioned in other comments on previous posts. 2008, sucked royaly for me. 2009 is already fabulous, so much more wealth and abundant in so many ways. Happy Days.
As an outsider you look at somebody and go...you have low self-esteem. Snap out of it! I'm yet to meet somebody who says I've low self-esteem. They will call it something else. Work sucks, relationship problems. I just feel lke ****.
Becoming happier is a day by day process. Yes, there are tools, techniques that can help. I can list several!! One for me was EFT. I listened to a track about self-esteem, since I was exploring EFT as a technique to remove my own internal blocks. Yet I didn't know I was suffering from lower than normal self-esteem. I just hated my job at the time and my constant negative comments, beliefs from my parents.
Parents be careful! If you say something to a child long enough, they accept it without question. A child doesn't know any better. It is when you as the child want to change and be different, that things really start coming up. Thanks Dad!
Like you say, you can't be treated for prosperity, you have to be open to receive it. It is the same with high self-esteem. After all, having low self-esteem for many people is actually helping them get what they want. Love, attention, etc. It is only when you naturally choose day by day to become happier and take action to move towards your goals and you begin to feel 'shifts' inside of you that you realise all these things.
Today, I am more and more focused on what I want. Like you, simply daily steps will help you get where you want to go and what you want. You have to be stronger than most in your convictions. As I heard recently, as a sweeping statement, if your being criticised for what you're doing, you're doing something different and beginning to think outside of the box. I thought that was quite a good take on criticism. I'm yet to meet positive critism. Positive critism, somehow becomes feedback, which for me critism isn't.
Interesting article, thank you for your continuous insight, I do find your articles sometimes self praising but what the heck, if you got it then show it!
I have these problems as well, and the conversation you put in your blog hits home...damn it!
I wish i had a therapist that would really help, I got answers like "I cant help you" to "what is your problem!" I have yet to find a therapist who rely seems to follow me. I am tired of paying an arm and a leg for these goofs who seem to watch the clock more than anything else.
I tried mood drugs from the Doc and I was a bit giddy and goofy, stopped those.
I have a dream of a woman who loves me to death and I drive her crazy, not to say that she knows exactly which buttons to push and does push them often!
I have made huge strides through meditation and time for myself but I still get moments where the card house falls together and I hurt those around me and most of all myself in those moments.
What is the daily ritual you spoke about, what is it that you do that keeps you focused.
All in all I am a successful guy who looks pretty good and is liked/loved by very many people, I do TV and have a best seller but all this is only great in the moment, when I am back to my life it means nothing.
What do you or your readers have for advice, I am sick of therapists!
Thank you, Love and light!
As one who has low self-esteem and who struggles daily to keep it minimized, one thing I've learned (recently) is to recognize those who like to tell you things "for your own good." Often it's not for your own good but theirs, and learning to recognize that goes a long way to helping maintain your self-esteem.
Often they aren't aware that they are tapping into vulnerabilities, but you know, because the litany of you saying "I'm sorry" begins. When the "I'm sorry's" become repetitive, even though you have to struggle to understand how/why you were "wrong" you are probably in a negative relationship.
I am in the midst of ending a close friendship because of this. We went from being as close as thieves to my doing everything wrong. The way I am handling another relationship, my feelings about my job, the way I dress, how I say things, and so forth ... nothing I do is right. For her. I am fine with it but gradually all I am doing is apologizing. I finally wrote her an email and told her I need to stop doing that and since she has other friends who are more in-line with her way of doing things then she needs to move on and be with them.
So far I've not heard back from her, and that speaks volumes, to me. Once again I'm expected to apologize because she got hurt by my honesty. Not that I wrote anything hurtful or even sharp but it seems whenever I push back I'm the one who hurts and she's the one who was just sharing her feelings and trying to protect/help me.
I don't need to be fixed. I'm not broken. There was a time when I'd have bought into feeling broken. I'm not perfect, and I certainly don't fit everyone but I don't have to be what someone else wants me to be just because it's right for them. And I have to work hard to remember that because my life pattern has been to modify myself so that other's approve of me.
