Remember back to the time when you were younger and the overwhelming fear of your parents being disappointed in you if you did badly at school? That fear of them rejecting you or looking on in dismay. My father was quite strict when we were kids, and I remember the punishments he gave us for various things that were obviously against his beliefs and values. I now realise that this was simply a behaviour he was repeating from his own relationship with his parents. These days, it doesn’t even matter if there is no physical contact, because people’s words can be just as powerful and have a negative effect on our self-esteem. If these situations impact negatively on us as young children, we take this right through into our adult life.
The great thing about being an adult though is that you get to take your power back. You can take back control of your own life, your own state, and your own decisions. As human beings, we all have positive intentions for the people we care about, but this can be manifested in many complicated ways often leaving us worse off than before.
If you suffer from low self-esteem there would’ve been a time in your life when you felt that you did not have any power or control over a situation. If you were bullied, manipulated, or punished in a way that didn’t make sense to you, you would’ve been left feeling powerless and confused. When these negative associations happen and you believe it to be true, you start to take on the neurology and behaviour of someone who lacks confidence in themselves and act in a way that matches your limiting belief system. Your subconscious mind is conditioned by the very people you looked to as trusted members of your close circle be it family, friends, grandparents, teachers etc. They have all passed on their own values and beliefs in one way or another.
In order to build up your self-confidence and self-esteem you have to take your power back!
Often people who lack self-esteem will be easily manipulated and controlled by other people in a subconscious way. Sometimes the manipulator will not even realise what they’re doing because the person being manipulated is freely giving their power away. I have come across this many times in my work life, particularly when I worked in office environments or where there is a need for competition only to create power struggles and conflict. It is never nice being in the middle of that! Nor does it ever move anyone towards a solution.
When you allow yourself to be dictated to, manipulated or controlled by someone else it is very difficult to build up strength and dignity because you have given your power way. When you give your power away, it can be difficult to get it back.
Be kind to yourself!
The best thing to do to boost your own self-esteem is to practice loving who you are. Stop with the negative self-talk and re-frame those nasty criticisms that go over in your mind on a daily basis. Would you let someone else speak to you the way you speak to yourself? If you are constantly beating yourself up with negative self-talk, you will never feel an inner sense of happiness, perhaps always looking externally for things to make you feel better. Start working from within and you’ll eventually see the world from a very different perspective.