Confidence Vs Self Esteem
I have read thousands of books, articles and message board posts advising how to boost your self-esteem. And most of them are the equivalent of painting a house that is about to collapse.
Keep yourself busy. Get out more. Achieve something. Write three good things about yourself. Buy new clothes and take an effort over your appearance.
Almost no one takes the time to think what the problem really is.
They may make you feel better. They probably will give you more confidence. But confidence is an entirely different thing from self-esteem… although most people don’t seem to realize it.
But in your mind there will always be a nagging little doubt. A little voice that creeps up on you.
"What if you lose your money”…
“what if you fail next time”…
“what if your friends don’t like you anymore”…
“what if you get it wrong"?
So actually all these things will bring you is only a good feeling for as long as they last. And a feeling of insecurity in case they don’t last.
Why won’t they change your self-esteem?
Because self-esteem really has nothing to do with anything other than your own judgement of worthy you are. These are how Webster’s and WordNet define self-esteem.
Self-esteem \Self`-es*teem"\, n. The holding a good opinion of one's self; self-complacency.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Source: WordNet (r) 2.0
Note that nowhere does it mention that your self-esteem depends to any extent on what others think. However as few people are their own source... and so depend on others for their needs then their judgement becomes only a reflection of others judgements.
This depends on how you understand the world and how you see yourself fitting into it. All the stuff around you will change. Losses will happen… friendships will end… looks will fade… and successes will pass. But the only thing that is constant, and always with you… is you.
Develop Belief In Yourself
So to really develop a belief in yourself… that doesn’t depend on everything going right… a belief that will comfort and support you whatever happens in life… you need to understand exactly where you fit in to the grand scheme of the universe.
Its not as snappy as the usual kind of three steps you usually see. It’s not as much fun as going out more. Nor is it as obvious as achieving more.
But by developing a philosophy that guides you – you’ll prevent ever being back in the same situation again.
You get to choose what is true. Your imagination is like a catalogue. All you can imagine is possible… you get to choose what you bring to life through your belief.
Self-esteem means the value that you place on yourself. So many people are going through life blaming their Parent’s, their Ex’s and anyone else in the firing line, for their low self-esteem.
And books, magazines articles and so on are so outwardly focused that they perpetuate the myth. They assume self-esteem must be a reflection of the extent the outward world values you.
The world can only value what it sees though. And it only gets to see what is the tip of a massive iceberg. Whatever you have achieved or haven’t achieved or done there is far, far more potential and possibilities you could do in the future.
The key to your relationship with yourself is being your own source. Everything you’ve ever been told about thinking too much of yourself and so on only has its roots in the fear that inherently you are a bad person and need to be controlled.
We live in a physical body, but that is not all we are. The body is a vehicle for us to express our message and display our beliefs. The body needs the essence of us to power it. However we are too expansive to fit into our body. So what we can’t fit in stays outside… this is sometimes called an aura. The more of you, you allow in the more energy, strength and motivation you will feel.
The extent that you deny yourself is the emptiness that you feel. And in feeling that emptiness it doesn’t matter how what you say or do for others. Your words and actions will be stained with bitterness, frustration and anger.
When you allow yourself to let in all that you are. You will soon overflow with love and joy. It is not then capable for you to not help others. Everything you think, say and do then becomes stained with your love and joy. People will feel uplifted just by being in your presence.
If you look at what made Jesus so popular, it was not his words. Throughout history there have been many eloquent and articulate speakers. It was the fact that his love for everyone overflowed from him to everywhere his attention spread. Yet we have always looked at his example, but through our limited understanding the assumptions that we made were that he must have been directing his focus outside and thereby neglecting himself. Hence the myth of sacrifice.
Jesus created an unlimited source of love and energy by loving himself first. He did this by taking time to be on his own, e.g. 40 days and nights in the desert.
Despite having more opponents than followers, Jesus did not take their opinion on his value. He instead looked within, and as his own source accepted himself as he was and loved himself.
This enabled him to relax his beliefs and therefore access unlimited energy, wisdom and insight.
Next: The Power Of A Friend