The irony here is that my friend hates negativity but she doesn't see that she is as guilty of doling that out as she claims others are. The reason she doesn't is due to the fact that she cloaks her judgmentalism in the silken folds of "I know you are going to be hurt by this ..." or "Because I'm your friend ..." or "I'm just telling you the truth ...." And then the slams start. They are purportedly given with love and to help but they hurt and they diminish, and yet it's never she that apologizes but me.
I'm all out of apologies, and still, today I'm grappling with the impact of the constant criticism, trying to let the knot in my stomach dissolve (as someone else mentioned), and hoping that it will soon so I can feel good about me again.
Thank you for this blog. It has a lot of impact. It helps a lot, when you address such very good points in your blog.
I am not a psychologist by sciences, anyway I feel competent, although I have studied psychology and philosophy “only” on “The university of life”, as sun, father, husband, manger, leader, mentor, consultant and friend in various cases.
Please let me disagree with your statement, that only(!) mental health practitioners can help to build up self-esteem and let me add the following:
Self-esteem can come only from the person itsSELF (the support of mental health practitioners is only a help to the SELF).
The reason why the “compliments”-model, you describe does not work is, because YOU are giving the esteem.
The reason why often the other person can not accept it, is, because it is an “outside” complement lets call it “outside-esteem”.
A person who -and normally self-esteem-problematic people are very sensitive on the issue- gets compliments from outside feels itself positioned “below” the complement-making person. Why? As soon as someone takes the right to comment the other one; to make (subjective) compliments –the communication direction is rather “top- down” and not on an equally valued horizontal level.
DIGNITY is, what low self-esteem-type of people (from kids to adults) need. If one dignifies a person, the communication level is rather “bottom up”.
It becomes more clear if you rephrase your sentence and start with “I”. Instead saying “you are beautiful”, you could say like: “I am impressed by your beauty” – important: it must be a true and very honest statement! Only truth gives a true feeling (it goes also in parallel with “nonverbal” messages expressed at the same time, - and with a superficial (untrue)-statement, the non verbal message is in contrast … and not acceptable by the recipient at all)
When I am (determined by my German culture) travelling in USA and people ask me “How are you” – I know they might want to know everything, but not at all they want to know how I really am…. So what ever I commend and what ever I will feel and respond is the opposite from what gives me a real comfort, we keep staying on a superficial level.
People who have low self-esteem, will never grow by such communication.
I use another example I could have written in the a.m. first sentence of this mail “you are great, you do well”… I would call it a poor complement and I would not be sure, if you would even accept my comment as value for you. Try to feel what your reaction could have received such input from someone, you don’t know well.
I have chosen: “Thank you for this blog. I get a lot of impact. It helps a lot, when you address such very good points in your blog.“
Does this give you a kind of dignity, do you feel different? In such a case, do you think it could make someone feel really good to dignify?
Could it finally stimulate someone’s “SELF”-values like,
In particular if such a type of message is not a sporadic one, but constantly received over a long term from one or more sources – or even worse if it is visa versa, i.e. constant negative messages...
I would like to underline what Matt Chamberlain says in his comments, being also very close to Mark D. Worthen’ statements, anyway I have to add, there are a couple of levels we deal with, when we communicate with others and with our selves:
I try to simplify a complex matter.
There are several levels/layers, one lies over the other. I start top down.
We get a message and we are on the most upper level of “action” and “reaction”. That is what we are aware of.
What in most of the cases we are not aware of (but we can find by watching ourselves if we want to touch it) is:
An action is stimulated by a “feeling”
A feeling is stimulated by a “position” or “mind set”
A mind set is determined by a “sentence of believe”
A sentence is stimulated by values
Our values are determined by many influencing factors of the past and the presence, those are (at least) childhood, culture, environment, people and partners around us, religion, current situation, intelligence etc. etc. If you want to read more: Steven Covey’s gives a lot of help. In particular his Book “The 8th habit is a good source for this issues.
All of this “stimulators” are permanently present and active in our “SELFES”, they act in the subconscious much more than our awareness can record - and we consciously take only note of a minimum extract from all of that.
So if we want to change our level of action in a significant way, we must come to a change of (all) the levels below the level of awareness.
The best is the to work on the values, finally all our actions, our (also self-) judgements and others are determined by our value-setting.
