How can the pieces of my life add up to make me a significant person in life? I feel i am in a world that is not near where other successful people live. Self esteem is a term in psychology that reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of self. Self esteem is a combination of beliefs( e.g. ‘I am competent’, ‘I am worthy) and Emotion( triumph, despair, pride and shame). Self Esteem also means self-worth, self-respect and self-regard. This implies that whatever view you hold of yourself is ultimately what you become in your world. When you have the right estimation of yourself, you will develop such confidence that makes you have that sense of worth for yourself. This disposition in life has a great impact in all areas of your life. The focus here is to look at the degraded value you place on yourself and its ultimate effects(Dynamics of low self esteem). This is a thinking disorder where you have a wrong estimation of yourself. This starts right from childhood into adolescence. What stays till adolescence have a high tendency to escape into adulthood. Dorothy Corkille Briggs stated that “The major task of adolescence is the re-evaluation of self”. This re-evaluation uses the teen’s past experiences and influences, as well as the messages s/he receives from parents, teachers, friends, and society in general. All these combined to form the total being of the young person. This, if not checked and corrected early enough goes into adulthood and has a way of affecting everything s/he does, as individual or for any group or organization. The outcome of the re-evaluation stated above forms three keys to Self-Concept as pointed out by Maurice EM Wagner. 1. Belongingness Wagner writes: Belongingness is an awareness of being wanted and accepted, of being cared for and enjoyed… Wherever the experience swings to forms the position the person stands. Ugly experiences of the past takes away acceptance and a mindset of being cared for. 2. Worthiness Wagner also writes: Worthiness is a feeling of “I am good” or “I count” or “I am right”. We feel worthy when we do as we should. Other people’s attitudes towards us forms the basis for verification. 3. Competence Wagner writes: This is the feeling of adequacy, of courage, or hopefulness, of strength enough to carry out tasks of daily life-situations…. Competence is affected positively by successes, and negatively by failures. The outcome of the past experiences and what was taught in the growing years forms his or her concept of self. CAUSES OF UNHEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM 1. Parental Rejection. The role of parents in the life of a child is very crucial. A child starts out in life with a clean slate. The experience that child is subjected to will eventually play out in his/her life. A situation where a child suffer the love of parents, the child will grow up having a feeling of rejection and lack of belongingness. 2. Faulty Thinking. When a child grow up, filled with wrong information, the child will have a blur perspective to life. This in turn has a way of introducing a thinking disorder. This is reflected when someone has a mindset of; a. Some things are not meant for him/her, but for a different class of people b. The mindset of inferiority in relation to persons and organization . c. Social sphere of life. It is not my kind of person they expect to see in the gathering. 3. Abuse. This is another major cause of low self-esteem. The experiences of the past, if not dealt with, has a way of shaping the way you see things, and subsequently affect your way of life. EFFECTS OF UNHEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM 1. Flawed Attitudes When there is a thinking disorder, the action that will follow most likely cannot be right. When your inputs are wrong, it is only logical to note that the output will follow a similar vein. That is why nothing will be wrong from the person’s perspective about the flawed attitude displayed. One of those flawed attitudes is fear. Instead of seeing life challenges as an obstacle that has to be conquered and used to one’s advantage, anxiety and fear will be displayed instead. People in this category sees themselves as victims, not victors. The situations of life that suppose to be a step to higher heights is seen as a threat to their lives. 2. Health of relationship When sense of belonging is missing; feeling of unworthiness. There is no how the relationship will enjoy bliss. This state of mind can be liken to a cancer, if not treated will infect the relationship and make a failure out of it.
3. Limits success A mindset that has defined boundaries for itself can never go beyond such limits. The implication of this is that, there are level of success the person cannot get to in life. This mindset has negative implications on work-life, family -life, business terrain, relationships. The state of your esteem has a direct link to the outcome of your life.
It was so strange to me initially when I discovered that low self-esteem has no respect for academic education. I graduated from the university to realize this. I suffered from this in my earlier age . I grew up with a family of eight children. My father happened to be a principled man, with the intention of seeing us become responsible children in our respective chosen areas. In the bid to achieve this, we were handled with high- handedness. In the process, we became “robot-like.” You have to be what he wants you to be. I grew up developing fear and confining myself within imaginary boundaries developed over decades. Unconsciously, this entrenched mindset in me became my reality. This made me kept so many things to my self, and could only ponder on it alone. Whatever resolve i take was what i acted out. I became someone who believe there are certain level of success meant for special class of people. These effect showed in my relationship with people, estimation about myself, the confidence level, capacity to dream big etc. It took someone meeting me in my high school days, chatted me up and gave a different perspective to what i have held on to for so long. I eventually got to a point in my life I told myself that; “I cannot continue in this vein any longer” . I thought to myself, the people making it in life don’t have any special abilities different from what I have. Just then, i decided to do something about it. The following were the steps I took;
1. Realizing that my current state did not give the right picture of what I was meant to be in life. 2. Deliberately cultivated a mentoring relationship. I was naturally not good at making friends easily, but i decided to establish a healthy one with people who are bold, inspiring and know where they are headed in life. 3. Decided to let go of old mindsets. The mindset of poor self-image to believing in myself, low confidence to bold step taking. Establishing and servicing mentoring relationships, taking up challenging tasks, and regularly align my thinking orderly. 4. Matched the resolution with action.
I believe strongly that if you fall into this category, or you know anyone in a similar vein, taking this similar steps rescue the person out of that situation. Be decisive and take action because of its damaging consequences on every area of life . You should note that getting a dream job, experiencing rewarding relationships(Marital and business related) will only be a mirage if you remain passive in your attitude.
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