- This topic has 10 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
November 1, 2016 at 4:56 am #119298
Hi all 🙂
I’ve been working on my (lowwwwww) self esteem for a while, and nothing quite seems to stick. Inventories havent worked also because I dont believe any of the words I write if I manage to think of anything to write at all. Since my lack of self esteem has affected friendships, relationships and work I feel like I really need to sort it out, but I dont know how. Ive already quit one career because I didnt feel worthy of it, and im having trouble building the second one because I self sabotage good things.
I am going to a therapist, and I usually feel more empowered and able to do things after coming back from therapy but that usually doesnt last more than 1-2 days.
Have you guys found any thing that has worked for you?
mNovember 1, 2016 at 7:10 am #119300NinjaParticipant
I’m sincerely sorry that you are going through this difficult time.
Although your post was short, you obviously have a lot going on here. Low self-esteem, self-sabotage, feeling of worthlessness, … they can develop from a variety of areas. Sometimes we intentionally create such negative energy and beliefs (although obviously very unhealthy) – only to then covet and protect what we’ve created. Ultimately, the toxicity of our negative thoughts fills us with regret – and “negative downward spiral” only continues. A very vicious circle.
I am glad that you are seeing a therapist and that they are helping you feel empowered. Can you share any more of what your therapist is saying that is helping you feel more empowered? If you don’t feel comfortable sharing, that is perfectly understandable. Still, I believe that in order to offer any helpful insight on this thread we would need a little more input, history, etc.
Peace to you today.
NinjaNovember 1, 2016 at 8:46 am #119307AnonymousGuest
I second Ninja’s good question: what is it about your therapy sessions that empowers you (for 1-2 days following sessions)?
anitaNovember 1, 2016 at 8:56 am #119311PeterParticipant
For me, an introvert who was taught that other people’s needs came before mine the problem of self-esteem was a problem of how I imagined other people saw me. Through nature and nurture would judge myself on what I thought others thought of me and of course compare my life with how I imagine others’ lives are. Even if others told me I had value I imagined they were just being nice and didn’t mean it.
- I was allowing others, imagined others, to define my self-esteem.
You could say that my sense of self and self-esteem wasn’t based on who I was, the things I did, or the roles I took on but on imagination…. And my imagination sucked. Worse i discovered that apparently people, especially strangers, didn’t actually spend much time thinking about me or caring about my self-esteem that I was giving them power over.
One of the first steps in taking ownership of my self-esteem was coming to terms with what it meant to be an introvert in what I felt/feel is a extroverted world. To much of my self-esteem was tied to being ashamed of being a introvert and not being ‘outgoing’, exciting, a story teller, life of the party…
The following books were helpful as I learned the value of being an introvert and how it opened me to experience the world that could be helpful in my career and relationships.
QUIET: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I had often been told that I “think too much” and should just accept the things I was told. When I talked about what I was thinking about, a problem I was working through, others heard it as being negative or pessimistic… yet I felt optimistic
Thinking about things is part of my nature as was working through problems by identifying issues and strategies for dealing with them. However these well intention influences were telling me not to me.
In The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by Julie Norem I realized that my thinking too much was not being negative but a strategy. I discovered I was an optimist that believed that when I looked at a problem and worked out the ways things might go wrong I could and would correct those issue and everything would work out. You don’t want a strategic extrovert building your bridges you want a defensive introvert.
I guess I’m saying that my sense of self-esteem improved when took ownership of of my nature and nurture. Instead of imagining who I was I worked at finding and examining my nature and nurture. How I do things had value, who I am has value.
I won’t lie I still dream of being the extrovert that everyone loves (I imagine loves) but at my core that’s not me. However that not being me does not have to have any bearing on my sense of worth..
Anyway I hope you well on your quest for self-esteem and it is a quest as only you can find it and in finding it take ownership of it.
Trust your quest and that it has value because it is your quest! Allow yourself to be the person you are, the good the bad and the ugly. Be you!
In the thirteenth-century legend Quest for the Grail, when the vision of the veiled Grail appears to the knights in Arthur’s banquet hall to summon them each to their quest of unveiling it, the knights decide to ride forth singly, for to go in a group would have been shameful. This is the point which Campbell – the greatest mythologist of this century – holds up as testimony to a new moral initiative that is of the essence of European spirituality.
When all the knights had put on their arms, attended Mass and expressed their gratitude to their king, they ‘entered into the forest, at one point and another, there where they saw it to be thickest, all in those places where they found no way or path …. So they start their journey as individuals, each trusting to their own authority and to the mysterious power of their calling. Jules Cashford
Follow your Path
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ― Joseph Campbell
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” ― Joseph Campbell
“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.” ― Joseph Campbell
November 1, 2016 at 4:21 pm #119369Brav3Participant
- This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Peter.
I do not think there’s such things as a one solution or way that will fix your low self esteem. Because if there was, most of the west would be doing it.
It is a journey, a process that takes time and effort. There are certain believes that needs to adapt which only comes with time.