If you feel that your “Selfes…” need to be adjusted, there is a rather simple and practical 3.step advise…
1.) Make a list of all “Selfes…” (all words starting with self…. see above the list above).
You can find and see how your position is by scaling them with a score form 0-10 for tow positions,
a.) where you are today and
b.) where you would like to be.
2.) Take the ones (lets say 4 or 5 only, but more than one and not only the self-esteem), chose those with the biggest difference between the two positions (from where you are today and where you want to be in future). You will be surprise how illuminating this already is.
If you like talk to your closest people and with this feed back you see if they have from their external position the same opinion like you or you learn why they see it different.
3.) In order to change/improve your selfes…. name all your values you find, related to you Self-positions. I.e. self-deception. Look how you deal with the truth. What do you think -occasionally or permanently- about cheating others. The one who cheats others, might also cheat him-/herself – perhaps there is an adjustment possible? Also perhaps on the subject of honesty to your Self.. and to others? Small recognising moments, may have big effects.
See how much all the other values are influencing your “Selfes…” look what other values you could adjust for getting a greater self… once you have seen the different settings in your need, your values – your intelligence (conscious and awareness) or your subconscious will work on it (quasi over night) and slightly or sometimes even drastically they will change effect the change.
Conclusion: the values, your setting of the values determine your “SELF” if you want corrections, start there, the rest is a very nice domino effect.
I hope I could express myself well…
Heinz Meloth, Frankfurt Germany
Interesting thoughts all. I have to say, though, that besides early nurturing, some of this low-self-esteem crap is INBORN. I have 3 children I've treated equally through the years, and I have to say, one of them has self esteem problems I've noticed and tried to help him with since he was 3. When the other two kids have not gotten their way and gotten angryat somebody, they just get angry at somebody, but when THIS guy gets angry at somebody, he turns it on himself, doing something like, say, throwing his own glasses on the ground. This has taken different but similar forms as he's been growing up, and every time he misdirects his anger, I stop and make him see what he is doing. He's a smart kid, so he recognizes what I'm saying is right. God willing as he reaches adulthood, he'll learn all the skills he needs for correctly directing his emotions. He's a wonderful, funny, handsome extremely talented kid, and there's no reason he shouldn't see in himself what everybody else sees in him.
I also have to say that a year or so ago, when it came out that suicide in teens was a side effect of a particular big name anti-histamine, we were simultaneously pulling our hair out over this same child (then 11) who kept saying he wanted to die. At the time he was on a daily dose of another big name anti-histamine, but so what, we stopped it cold turkey, and the verbalizations of him wanting to die STOPPED!
As for myself, I had a great childhood, entered adulthood with great self-confidence and self-esteem, but then ran into a series of extremely toxic people who did a lot of damage. Where do these people COME from? They're SICK. I have finally learned to simply remove toxic people from my life, and my natural buoyancy has been gradually lifting me up again.
One thing I do is subscribe to great uplifting inspirational speakers on Twitter, and their daily vibes have been catapulting my attitude 🙂 A daily diet of these people's thoughts set a stark contrast for the few toxic people I still must run into, and so I am growing MUCH better at defining my boundaries!
Now that's a skill I can teach my son!
I agree with you Randy. You need a professional to help you in this field, but the healing has to come from within. No other person will be able to heal you. If you do not want to be healed, you will be healed.
The professional needs to find what is wrong, what made it wrong but mostly teach or show the individual how to get better. It's like our modern medicine. Give a pill for this and give a pill for that. Only brings other problem. In order to heal a health problem, you first need to know what has made you sick and stop doing it. Not take a pill to numb it. Same for low self-esteem. Find the source of what has triggered the low self-esteem, stop doing or address the source, then change your path.
It is not easy and it doesn't change immediately, but has soon that you are on the path to healing, everyday you feel a little better and soon you can again happiness. Affirmation work well here.
Randy, I love your style. No-nonsense, and whatever you talk, you walk.
But I do not share your enthousiasm for the psychology industry.
One way out of low self esteem is to actually accomplish something, no matter how small. Like shining the kitchen sink at night. May I recommend one of my gurus, http://FlyLady.net
Randy! would you mail me your book "Prosperity" with your signature on it to me? I wanna gift it to my true love...
