“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Lucille Ball
Is There A Low Self-Esteem Epidemic?
There are a lot of injustices in the world today, and there always have been. However, one of the biggest injustices is that we as people constantly underachieve compared to our potential.
In other words, most of us are not living our highest vision for ourselves. There are many reasons for this, but I believe that at the core of this is low self-esteem.
To better understand what I mean by this, let’s define self-esteem. The oxford dictionary defines self-esteem as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
So to have low self-esteem then is to have a lack of confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It isn’t hard to see that there is a deliberate effort in media and pop culture in general to cause low self-esteem among people.
Why would anyone do this? There are so many reasons, but here are a few:
People with low self-esteem don’t trust themselves, they think other people know better than they do, therefore they are more easily manipulated, they can be made to think things, buy things, and feel certain things. They are willing to work for someone else, and accept pay that is lower than what they could be making, they take less chances, don’t try to change systems, etc.
Even on a surface level, it’s pretty obvious how low self-esteem could affect one’s thoughts, attitude, and actions. Thoughts, attitude, and actions come together to form a personality.
Our thoughts determine our attitudes, and our attitudes determine our actions. You’ve probably heard the saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
When you have a positive vibrant personality, you develop great connections. This opens up opportunities that would not be available if you didn’t have positive thoughts, attitude, and actions.
Thoughts become beliefs over time. Have you ever heard of a governor? I know you’re thinking what do politics have to do with this?
You’re absolutely right the answer is nothing lol! However, I’m not talking about that kind of governor. I’m talking about a governor in a car.
Let’s say a car is capable of going 200 miles per hour, but there is a governor on it. The governor will keep the car from going over a set speed, let’s say 80 miles per hour. Now, think of your beliefs the same way.
They act as a governor in our lives. If we have a belief that we’re good but not great at something we will never achieve greatness in that area.
Your beliefs dictate what you do and what you don’t and how you do it. Quantum physics, particularly the “double slit experiment” has shown that what we believe affects matter at the subatomic level.
Michio Kaku’s water experiments showed that our intent affects water tremendously, keep in mind that our bodies are mostly water.
These experiments show us just how powerful our intent is, and the tangible affect it has on the physical world.
This is why it is imperative for us to develop a healthy self-image and general relationship with ourselves.
It’s certainly not your fault if you have low self-esteem, but it’s most certainly your responsibility to do something about it. So what’s the big deal you say?
Why should I do anything about my self-esteem? I’ve gotten by just fine and in fact no one even knows I have low self-esteem.
My friend, I’m glad you asked. Let’s discuss just a few of the effects of low self-esteem. Not fulfilling one’s purpose, not taking necessary risks, not connecting with certain would be friends, lovers, business partners, even would be mentors.
Also, a weakened immune system, lessened motivation, depression, anxiety, and many more. You see? This is why it is SO important for us to develop a healthy relationship with ourselves, but why stop there?
We should develop amazing relationships with ourselves, the quality of our lives depends on it. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but roll with me here.
A Simple Approach to Building Self-Esteem.
So, now that we’ve discussed what low self-esteem is, and why we should do something about it, let’s discuss some of the ways we can develop a healthy self-esteem.
One of the simplest and most powerful ways we can increase self-esteem is by setting and achieving goals that are just slightly outside of our comfort levels.
We should also clearly define the date we plan to achieve them by. For example, if we know we can run a mile, but aren’t so sure we can run a mile and a half, we would set a goal to run a mile and a half by a certain date.
We would then create a step by step plan to consistently work towards that goal. We are then almost certain to achieve it, and when we do, we will notice that we feel a little more confident in ourselves.
As we keep setting goals and then accomplishing them, our belief in ourselves will grow, and that will spread into every area of our lives.
As we achieve more and more, our goals will grow, and so will our self-image. We will begin to feel that we have something to offer to people, to the world.
It sounds simple and it is, but it’s not always easy. See, there’s a reason that you haven’t felt as good about yourself as you’d like to.
To put it simply, your beliefs aren’t conducive to having the level of self-esteem you would like to have. So, why not just start thinking different thoughts?
Wouldn’t that work? Well, what I’ve found is that while it is helpful, if it’s not backed with new actions reflecting confidence, and a knowledge of the mind and how it works that only comes from consistent study, it just isn’t effective enough when it comes to changing your beliefs at a subconscious level.
It’s too challenging to consciously make effort to think healthier thoughts, when your actions reflect low self-esteem.
So, in conclusion, it is crucial for our happiness, success, and full expression of who we are to have high self–esteem.
I would even go as far as to say, unless we develop high self-esteem, we can never fulfill our highest callings in our lives. In case you were wondering, YES that includes our health. With all of my love,
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” John F. Kennedy
We all want to be as healthy and fit as possible, and it’s no secret that to do that we should have a well-balanced diet and exercise program.
While I agree that’s a wonderful start, there’s a lot more to it than that. Let me ask you a question.
If someone were to eat sensibly and exercise regularly but be in an abusive relationship, would they be healthy?
What if their eating and exercise were in check but they were lazy, or talked negatively to themselves, or smoked cigarettes, didn’t treat others well, or were greedy?
