Growing up we've all had different experiences: good and bad. Because of these experiences, the way they've impacted us and how we've interpreted them, we've acquired convictions about ourselves and a view of the world. These convictions are also called our belief system. Our beliefs have been shaping our lives and our choices since the day they were formed. Positive #beliefs make us strong and resilient. Negative beliefs undermine us at the very core of our being.
The good thing is, that we can change our beliefs. The bad news is that throughout our lives, we've collected tons of arguments to uphold our points of view. We're now convinced they are true. This often leads to biases in our perception and so the process continues its destructive path. This all happens subconsciously. So it might take time and persuasion to realize that our perspective is highly subjective and thus not factual. You see, even though our emotions are real, our perception of things often isn't.
So what about our self-image? What about the thoughts we have about ourselves, our capacities, and capabilities? What about our self-esteem? Well, these thoughts are also shaped through experience and ultimately end up as our beliefs. So having a poor image about ourselves or having low self-esteem isn't something we are born with. How does the belief-making process work when it comes to our self-confidence?
From a very young age, we're imprinted with this idea that “just” being ourselves somehow isn't good enough. We are taught to behave a certain way, to listen and to do as we're told. We are asked to become decent citizens, take other people's interest into account and fulfill other people's expectations. Even if our parents managed to instill in us a sense of self-worth, the demands of school and society probably interfered with these good intentions.
In our current society, we are expected to be outstanding citizens. We need to get an education, a job, partner, some kids, a mortgage and pay taxes. We are loved for our successes and rejected for our failures. So we grow up feeling called to focus on acquiring more stuff, prestige, money, and power. We think it's where our happiness resides. Sadly, having low self-esteem only leaves us grasping for more, without ever feeling satisfied.
Having low self-esteem is like telling the world that we're somehow falling short, that we're not good enough, and that there's something fundamentally wrong and unlovable about us. It's pretty much a slap in the face of those who truly love us, of the Universe, life, and even God (dependent on your core beliefs). It puts us in a victim mentality and provides excuses not to try, not to start, not to be courageous. Of course, there are instances where people are brave enough to take a leap of faith inspite of their insecurities. But most of the time low self-esteem keeps us paralyzed and playing small.
Our self-confidence comes from negative beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. It's ultimately a mindset issue and as such an INNER problem. The word self-esteem already says it: it's about what we believe about ourselves. It has nothing to do with other people (although we often unconsciously give others the power to make or break us). That's why surrounding ourselves with wealth, admirers and things won't solve this problem and will leave us feeling empty on the inside.
Having the belief that we're not good enough determines most of our life. It's at the root core of every decision and choice we've ever made. Additionally, lacking trust in oneself often goes together with a lack of trust in general. When we doubt ourselves/our abilities/our worth, we almost automatically start to doubt others and even life itself. It's a downward spiral that ultimately enhances our negative beliefs about ourselves and creates, even more, self-defiant choices. The more we doubt ourselves the more difficult it becomes to make choices, set goals, and get into action. We then start to doubt and judge ourselves even more. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It's a pity because our worth is a given. We don't have to do anything to become worthy. We already are. Each and every one of us. So it's imperative for our quality of life to stop this destructive cycle of negative self-talk as soon as possible!
Thankfully we can. We can change this process and even use it to our advantage. You see, when we start making choices from the willingness to have faith in ourselves, we'll get different results, and our perspective on ourselves will start to change! This, in turn, will trigger new, more positive experiences and start building up our self-esteem!
To sum up: low self-esteem is a negative mindset about one's abilities and worth which can lead to a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy that upholds and reinforces the negative beliefs. We can change our beliefs and by doing so clear the way to more authenticity and happiness. For tips on how to boost your self-confidence, please watch the video.
You can read even more about changing your beliefs in next month's article! I'd love to meet you here again.