First step is to fully accept and embrace who you are as a person. To this you must know who you are in your core, really deep down. Do you know yourself? Lot of people don’t. Knowing yourself fully with acceptance of all the goods and embrace all the flaws in yourself will get you towards raising your self esteem.
Second step is to start practicing self-love, self compassion and forgiveness for yourself especially during mistakes and failures.
Along with these two steps if you can learn to dissociate the measurement of your worth from other people’s actions, you will have higher self esteem.
Explore these steps and you will find your answers.
Its working for me.
November 1, 2016 at 6:37 pm #119381JaxParticipant
- This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Brav3.
Actually I agree in Brav3. To build self esteem is to explore yourself. The therapist will say anything you want to here. But the thing is it’s only you who can help yourself. If you’re not helping yourself then going to the therapist will be wasted.
I’m actually trying to build my self esteem and it’s kinda hard. It might take a while but I know it will be worth it.
Goodluck to every one of us in overcoming it. May God help us all.
Jax the wanderer.November 2, 2016 at 5:31 am #119421NinjaParticipant
Please be careful and not discount the role of a good therapist. As in any profession, therapists can vary in their effectiveness. Finding the right one is key.
That said, I must contest this general comment, “The therapist will say anything you want to here.”
A good, effective therapist will do two very important things: 1.) ask the right questions and 2.) listen. On the outset, asking questions may seem like nothing. But they are trained to ask the right, poignant questions at the right time. They help you probe into areas that you may not want to or have never thought to venture. Sometimes they will make a suggestion (a resource/book to look into, etc.), but they should never offer their opinion.
Jaxthewanderer does confirm two very important points: the need to explore yourself (which again, a good therapist will help you do) and that you must take an active role in your therapy (“If you’re not helping yourself then going to the therapist will be wasted”). Great points!
I don’t mean to de-rail the conversation. But I do want to clarify this.
NinjaNovember 2, 2016 at 10:02 pm #119468
Hey guys! Thank you all for replying!
Ninja and Anita: I think my therapist reframes a lot of negative thoughts I have about myself in a positive light. She also helps me find concrete things I can do to make my home life better and having those things to do helps me feel that I can take steps to change things, that is empowering. But more than anything its the feeling of taking time out for myself and following thru with therapy that makes me feel better about myself, like I’m actually able to follow thru with something I’ve committed to. It also feels as something different and separate from my family, a safe space so to speak, and it is empowering to know that I CAN feel safe in certain situations, and that I was the one that took steps to find that safe space.
Peter: Thank you for sharing your journey. A lot of the the things you said and shared struck a chord with me, specially “taking ownership of my nature and nurture” and “How I do things had value, who I am has value.” These are good things for me to work towards.
Brav3: I struggle with knowing myself. To be honest, I could not tell you who I am or what I want. I am trying to move towards self knowledge thru meditation,journaling and art, but I have not gotten very far yet. Maybe I am hoping for results that are too concrete.
Jax: good luck to you too my friend! I hope we all get there 🙂November 3, 2016 at 9:20 am #119556AnonymousGuest
In your original post you wrote: “I am going to a therapist, and I usually feel more empowered and able to do things after coming back from therapy but that usually doesnt last more than 1-2 days.”
From your last post, it seems to me that the reason your sense of empowerment doesn’t last more than 1-2 days is because:
1. In therapy you feel safe and at home you don’t feel safe (“It (therapy) also feels as something different and separate from my family, a safe space”)
2. When in therapy, you think that you can do something to make your home life better (“She (therapist) also helps me find concrete things I can do to make my home life better and having those things to do helps me feel that I can take steps to change things”) but after 1-2 days back at home, you find out that… your home life is still the same.
3. In therapy, you think better about who you are (“my therapist reframes a lot of negative thoughts I have about myself in a positive light”) but when you are back home, your negative thoughts are reinforced by your parents, not your positive thoughts.
4. In therapy you take time for yourself (“But more than anything its the feeling of taking time out for myself”) but when you are home, your time is no longer about you. It is then… about your parents, I suppose.
5. In therapy you set a plan to follow and so you function as if the power over your life is yours (“following thru with therapy that makes me feel better about myself, like I’m actually able to follow thru with something I’ve committed to.”) But when you get home, the power over your life is not yours, and the focus, the path, the Plan, evaporate in the same-old-same-old dynamics at home.
What do you think/ feel about my understanding here?
anitaNovember 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm #119643
I needed to think about this one for a bit.
I do think that being home saps me of a lot of my energy and strength. But I have introjected a lot of things my parents do and say as well. So even my dad is not saying or doing anything as long as he is around I am still fighting a lot of guilt and anxiety as soon as I around him.
The advice she gives is usually geared towards the changing the dynamic at home but my own guilt stops me from following thru those suggestions to any significant degree.
mNovember 5, 2016 at 8:03 am #119654AnonymousGuest
It is tough to change well established family dynamics. Till your next post, with more of your thoughts regarding my last post to you, take care: