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.
The judgment of others and how to deal with it
The criticisms of others or their thoughts on us cannot influence us in any way unless we already share the same opinion about ourselves. We must not let criticism or fear of being judged make us hide who we really are, only by showing our true self can we attract people who will love us for our real qualities.
The criticisms are due to the vision of us that others have, which can also be influenced by their personal background and that is why they sometimes attack us. We cannot do much to manage their personal baggage, but we can be aware of it and understand that it is not a personal attack and that it is not about us, but themselves. Resentment and anger are negative emotions that can consume us if we let them do it.
Forgiving others for the wrongs we perceive to have suffered (they do not consider them as such), allows us to determine the cause of their actions and reactions, this understanding allows us to free ourselves of the meaning we give them, of our emotions and reactions.
For example: seeing the situation from their perspective, understanding their reaction, examining the positive sides of the situation and how this has somehow benefited us, dissociating, that is, understanding that it is not about us but about them. This does not mean justifying an unacceptable action taken against us, but more than anything else living with it and overcoming it.
Actions to increase self-esteem
- Inverted comparison. It is a type of positive comparison:
- List the strengths when we seem to be focused on the weaknesses.
- Read the stories of those who have had really hard times to reevaluate their life experiences and look at them from a new point of view.
- Look back to understand how far you’ve come.
- Congratulate yourself every time you do something good.
- Imagine how worse things would have been if we had made the wrong choices.
- Try to be the biggest fan of ourselves.
- Forgive yourself for the mistakes and wrongs you think you have done:
- We are not only our mistakes
- When you believe you have done wrong to others, at the same time you must be aware that they have drawn something positive from the experience.
- Everyone makes mistakes.
- Don’t apologize for your uniqueness.
- Be yourself, love yourself and have a vision of who you want to be in the future.
- Spending time with people who really love us and value us. We must not give our loyalty to the wrong people just because we have known them for a long time. The wrong people can stop us from progressing and growing.
- Act and do something meaningful.
- Master a skill, an art or a job.
- Accepting bankruptcy is part of success and is an excellent mentor.
- Create a personal code of conduct, linked to the values that are considered most important. It increases self-confidence and self-respect.
- Learn to say no.
- Get more involved without fear of being judged.
Control your emotions
Emotions do not define who we are, being able to separate ourselves from them allows us to clarify our identity. To control emotions and not make hasty decisions, guided by the heat of the moment, you can follow the three steps listed above to get to know yourself better, the steps can be abbreviated as AAC: awareness, acceptance, action.
External situations cannot be managed if first we cannot manage our inner self, self-awareness is important for understanding: the lies that are said to themselves, the past emotional baggage that influences the present decisions, when they are the emotions that push us to act, how to balance ourselves.
Here are some tips to improve self-awareness:
- Read books and follow podcasts.
- Find great mentors.
- Look at autobiographical documents.
- Join the forums of your chosen interest.
To improve personal growth:
- Accept what cannot be controlled.
- Take full responsibility for what you can control.
- Never complain, defend yourself, justify but always try to find a solution.
- Do not believe yourself superior to all but not inferior.
- Don’t always expect external approval, it doesn’t change who we are.
- Take responsibility for success and failure in equal measure.
In order not to get drawn into emotional decisions:
- Phase 1: avoid saying something stupid driven by the heat of the moment, using substitute behavior. For example: get away from the situation, smile and try to understand the other, remember that it is never about us but them, let them vent.
- Phase 2: find calm and find a way to release your emotions. For example: having a mentor who can help us find balance, write a diary on your emotions, exercise, engage in creative activity.
Love and gratitude are the purest emotions and help to focus not on what you don’t have but on the gifts you have. Practicing the feeling of gratitude for what we have is a cure for moments of low self-esteem. Another solution to control low self-esteem and your emotions is to ask for help from our loved ones or a professional, you should never be ashamed of needing help.
Self-esteem can guide us towards success
The more our self-esteem is greater the more the value that the world will project on us will increase. It is important to understand that our reality is only a perception and is not fixed, we can therefore modify it. The meaning that applies to money because of past experiences can therefore be changed and you can give it whatever meaning you prefer, you must not deny happiness and wealth just because of past experiences.
Money circulates through people, so the network of knowledge is equal to its net value, the more wealthy people know each other, the greater the chances that that wealth will flow towards us according to the following law: Wealth = (value + fair exchange) x influence.
Value is the service provided to others and how it is perceived by them. If you do not have a great estimate of your value, others will have the same perception of low value in the same way.
Fair trade occurs when a service is offered that is perceived as valuable enough to push you to buy it. In this case you must have self-esteem to request the right price.
The influence is the size and speed of the service, the remuneration and the impact one has. The more “customers” you serve and the more problems you solve, the more money you will earn.
Commitment to take care of your self-esteem and project your value to the outside, understanding how your uniqueness is not a defect, is the first step towards success, the second is to understand and implement the formula of wealth.