A Mechanism Inside My Brain???
Imagine that somewhere inside your brain a mad scientist has planted a very unusual measuring device. This device works 24/7, does not require a battery, and as along as you are alive it is going to continue taking measurements. You can neither fool it, nor disable it. It dies when you die and not a moment sooner. And what does it measure? It measures and rates your performance as a human being in this world. Not your success with your career, not your accomplishments, not how much money you gave to charity, but - what kind of person you are. Among the things it measures every second of your life are the following: -Are you being honest?
-Are you willing to be responsible? And if so, how quickly? -How well do you think?
-How deeply do you feel? -Do your feelings run your life or can you hold them in proper perspective?
-Are you trustworthy? -Are you kind and compassionate? Or are you hurtful to other people? -Do you keep your word?
-What principles do you hold and how often do you live by them? -Are you able to ask for help and to receive it when offered?... You get the picture. If you can imagine an internal device that's set to measure all this and more about you, then you are getting a glimpse into the inner workings of your Self-Esteem. Regardless of whether you are aware of it or not, every second of your waking time you are rating yourself as a human being along the lines I have just described. You may tell a lie and get away with it. But not as far as your
Self-Esteem is concerned.
Because YOU know you have been dishonest and that gets you low marks from yourself.
You may have just hurt your partner and gotten away with this, - but not as far as your Self-Esteem goes.
Because as soon as you made that nasty comment - your Self-Esteem plummeted.
You might have avoided taking responsibility and let someone else do what you should have done, but the moment you turned your head away from it, your "goodness" measurements dropped. Others may never find out that you have been dishonest. They may let you get away with how you act... But not you. You won't let yourself get away with anything when it comes to how you rate yourself as a human being. And if accepting your weaknesses and forgiving yourself is hard for you, and if you continue to act in ways that gets you "low marks" from yourself - sooner or later, as your Self-Esteem drops lower and lower, you will start feeling as if you are "unfit to live" and will begin looking for sources of Self-Esteem in all the wrong places. For example: You will try getting it by making more and more money, by driving a better and more expensive car, by owning beautiful homes, by receiving Awards and Medals for your accomplishments, by becoming more and more successful... and discover that none of it gives you your Self Esteem. All the things I just mentioned are important, admirable and valuable, but only as feedback about how good you are at what you are doing - NOT as a source of you Esteem. They have to do with your skills and talents and with your determination to succeed. But they have nothing to do with what kind of person you are. Which is what your Self-Esteem - the love you "earn" from you - is all about. If you are reading this and thinking, hey, as long as I have my success, why should I even bother? Why can't I just enjoy the success and forget about all the rest? Who even cares about my Self-Esteem? YOU do. Because Self-Esteem is a Need, not a preference. Not something that would just be "nice to have." You need your Self Esteem. As do I. As does every human being alive. Need it as much as you need food, water and oxygen. And it is not something you can negotiate. Without food and water and oxygen the physical body will die. Without Self-Esteem you may keep your body for a number of years, but you will be walking though life absent and dead. Nothing will be enough. Nothing will satisfy and bring lasting pleasure. Something will be always missing, and you will be unable to feel good about yourself regardless of the facade you show to the world. When you seek Self-Esteem in the places it can't be found your life becomes riddled with anxiety, guilt, fear, doubt... all these so-called "bagaboo emotions" that suck away your joy and end up ruining your life. You know people like that. You are probably thinking of someone right now who fits the description. It breaks your heart to see them this way. I am not exaggerating and yes, it is scary. The good news is that Self - Esteem (if it is weak) can be strengthened and rebuilt. You have to want to do it, of course. And as always the first step is telling yourself the truth, recognizing where it is lacking in you and consciously going about it building it back. Every blog I write has Food for Thought. If you want to improve your Self-Esteem, why not start with working on your thinking? "But Auriela, everyone can think..." Are you sure? Everyone can run or dance or slide down the hill in a toboggan. But only a few become Olympic Champions or world famous ballet dancers. Those who do - practice, don't they? They practice until it becomes their skill and then their art. Being able to think is no different. Being able to think well is an ability that can be developed by practicing it. Think. And evaluate your thoughts. See if what you are thinking is based on fact or on your projection. Let's take an old joke as an example: "Just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they are not after me." Which can be true, right? So think. Are they? Am I really in danger here or am I making it up out of my
out-of-control fear? Do I need to take action to protect myself or do I need to let go and lighten up? If you start doing this, you will also built a stronger base for Self-Trust and you will also become more Trustworthy. See how connected it all is? You can take any idea or concept I write about in my blogs and massage it, try it on, linger with it - THINK on it! Think about what you just read about Self-Esteem. Does it make sense? How does it apply to you? To other people you know? Being able to think is part of having strong Self-Esteem. Look at the questions in the beginning of this blog that help you build your Self-Esteem and answer them the best you can. This alone will move you forward beautifully.
And if you would take a week, a month or more, and before you go to sleep check how you did that day vis-s-vis the questions in the beginning of this blog and consciously "rate" yourself after each question, you will see where you need to change, to improve, and where you are doing great.
Rate yourself from 1 to 10 next to each question and see what happens.
I will tell you what will happen:). Your Self Esteem will grow leaps and bounds. With each day.
You will become more conscious, which will lead to a much better and richer life experience. To a much better and happier life. All for now.