“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”- Malcolm S. Forbes
Self-esteem is a popular topic area with many personal development experts. After all, it is considered to be the foundation for individual success. Obviously, if you have low self-esteem, it can become hard to achieve much in life. As the experts say, you need to believe that you are worthy of success in order to attract success. Mostly, everyone likes to do business with you if you have a winning attitude, one that reeks of success.
According to Freud, an important part of humanity is the ego. The traditional formula for success is to build the ego so that you increase your sense of self-worth. The danger is that a strong ego can eventually lead to an inflated sense of self. You experience the constant need to prove yourself as superior to others. It is a false sense of self-esteem that you are building, if you ask me.
What Healthy Self-Esteem Is
“Well, we all know that self-esteem comes from what you think of you, not what other people think of you.” – Gloria Gaynor
Which brings us to a situation where it is necessary to strike a balance. We already know that low self-esteem can lead to difficulties with achieving success easily. It causes us to develop an inferiority complex and could also result in some of us putting up with situations of abuse. On the other hand, too high a self-esteem can lead to an exaggerated sense of self with little regard and consideration for the needs of others.
You strike a balance with cultivating healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is about valuing your own worth yet, not to the levels of inflating your ego. Self-esteem is the value that you apply to the self. The beliefs that power self-esteem include “I am deserving”, “I am worthy” and “I am good enough”.
Conveniently, we use external indicators to measure worth. It is after all, what we have been taught to do ever since childhood. We are taught to win at competitions, to be the best and to achieve high scores for boosting self-esteem. However, the use of external indicators is also where the problem lies.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
For instance, you may use the approval of others as the way to value your worthiness. When this happens, your mood can become highly dependent on their opinion of you. Invariably, you give your power away when you allow the opinions of others dictate the level of your happiness with yourself.
Our thoughts and feelings usually fluctuate throughout the day. Then again, self-esteem is more than just a temporary fluctuation. In fact, if you have low self-esteem, any situation that derails your fragile ego is likely to cause a magnified negative emotional impact.
A healthy self-esteem improves your confidence levels. However, self-esteem encompasses more than just confidence. For instance, there was a time when Alice, my friend, was the life of a party. She wanted to be popular and so she put on the face of confidence. It was a mask that served her well while she was in the dating scene. Yet, on the inside, she was feeling terribly insecure, inadequate and would crumble over the slightest criticism.
Then, there is the recent hype created on social media. Some online marketers seem to find validation in numbers. They hoot on their accomplishment of achieving 100,000 or more fans in a month. After all, if they are seen as highly popular in double-quick time, they are likely to attract even more sign-ups. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy….except that, self-esteem built on such numbers is not real.
Different Triggering Situations
Whatever it is, there is no running away from life situations that will continue to show up; highlighting the extent to which we value ourselves. It is particularly so if our major lesson in life is to learn about self-worthiness.
In my case, the root belief of “I am not good enough” gets played out in various life situations.
These are some of the beliefs that I once had….
“I am not good enough to write a book.”
“I am not good enough to be a mother.”
“I am not good enough to be an entrepreneur.”
“I am not good enough to be a healer.”
These are beliefs that I am still working on….
“I am not good enough to generate six-figures from my online business.”
“I am not good enough to be a published author with Hay House.”
Of course, it will be great if we can experience a quantum leap in consciousness from a belief of “not being good enough” to “being good enough”. Admittedly, our egos desire the quick-jump, so that it can do away with experiencing pain that sometimes can arise with the presenting situation.
We lost a friend to suicide last year when his self-esteem plummeted to an all-time low. Arch had worked his way up to a senior level. He was good in what he was doing. It would seem that he had it made with an enviable lifestyle. However, what started out as a stroke of bad luck led to a series of unfortunate events. He lost everything – rank, money and career – in the process.
Pride got to him. Arch did not ask for help until his situation got dire. Although we tried to help him pick up the pieces, he could not answer to himself. It was an internal battle that resulted in severe depression. He did not know how he could rebuild his life at the age of 44. In the end, he saw no way out.
In reality, working on any root belief involves a journey that unfolds deeper layers and that allows us to eventually align with our highest potential. It is through experiential learning that we seed the belief firmly in our awareness. Through triggering situations, we work on removing our resistance to believing that we are really worthy.
“People always want to ask me about my drug problem – I never had a drug problem; I had a self-esteem problem!” – Gloria Gaynor
The Foundation of Healthy Self-Esteem
Those on the spiritual quest may be tempted to will their ego away altogether. However, if we are to try to this, we can feel a sense of disconnection. We must remember that we are in a human experience. Thus, the importance of working towards cultivating a healthy balance in self-esteem.
Let us not deny what we truly feel. Building self-esteem helps us feel good about ourselves. We feel good when we accomplish our goals, do well for our projects and make some progress. It is okay to glow and give ourselves a pat on the back.
What is more important is that it is through challenging times that we learn about seeing ourselves as worthy. Life inevitably comes with plenty of setbacks, disappointments and tragedies. The crux is that we value ourselves – no matter what others say, what has happened or whether or not we encountered failure.
Building healthy self-esteem involves mindfulness. We become alert to the ego’s need to attach to an indicator. We are aware of the grasping nature of our ego. No doubt, the journey is an unveiling process. As we shed the layers, we get in touch with our authentic selves more and more.
It is how we become anchored in the awareness that we are truly enough more deeply.
It is also how we align with the consciousness of abundance and connect with our divinity – fully.
“Appreciation and self-love are the most important tools that you could ever nurture. Appreciation of others, and the appreciation of yourself is the closest vibrational match to your Source Energy of anything that we’ve ever witnessed anywhere in the Universe. – Abraham
Love and abundance always,
Life Coach. Energy Healing Practitioner.
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