So often we have a self-esteem issue that is underlying our behavior and beliefs. We discover it in therapy at the moment we begin making excuses for why we don’t go out and get the things we want. There is a moment where we realize we don’t like ourselves.
So when we come to this realization people will often ask, “So now what? Now that I know, what do I do?”
It’s here that almost everyone stumbles and doesn’t know what to do.
This place feels so subjective. A teacher I know always says that in order to heal something you have to get VERY SPECIFIC about what needs the healing. The idea is that our self-hate hides in lack of clarity or lack of specificity. That’s what maintains it. Lack of clarity.
So I want you to try something to help you learn more about what is going on in your unconscious. Take a minute, get out some paper, and WRITE DOWN THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU SPEND TIME OBSESSING ON.
Maybe you only have 2 - 4 people. That’s fine. Just write them down. I’m sure you have those people that you go on and on about in your head creating stories. If you don’t know who they are I bet your family members know who it is you obsess on. Take your time finding your people.
Now make a few notes next to each one about how you compare yourself to them.
“Well, this one has more friends than I do. That makes me feel insecure.”
“This one achieves more than I do”.
“This one doesn’t respect me.”
“This one doesn’t listen to me.”
Whatever it is write it and be as detailed as possible. These are the clues we need!
Finally, I want you to write the things about these five people that are less than ideal. They have some negative traits, everyone does. Go ahead and be as specific as possible and write down these negative things. You are allowed to judge them right now. You are allowed to say whatever it is without justifying it. (“I know they don’t mean to but...”). Forget the justification!
Now - I’m going to ask you a few questions.
Are you creating a self-esteem picture about yourself based on what you believe these people think of you?
How influenced is your self-esteem picture by the person’s negative traits (not their positive traits)?
Ask yourself: Do I respect this person... is this person that I am so worried about someone who I respect their way of thinking, behaving, believing, etc.?
Really tune in here. How do I feel about them? Not how do they feel about me.... How do I feel about them? You might find something interesting here if you really look.
If we look at the first question. Am I creating a self-esteem idea of myself, in my head, based on what I think they think? Is that true? Do I really know what they think?
Do I respect these people that are so important I am creating my whole self-esteem around them and what I think of them and what I think they think of me?
Do they really know you? This is important. I mean, do they know you inside and out? Do they know how good you are with children or dogs or cooking or budgeting or gardening? Do they know what makes you passionate? Do they know what makes you smile or relaxes you? Do they value the things you value so that the question even matters? For example, you value animals and they don’t value animals, then why does it matter what they think of you on this particular topic? There is actually no common ground on this issue. If you value budgeting money and they don’t value budgeting money then does it even matter what they say about you on this topic?
If you value unconditional love and they value conditional love, does it matter what they say about you? If you value sobriety and they value drinking, does it matter what they say to you on this topic?
What I see often (almost every day) are very wonderful people with tons of empathy and lots of good qualities, but they don’t like themselves because they create their self-esteem based on people who don’t value them. Read that sentence again and see if it applies to you in any way.
There’s so much more we could do on this topic but I’ll save that for part 2.
Have a wonderful day!