The list goes on, however the point is that being healthy in one or two areas does not guarantee health.
A healthy body and an unhealthy mind do not mix! Take a traditional martial artist for example.
They not only practice martial arts, but physical fitness, meditation, non-violence, and an overall balanced life.
If they were to only become proficient in the physical aspect of martial arts without acquiring the mental and emotional discipline acquired by living the proper lifestyle, it could backfire. T
hey could be depressed, fly off the handle and hurt people, or become a bully. That is the exact opposite of what martial arts are intended to do for a person.
I would like to draw a parallel between this and adopting a healthier lifestyle. It’s great to begin making healthier eating choices.
It’s great to dedicate yourself to being active several times a week, but it’s just the beginning.
Your goal should be to become healthier and balanced overall. Your diet consists of not only what you eat, but also who you spend time around, what you read, listen to, and watch.
If you eat healthy food and watch toxic television, or listen to toxic music, or read gossip columns, then you are not healthy.
Think about negativity like a virus. It must be contained or it will spread. The only cure for negativity is positivity.
Feed your mind and body with enough positivity and you not only stop, but transform negative energy into positive.
Take your time with this, and increase positivity in small doses however, if you try to go from 0 to 100 too quickly you will likely burn out.
How you do this is to slowly and consistently replace these toxic anchors that are weighing you down with healthy habits that enlighten you.
Just like medicine you will build up a tolerance over time, meaning you can tolerate more positivity without mentally burning out, so increase the dose as needed.
I have put together a list of negative habits and corresponding positive remedies to assist you, feel free to use these, or make up your own but remember, start in small doses, and increase in small increments. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
The list goes as follows:
1: Watching television
2: Listening to music that is violent, apathetic, perverse, promoting drug use, etc.
3: Reading, listening to, or watching the news (I know this one is controversial. If you feel you must follow the news then skip this one, but I would strongly advise against it.)
4: Watching movies that glorify violence, or promote people as sex objects(I know a lot of people watch pornography, I wouldn’t advise quitting cold turkey, just start by watching porn that isn’t so dark, like real couples that seem to love each other, etc.)
5: Hanging around negative people. Everyone feels down sometimes, then there are the people that always have something negative to say. I’m talking about the gossipers, the ones that shoot you down when you have a new idea, the ones that impose on your time and leave you feeling drained. If you are in a relationship with a person like this I would recommend getting out as soon as possible, but if you are unable to for whatever reason, flood yourself with as much positive truth as possible. Get headphones. This is a topic for another article.
6: Having a job that brings you down.
1: Watching positive videos on Youtube. (This is great because you can handpick each video that you watch.) If you are unsure about what videos are positive think about the message. Is it inspiring? Does it make you feel good inside? Is it funny? Does it make you smile? Does it leave you feeling empowered? If the answer to any of these is yes it’s most likely a positive video.
2: Listening to uplifting music. This could be music without words, or it could be any music with a positive message. Keep in mind though, that you likely won’t find much of it on the top 40 station. You could also listen to lectures and seminars that will teach, uplift, and inspire you.
3: Read books, or listen to audiobooks that teach you something and inspire you, whether fictional or nonfiction. Books that empower you to achieve your goals and think highly of yourself.
4: Work on bringing your ideas to life. Let’s say you want to write a book. Give yourself a timeline that clarifies when you plan to have it finished, and then break it down into small daily steps such as, write five pages a day, or write for thirty minutes every day before bed. No matter how small the steps you take, if you keep moving forward, eventually you will arrive at your destination. Draw, paint, play music, sing, dance, learn a new skill. Give your brain the stimulation it craves instead of sedating it with violent and oversexed images.
5: Hang around positive people. This is very straightforward, however, I realize that it is not always possible. In those cases where it isn’t I recommend dropping negative people from your life gradually. Hang out with them less, answer their calls less, respond to their texts and DMs less, slowly wean yourself off of them, and them off of you. If this isn’t possible, for example if it’s a coworker or family member you have to see daily, then tune them out with positive messages as often, and I emphasize often, as you can.
6: Start looking for a job in an atmosphere that you like. Maybe it’s not an ideal position, but if it’s in an environment that you like, it could do wonders for elevating you mentally. In the meantime you’ll be working on bringing your visions to life, and perhaps one day they will grow into a stable income source for you.
7: Go outside! This one is simple. Spend time in nature. It has a way of calming our minds and putting things in perspective. If you can get to an area with grass or sand, take off your shoes. It’s called grounding and it has been proven to have many health benefits from reducing inflammation to improving heart rate variability. (Lowering resting heart rate.) 20 minutes a day is recommended, but any amount of time is beneficial.
8: Develop a spiritual practice. This can look like whatever is right for you. It could be church, yoga, meditation, silent time, prayer, or anything that fulfills your soul and leaves your heart feeling full.
Keep in mind these are only some examples and the sky is the limit as far as options, just try to make sure that any changes you make are positive.
It won’t always be easy, and I encourage you to come back to this article from time to time to reinvigorate yourself.
Remember, consistency is key. I hope this serves you well, and feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. Much love!