Self-Esteem if you dare

I started reading a self esteem book and the self esteem handbook. Its in the introductory pages, but I feel myself pinpointing people in my life that have low self esteem that are self destructive (and aren’t aware of it) and also bring people down with them. I feel like I've been bruised by others low self-esteem along with my bruising other people. No one has perfect self-esteem, but it is easy to see who suffers in their lives because of it and makes the other people around them suffer as well. As far as my self-esteem I feel as though i have been pretty nasty to people to keep them away, to keep them from not liking me. I figured that if I kept them away then they wouldn't have a chance not to like me.

The book is called "Self-Esteem Third Edition" By Matthew McKay PHD and Patrick Fanning it can be found on Amazon along with the handbook. I know a lot of people turn away from self exploration, which I think is a shame. Maybe it is tough to deal with the truths of our lives, or maybe some people think its corny, or they don’t have the time, or even that they don’t need it. Those things frustrate me for some reason, and they always have. Its possible that my mom has influenced me into loving "self-help" books and being annoyed by those that are not interesting in learning why they do what they do and trying to change destructive behavior. Its key to learn and a hard lesson for me to learn that its not my love for food that keeps me overeating, its how I feel about myself that keeps me yearning for more food. I believe this goes for almost everyone that cannot stop overeating and feeding our bodies with crap. It's hard to say "ok this is the problem...how to I fix it?"

I believe that the reason why diets fail, is not because we cant follow a diet or because any diet cant work, its because we are not fixing the problem or reason why we are fat. There is a reason, you just have to work on figuring it out and healing yourself. So many people beat themselves up for not being able to say no to unhealthy foods and getting off of the couch and most of the time this isn’t the only destructive behavior they have in their lives. For me, I am horribly unorganized and do everything last minute. I stay this way to keep from achieving wonderful things.
Low self-esteem comes in many shades and the result of it varies from person to person. I don't mean to talk about it as though it is a mental illness or as if its a disease you can somehow catch. Because its neither, its something that can be changed with work, and why not?

According to the book people find ways to avoid aggravating the pain of self-rejection in any way. Maybe you take fewer social, academic, or career risks. You make it more difficult to meet people, interview for a job, or push hard for something where you might not succeed. You limit your ability to open yourself with others, be the center of attention, hear critism, ask for help or solve problems. To avoid more judgments and self-rejection, you erect barriers of defense. Perhaps you blame and get angry, or bury yourself in perfectionism. Or you brag. Or you make excuses. Sometimes you turn to food...drugs...alcohol etc.

How familiar does this sound for yourself and maybe other people that you know?
I sometimes feel that there are two types of people with low self-esteem those that seek out to hurt other people (without knowing it in some cases) in attempt gain self esteem in the process. And those that are self-sabotaging because of low-self esteem.
I've been several people who have hurt me because of the first type of low self-esteem. I never felt it was intentional, but it defiantly was wounding.

Here are some traits I have found in my life with those people and find in myself as well:
-horribly judgmental
-they out lash or react with anger to tough situations
-make excuses for what they cannot do in life (situational excuses such as (even if not said): "my family is to blame" "i had a traumatic childhood" "its everyone elses fault that I cannot succeed at work etc" )
-cannot take critism and does not deal well with being confronted
-denial of reality and their current situation in life
-brags a lot, exaggerates and lies about their life

other traits of low-self esteem can be found in:
-overeating (binge eating etc.)
-bottling things up or never showing true emotions
-avoiding situations that involve change, growth or where you may feel vulnerable
-avoiding failure by not trying new things
-perfectionism (which keeps you in a narrow mind frame and prevents excellence that comes from making mistakes)

I think the key to addressing your own issues with self are also to acknowledge and learning to spot these same issues in other people. The reason for this is to not take what they may say to you and let it damage your self-worth because of their own issues with themselves.

I will continue writing on this topic as I make my way through the book and workbook.
I think it takes a lot of courage to begin healing yourself and acknowledging who you are and who you want to be. Its also important to stand up to toxic people that may try to bring you down with them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'm really glad I came across your blog today; I believe I will return to it frequently because it is interesting to read and I can relate to so much of what you say! You are 100% right in addressing the mental-emotional reasons behind unhealthy habits (why don't more people realize this is necessary?!). This is something I'm working on as well.
Just from skimming through your site, I can see that you are clearly a beautiful, fun, intelligent, articulate girl and I wish you all the success in the world.

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