Sigh. This is something I've been struggling with for years - with other people in my life. I seem to attract them, maybe because I might have been suffering from it too - I don't know, but I stopped analyzing. All I know is, there's nothing I can do for any of them, and not from a lack of trying on my end. Now, I just do what you say - I take one step, they take one step; if they don't I take one step with someone else. I know you meant it for my business, but it's so fundamentally sound that I apply that to ALL my relationships - in the network & in my personal life. I guess what I learnt through all the years of trying to *fix* other people was that I was avoiding dealing with my own life, to delude myself that trying to fix other people was *noble*, but ultimately it's futile because people don't need fixing as they choose to be where ever they are. So I support them how I can & love them anyway, but no more do I feel responsible for getting them out of where they wanna be. I've found that it's much more serving this way for all involved - and through my results, it indirectly helps to inspire some of them to garnering higher self-esteem for themselves. Like your life story did for so many.
well, nobody's mentioned this one so far, it's my favorite: flower essences. Flower essences were developed by Edward Bach in the first part of the 20th century. They are similar to homeopathic remedies (used more by Europeans) in that they are "vibrational". I have used them personally and had amazing results and given them to friends, friends' children, my animals. 'Mountain Pride' (http://tiny.cc/NuA7G) is a great remedy for self esteem. Sometimes changing our personal vibrational field can be more powerful than cognitive processing or behavior modifications. If you can see that we're living in a beautiful garden, the flower essences really make sense.
Hello Randy and other Gentlefolk,
I am a SLAB ie. a Sri Lankan, Australian Britisher who has had the pleasure of being 'tutored' by Randy Gage, Stuart Wilde, Ayn Rand, Catherine Ponder and my father, Earle. So, low self esteem, as and when it infrequently bubbles up to the surface, gets punctured with a few pins of 'who I really am'.
Choosing to stew one's juices in a pot of low self esteem..., I am afraid such a descent has to be too abrupt for one!
Nice analysis Mark. Kind of cloaked in "do goodism" don't you think? Condescending? Uncaring? You’re the kind of guy that would hang in a doomed relationship, abused and unhappy for the sake of the commitment. The fact is if you had tried the marriage classes and they didn't work after 3 years etc., there is some time when you think, "This is not worth it because the effort is one sided”. Same goes for alcoholism and drugs. You try to intervene; you plant the seeds and try many other methods to help the ones that you CARE about. At the end of the day Mark, if they don't want the help then they aren't changing. Why would we commit our lives to another that possesses not commitment themselves? Sorry that you feel that tough love is uncaring. I should have been a physician so that I could make a million from stitching guys up like you who make a lifestyle of beating your heads against the wall.
Self Esteem, in my opinion has a lot to do, with your relationships wheter as a child or as an adult.
Many comments here say that the low self esteem issue is due to "someone else" that got you into that either by lack of loving or by constantly putting you down.
Another factor I believe really makes your self esteem go low, is the "lookikng back" factor. If at a point in your life you decide to look at your achievements and find little to nothing there (I am sure there will always be many, but not necessarily ones you find important at that point in your life) then low self esteem kicks in, and we suddenly start finding everywhere reasons that "confirm" we are not worthy.
I always thought of myself as a person who really likes himself, but at a point in my life about 5 years ago, i fell on the trap mantioned before, the problem was that I was "comparing" others experiences with mine. That is not what is all about is about comparing you against yourself to measure improvement.
These are my 2cents !
keep these great topics coming!!!
Recovering from low self-esteem...wow, that's a crucial topic for people who are building a business.
My mentor has told me, "Network marketing is an easy way to make money- once you've mastered the 'mental' game."
My own conclusions: my self-esteem is formed from my habitual thinking, which influences my actions and my expectation of a friendly (or unfriendly) universe.
If someone said to my face, "I think you're a loser!", my self-defense mechanisms would kick in and I would tell them off. Directly spoken opinions can be spotted easily-- and it's obvious the OTHER person is the one who is sending the message.
However, the most readily absorbed (and potentially the most destructive) thoughts came from things that were NOT spoken- instead they arose from how I was treated as a child.
