New here w/ a question

Postby Jcloud » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:06 am

Hi there. I’m new here. Also my low self esteem has been affecting my relationships with others and I never really realized how bad it was until recently. And only then did I realize how bad I was to myself. Betraying myself, never feeling good enough, unsure, anxious, etc...all the classic symptoms of having low self esteem.

I’ve been trying to be mindful of what I think, feel, say, and such to myself and to others. It is soooo hard! I have mood apps on my phone to help me log my moods, feelings, thoughts, and they’re full of good ideas to get me out of my usual negative thinking traps. And boy do I fall into negative thinking traps! Way more than I ever realized.

Does anyone have any tips on how to not fall into these traps so often? Or is it one of those things in which I just have to be consistent, mindful, and only time will help? It’s exhausting. Also, what have you done to help raise your self esteem? I need all the help I can get. Certainly feels lonely as I embark on this journey.
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Postby Livetowin » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:35 am

Unfortunately your approach to self esteem is like having a fit bit wrapped around your head. What you're doing is dodging your symptoms instead of curing them. Low self esteem comes from believing the answers reside outside yourself. I noticed on another thread you spoke about how relevant people in your life weren't "therapists" so they could not offer you the assistance you need. That statement pretty much sums up your core problem.

A therapist is a title, just like a pastor and a counselor is. If a few close friends have a good experience with the corner mechanic and recommend him if you have a car problem, you probably feel inclined to follow that guidance, right? So lets say the following week a report comes out in the local newspaper that he was the subject of an undercover investigation for fraudulently charging people for services not needed. Are you still excited about taking your car for a tune up? Probably not.

Lets say a number of family members older than you have a history with this particular medical office composed of several primary care physicians and they swear up and down that there is no better place to go. You call in to schedule a physical, but that same day a close friend tells you about how the doctor he saw at that same office misdiagnosed him and he ended up having to go to the hospital to get himself cured. Are you still getting your physical there?

So lets look at these two examples. You have two fairly common professions that we at some point have interacted with and in some cases did so based on a recommendations from someone we trusted. Sounds like a common logic the average person uses to profile another person. But in each example what you thought you knew (or your family or friends knew) may have been completely wrong.

We put allot of trust in word of mouth even when the percentages don't always work out in our favor. Why is that? Well because regardless of title, we don't actually know these people but we're willing to take a chance if a few people whom we trust tell us to. We put allot of stock in opinions and depending on the title, sometimes we put too much stock in that alone. Do you automatically trust your pastor or priest? Do you automatically trust a therapist? Do you automatically trust the wisdom of a family member or good friend because of the those titles you assign them?

Now what do all of these examples have in common with you? None of these specialists in their fields are YOU. But because of a label or a professional title you assume they know better than you. Now the examples I gave you were mostly for services that are pretty common. So ask yourself. Why would you place something as SACRED as your identity in the hands of a TOTAL STRANGER?

Does your doctor KNOW you? Does your favorite mechanic KNOW you? Do your family and friends truly KNOW you? Does the local "therapist" KNOW you? No they don't. What they understand about you is only what you present to each one of them and that will vary won't it? I take it your pastor (or priest) doesn't know as much as some members of your family? Why is that? Well its probably none of his business plus maybe some things are best left unstated for someone in that position. What if you see a therapist? Do you go in like an open book or do you edit as you go because some things you have "figured out" and you don't need to go there with him or her on those matters.

Now you have all of that going on but then you add a "mood app" to complicate that mess? Please tell me you don't ask the "Alexa" app how her day is going. And so you wonder why you feel exhausted all the time and completely out of sorts. Well, you're performing for everything and everyone. You've created this mental dance for yourself that says, " They're okay so I'm okay." Well... that's not okay.

NO ONE, regardless of best intentions, knows you as well as you. Only YOU know your faults, your strengths, and what you actually enjoy doing. The problem is you can't explore those ideas because you're too busy trying to fit that into the lives of everyone around you so it accommodates them as well. Then you grade yourself! You need to quit trying to be someone different for everyone you meet. Your emotions are erratic because you're grading yourself in the company of others rather than just asking yourself what do you want to do and who you want to be. You're stuck in this endless compare and contrast which is why you remain undefined.

I have two rules in life. I ONLY control myself and I never let others define me. I get up every morning and decide what I'm going to do. It's not about being selfish, it's about being IN TUNE with yourself. Quit grading yourself and start asking yourself what you want to do. Happiness and all of Life's answers come from within. You just have to trust yourself enough to know this is your life. Take charge of it.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:06 pm

Jcloud wrote:It’s exhausting. Also, what have you done to help raise your self esteem? I need all the help I can get. Certainly feels lonely as I embark on this journey.

You don’t raise self esteem, you build it!

It may sound semantic...and it is, but it is an important little adjustment. You are trying to think your way to higher self esteem. You are tracking your moods and your ideas, but not what you are building.

Self esteem is built as we achieve success, or overcome obstacles. Self esteem is raised when we accomplish a goal, when we reach the top of a mountain, turn around to look out over the valley and say, “Yes!”

There is a reason the military calls it an obstacle course. Have you ever done an obstacle course? The first obstacles are smaller, easier to overcome. With each obstacle, with each wall, you are building your self esteem. It isn’t about thinking and logging your mood about a particular goal or obstacle, but actively participating in the challenge.

For more difficult challenges we sometimes can do with some help. We find support and get inspired, even if that inspiration is in the form of a drill sgt. yelling at you to get your lazy donkey over the wall. The instructor doesn’t care about your mood.

Three common traps I see all the time:

-1- Thinking instead of doing. This is a form of avoidance.

-2- Setting obstacles/goals that are way too challenging or not a challenge at all. Both impact motivation negatively.

-3- Trying to accomplish it yourself. If you have set a goal that will build your self esteem then it will have a reasonable degree of challenge. It will be a goal that takes you to the next level, that builds the next floor. This means to give it a go, but if you struggle then find a mentor, find someone that has accomplished the goal previously and ask for support.
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