One of the biggest obstacles in my life is overcoming my low self esteem. I believe it’s linked to my depression. I looked up ways to deal with self esteem and I came across a link included on a post on Wiki How, which I’ll include for you all now. It’s 40 minutes long but it’s completely blown me away.
Listening to this wonderful man, Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, talk about his lack of awareness to his low self esteem and then how he overcame it, gradually, has inspired me! He talks about how lack of self esteem is an illusion; an unawareness to one’s strengths. Sigmund Freud referred to it as self destruction, embedded in all of us. Rabbi claims self esteem is mostly an unconscious response. Most people believe low self esteem is due to a tragic or troubling childhood experience. Rabbi believes that, although this may contribute to this feeling, it isn’t always the root of the issue. He reinforces that you’ve got to learn to like your own company when you’re alone, with absolutely NO distractions and without having to get up and do something, because liking yourself in that moment is a true test to your self esteem.
Rabbi believes that disciplining children needs to be done in a way so that the children still know they are loved. So, for every wrong thing you tell them off for, you congratulate them on 3 things they did well. I don’t believe that I had that when I was a child. Maybe I’m just remembering the moments I was always told off but that right there is the main thing that deteriorates a child’s self esteem. “A child should still be loved and love unconditionally” is something I vaguely remember the Rabbi mentioning.
I know, for a fact, that when I’m a lone, even WITH distractions, I’m reinforcing my weaknesses in my head: my weight, my lack of a boyfriend, my sister, my friends in South Africa, my worries about university. I’m always worried I’m going to fail, instead of focusing on the qualities I do have that I can actually use to make something positive happen. I have sat here for a few minutes, whilst typing, and I’m struggling to come up with 5 things I like about myself. However, I have come up with those 5 things:
- I’m conscientious and diligent
- I’m a hard worker
- I’m ambitious
- I’m a good singer
- I’m loving
It took me a while to think it was okay to even point out these points to people and I’m cringing blogging about this but at the same time, I should be proud.
You know, people…friends and family…they always tell me good things about me like I’m kind, I’m generous, I’m funny but, as the Rabbi pointed out, they’re lovely to hear, however, for someone who has low self esteem, those compliments hardly make any effect.
So for me, especially now that I have university two months away, I need to gradually work on talking nicely to myself and liking me for me.
I found that video so insightful and if you’re struggling with self esteem, please watch it! It really opens your eyes.
Until next time,