Consider these situations: you were ignored when you spoke, people looked at their watches as you spoke, you were forced to eat last at family gatherings strictly because of your gender, you were chosen last for sports teams in spite of being an excellent athlete, strived for academic mastery while observing the guys weren't dating the smart girls, pushed around on the playground because you're a guy who isn't drawn to playing football, interrupted when you spoke, over and over again, that is confusing to a child. Lacking the wisdom to see the larger PATTERNS, a child comes to the conclusion "There is something inherently wrong with me." And the mental habits we form in childhood will continue unless we face them.
Only through intense one-to-one therapy have I been able to learn to see the PATTERNS- both in how others treated me and my own reactive thoughts. With that knowledge, I can understand 'this isn't personal', observe my thought patterns and choose to think differently. This is an ongoing process.
Yes, therapy is a key element in creating a healthier sense of self-esteem. I consider my therapist my "Emotions Coach", just like how people have a "Personal Fitness Trainer" or a "Business Coach". She is a crucial member of my Success Support Team.
Two additional tools I use:
Listen carefully to a compliment. Pause for a split second, and say "Thank you." Do not discuss it further, whether to agree or disagree. Come back to the office, and type that compliment into a word processing document, as accurately as I can remember it. This teaches me to listen closely, accept compliments, remember them, and gives me something to read on days when I'm feeling a little discouraged.
I create a scrapbook each year, chronicling MY accomplishments and the cool things I enjoyed. It's an ongoing process to gather the events- Every few days (or when something neat happens, no matter how 'small'), I type a quick note into a word processing document. After creating the actual scrapbook with a scrapbooking program on the computer, I pay to have it printed in a hardbound book. Again, I look through it when I'm feeling a little discouraged. Since I'm comparing myself to myself, I feel a sense of accomplishment- which is empowering.
Very interesting, all of the above. I read it all and immediately thought of something I try and read on a daily basis (not sure who wrote it, but I like it) and thought I'd share it...
"Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many people call you and it's not about who you've dated, are dating or haven't dated at all. It isn't about who you've kissed, what sport you play or don't play, or which guy/girl likes you. It's not about your shoes, your hair or the colour of your skin. It's not about where you live or go/went to school. In fact, it's not about money, grades, clothes or colleagues that accept you or not.
Life isn't about if you have lots of friends or if you're alone and it's not about how accepted or unaccepted you are. Life just isn't about that. Life is about who you love and who you hurt. It's about YOU feel about YOURself. It's about TRUST, HAPPINESS and COMPASSION. It's about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love.
Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance and building CONFIDENCE. It's about what YOU say and what YOU mean. It's about seeing people for who they are and not what they have or what you want them to be. Most of all, it's about choosing to use your life to touch someone else's in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise.
These choices are what life's about."
I definitely agree, if someone doesn't want help, doesn't think they need help, is not asking for help, one is wasting their time, trying to help those that don't want/ask/think they need help. That's probably harder than 'helping' yourself. After years of trying to 'be there' and 'save' others around me, I have finally came to the conclusion that it's IMPOSSIBLE. I am NOT here to 'save the world' and I never will. All I can do is be myself. I can be there if they need me or want me there, other than that, they are on their own path. I have heard people call it a 'crab theory' - you put 200 crabs in a bucket, one starts climbing up the side, trying to escape from the bucket and the other 199 pull him down... negative people do not enjoy seeing other succeed so instead of cheering them on and helping them get there, they just try pulling them down with them. It's sad. The world isn't perfect, nor am I, all I can do is MY BEST and hope those surrounding me do the same!
Great topic, thanks for sharing! 🙂
It appears that, as I said might be the case, I misunderstood your opinion.
suggested to me that when someone doesn't accept your help, they become an object of your scorn.
I now understand you to mean something like this: Some people won't accept our help, for whatever reasons. If we find that we are working harder at helping them then they are at helping themselves, then it's time to step back and wait until they are ready to accept our love and support, understanding that they might never reach that point.
If that (or something similar) is what you meant, then I agree with you.
One helps oneself.
And that's the only way.
Now take turns describing that a 1000 ways.
No issues on that!
