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Do Your Part: End the Epidemic of Low Self-Esteem

By Patricia .G.Omoqui

Low self esteem is a widespread mental affliction; it has reached epidemic proportions.   Almost all people carry this “virus.” Few are symptom-free.   Typical indications of infection include anxiety, helplessness, depression and addictions to work, food, alcohol, drugs, and dysfunctional relationships (to name a few).


In my work as The Thought Dr., I am privileged to get a peek into the minds of people worldwide.  Thoughts of worthlessness are more common than we realize.  We view our thoughts as our secrets.  Few of us disclose to others our anguished beliefs about ourselves.

Many people I work with suffer alone in their feelings of insignificance and despair.  When I assure them that they are not the only ones with feelings of inadequacy, most utter a shocked, “Really?!” This is often followed by a little sigh of relief.   Knowing we are not the only ones creates a small space for a ray of healing light to begin shining in.

Why do so many people develop such a tormented self-view?

I believe a sense of low self worth is something we are taught.  We are born knowing that we are valuable.   Adults “ooh and aah” over newborns.  We make infants feel welcome and important.   Babies know they are pure and precious.  Maybe that explains the spark of excitement in their eyes that dazzles us.

Sadly between infancy and adulthood we lose much of our enthusiasm for life.  Exposure to the low self esteem virus begins.    We learn from our parents, our teachers, our community, and the world at large how to judge ourselves.  We hear them verbally putting themselves down in remarks so casual and frequent that it is accepted without question.

Further, we are compared to our siblings and to classmates.    We are constantly being told that somehow we don’t measure up:  “Your grades aren’t as good as your friend’s. ..You need to lose some weight… You are too loud… You aren’t as fast a runner as your brother… You aren’t as pretty as your older sister. ..What a stupid thing to say!…What is wrong with you?  You can’t do anything right!” Thus thoughts and feelings of self-doubt begin to infest our minds and hearts.

Do voices of judgment from your growing up years still echo through your mind?  Unfortunately, almost everyone reading this article can answer, “Yes.” Without being aware of it, most of us became convinced that we were just not good enough.   We gradually began comparing ourselves to everyone we encountered.  We learned judgment; we weren’t born with it.

These critical voices largely molded our self-identity.  We put ourselves down.  We disparage others.  Then we suppress the inner pain.  At the same time, we try to come off as confident.   We become determined to show others how important we are.  We compete to have the nicest clothes, the flashiest cars and the most money.  We believe that somehow these outwards accomplishments can soothe the feelings of inner lack that gnaw at us.
Society’s unspoken message that we can prove our worth from having things and doing things is evidence of this malaise.  We believe that if we don’t have enough, then we aren’t valuable.  If we aren’t “successful” by society’s standards, then we aren’t important.

So, we run ourselves ragged.  We push ourselves to extremes.  We put tremendous pressure on ourselves and never allow ourselves to simply feel happy about who we are.  The barrage of judgment that began at an early age has caused us to look in the mirror and judge ourselves as unacceptable.

I am here to offer you a remedy.   Think of it as a prescription for your thoughts.  It can help you recover from the virus of low self-esteem and prevent future infections of self-doubt.
Please read the next paragraph closely.  Write down these affirmations.  Take several generous doses of this new thinking as part of your daily regimen.  Say them in the morning before you start your day.  Choose a few of your favorites and repeat them throughout the day.  Close your day with one last dose of self-love.     It could change your whole life.  If you really consider these words, focus on them and adopt them as truth, you can’t help but feel better.

I am a being of intrinsic value and inestimable worth.  I was born valuable.  I am worthy of love just as I am.  I am an eternal spirit, a unique expression of Life in a human body.  There is a place in the world just for me, a purpose only I can fill.  I give myself permission to love myself right now.  I no longer need to prove my worth by acquiring possessions.  I release myself from having to impress the world by what I do.  I let go of the pressure I put on myself.  I can just be me.  Plain and simple—I am worthy.  I am unique, authentic and full of love.  By honoring myself I give a gift to the world.  I offer myself acceptance, approval and love.
If you didn’t feel those words at the core of your being, please don’t read any further.  Stop.  Go back to the last paragraph and read it again.  Read it over and over.  Ask for Help to hear this truth clearly.  If you were able to sense the truth in your spirit, then read on.

How would your life change if you moved beyond feelings of inferiority and simply accepted your God-given value?
Here are some questions to help you envision the possibilities.  Would you keep the same friends as you have if you accepted yourself?  Would you buy the things you buy if you were confident of your worth?  Would you pack your day with activities if you didn’t have to prove yourself to the World?  Would you be able to relax more?  In what ways would you feel different about life if you approved of yourself?
Owning your true value will change your experience of life in miraculous ways.  You won’t know unless you open to a new way of perceiving yourself.

Your assignment this week is as follows:  Observe your thoughts and take note of self-criticism.  Notice how often you do things out of a desire to gain or maintain approval of others – family, friends, co-workers, boss, even strangers.  Do you want to live this way?  Does this motivation feel good?  If not, do your part to end the epidemic of low self esteem by choosing these new healing thoughts.

Remember that you are worthy of love just by being the exquisite creation of our Source that you are.
If all of us love ourselves more, we will naturally create a more loving World.  As we release self-judgment, we begin to release judgments we make on others.  When judgment lessens, peace grows.  As peace grows, we feel better and we create peace in our World.
The World is ready for you to know your own value and so are you.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.