Very often we are convinced that our vision of reality is reality itself, the only one possible, but it is not so. What we call reality is only our perception of it transformed into individual reality, it can therefore be said that reality is not fixed but malleable.
The same goes for self-esteem, it is the perception of ourselves that we have created. We apply meanings to events in our lives that very often harm our perception of self and self-esteem more than they really should.
In this book we teach to see the real impact of events on our self-esteem and how to change the applied meaning, instantly changing one’s reality and how to create more realistic and balanced meanings for events that previously damaged us.
How we evaluate ourselves and the elements that can negatively influence our self-esteem
- Value and self-esteem
The value is the external projection, the cost that applies to something based on our perception, our values and internal esteem. The value may be malleable but the internal estimate must be fixed. If you do not value yourself, it is difficult to value what surrounds us, for this self-esteem and perceived external value are connected, the first is a perception that is not reality, but becomes our reality and influences ourselves, the second instead it influences others around us, it is the external projection of our value. If one has self-esteem, the world will esteem us because it is a mirror of our perception of the self.
- How to value something
There is only one way to give value to something, and it is through comparison. This can be beneficial, but unfortunately very often it becomes a curse, because we focus only on the negative aspects. The comparison can be: ascending (with someone we consider better) and therefore can make us feel more motivated or less capable, descending (with someone we consider worse) that makes us feel good about ourselves or superior.
These two types of comparison must be balanced in a more productive and positive way to increase our self-esteem. Strong self-esteem is based on understanding the uniqueness of value that is brought to the world, without being influenced by the perception that others have of us. The world will attach labels to us, there are three steps to evaluate yourself in a more intrinsic and less externally influenced way:
- Awareness: being aware and being able to control one’s emotions.
- Acceptance: discover and accept elements of oneself. Find out which labels to accept because they really define who we are and which ones to refuse.
- Action: find balance in every situation and then act proactively.
The labels we accept become our identity, we must choose them carefully.
Insecurity serves to avoid dangerous situations or experiences never experienced before. This emotion becomes useless when it is debilitating and you start to doubt everything and everyone, the causes are: practical (lack of skill, too many options, people who throw you down, etc.) and emotional (low self-esteem, fear of success etc. .)
Insecurity solutions: take a minimum action towards a greater one, list the pros and cons, ask the mentors for help and advice, entrust the action to third parties who have the appropriate skills.
The emotions that dominate during self-criticism are a sense of guilt and shame and serve to correct the moral codes according to which we live and which are the basis of our identity. Self-criticism serves to be able to recover and transform one’s internal energy into external proactive actions such as: helping someone, creating a podcast or blog, creating something, doing physical activity.
- Fear of success and live up to expectations
The paradox of success is that once we reach it there are expectations that we feel we must maintain. Sure there are sacrifices in achieving success, but much more is lost in avoiding it just for fear of possible expectations or judgment of others. There is no obligation to live up to the expectations of others, as long as we live by following our moral code and carrying out positive moral actions, those who love us will remain close to us.
The paradox of perfectionism is that the more we try to achieve it, the more imperfect reality seems to us. We must reach the awareness that we are perfect, as we are, in our own uniqueness, otherwise perfectionism will inhibit our progress and will not keep us going.
- We are not defined by what we do, but the work we have worked on for a lifetime is our value
Care must be taken not to link all self-esteem to something we do, such as a hobby or a job. What we do is not what we are. At this point, however, it is also good to understand that the work of a lifetime, what we excel in creates our value and cannot be sold off. An example would be the story of Picasso and the paper napkin. One day Picasso was sitting in a Parisian bistro and an admirer approached him and asked him if he could make a quick sketch on a napkin.
Picasso accepted and, giving the napkin, asked the admirer for a significant sum of money. When the outraged admirer asked why, since it took only a few minutes to do the sketch, Picasso replied: “No, it took forty years.” This teaches us not to sell off a lifetime’s work.
- Imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a psychological complex where one always doubts one’s successes and fears being exposed as imposters. Some activities to combat the impostor syndrome: writing down your feelings, managing self-centeredness and expectations in a more balanced way, making a list of 50-100 elements of yourself or fantastic results, not comparing yourself to others. It must be understood that the feelings produced by the impostor syndrome are imposters themselves and should be banned.