Puneet Srivastava, Mumbai, India
It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
I know people who have, "low self esteem" but they sure don't act like you would think, instead, they are tyrants.
He's right on, here, but unfortunately, more and more insurance providers are seeing "talk therapy" as a thing of the past, and feel-good drugs are the best way to handle people with emotional issues.
I suffered from low self esteem for years big time. I am extremely proud to say I have beat it. Four years ago I was in and out of mental hospitals and the ER because I hated myself.
I beat it by learning to listen to the evidence I am smart and a good person. It took lots of therapy! I also volunteered as a facilitator for a support group.
@Jamie Never give up Jamie - It takes time to work through worthyness issues, because most of these are planted when you were a small child and you don't even notice they are there! I have had a lot of those, and I still discover more, but I'm working my way through them - and one by one replacing these with positive statements - Randy's advice in his previous books and articles to do just this ARE WORKING - Huge hugs and love to you from Denmark 😀
Thank's for a GREAT article Randy!!!! Sure you need help to find some of your worthyness issues - not only to get rid of them, because if you are aware of them they already lost most of their "grab" in you - but also to FIND them - I have done wonders with your advice concerning this!!!! Thank's for your GREAT advice - LOVE YA xoxo
I dont have low self esteem. I have critters, termits, and trolls that won't leave me at peace. Im growing tired of arrogance and the type of stupidity that tends to go along with being wealthy.
I think you've done an excellent job of overcoming Randy. Teaching this stuff actually helps one to heal and I have learn and am learning so much from you and through you. Thanks for walking in your greatness and helping others find freedom.
I look @ my strengths and count them more than the let downs. and when I do something foolish or stupid i forgive myself and laugh @ it. therapy is good in the really dark time to maintain sanity.
Deffo think that self development and finding one authentic self is fundamental to helping boost self esteem. I have suffered with low self esteem for years and only recently really acknowledged it. Talking therapy and Prozac didn't really highlight the issue for me, it keep my embedded in my story. Talking therapy for me anyway, didn't move me out of my story, it was cathartic but that's all. What I have found it that connecting to my inner self, my authentic self and recognising old patterns and triggers has been the key to improving my self esteem. I have learned that one has to be selfish ( not in an arrogant asshole kind of way) to be selfless. Once one becomes authentic and loves oneself unconditionally then we can pass that forward to others. I'm still a work in progress but my self esteem is heaps better than it was this time last year. Great post Randy. Xxxx
„Когато на човек му се представи случай да свърши нещо добро, той да не допуска никакво колебание."
Вие ще ме питате: "В какво седи Божественото?" Ето в какво се проявява Божественото. Когато имате един приятел, старайте се да откриете една добра черта в него. Мнозина от вас се оплакват, че няма кой да ги обича. Аз ще ви препоръчам едно правило, какво трябва да правите, за да ви обичат. Всички може да използвате това правило, то е следното. Имаш един приятел, който искаш да те обича. Намери в него една от най-добрите му черти, дръж я постоянно в ума си и той ще те обикне. Щом го критикуваш в душата си, той не може да те обича. Между него и тебе винаги ще има една междина. И тъй, за да ви обича някой, законът е следният: Ще намерите едно хубаво качество в този човек и ще го държите в ума си. Основателя на българската философия ''Петър Дънов''
We are complete, whole and perfect. Nothing is broken, so there is nothing to fix. We can transform those areas that we don't like.
Parents need to work with their children so that they have self esteem and self respect.
I feel than i need new information. So every two or three mounth I usially go to a life-trainer or nlp-master or other master and we work with my questions or simply talk. As a result I usially gain a new level of felling of myself. And I feel that it helps me to grow. Last months I more often noticed that I found any decision by myself.
And that the result of every day's self-time work.
Hey Jo Galloway I just sent you a message, and it went to your other folder. 🙂
Joanna Glade Shaklee I just sent you a message about your comment...but it looks like it went to your other folder, so I want to make sure you receive it.
I love what Randy says about it taking two years to reinvent and remake himself...and it taking that long for every cell to regenerate itself. The same is true with me, two years. And what an amazing two years it has been!
Hey Bonnie! Check your "other" inbox!