Low self-esteem is one of the most widespread phenomena in society.

We could say in fact that, to a greater or lesser extent, we all have to deal with our self-esteem, as it is implicit in us as human beings. Many suffer from it and we all hear about it, but few know how to heal it. Love yourself… How do you do that?

Nowadays we can find a lot of content on the internet that talks about self-esteem and the “tricks” to heal it, these articles talk about practices and recommended exercises to raise self-esteem, but they are usually treated in a superficial and reactive way, that is to say, they deal with it in a superficial way without going deep into its nature.

On the other hand, we find theoretical psychological analyses of self-esteem, from the professional point of view of mental health, which, although they are deeper analyses, are more complex to understand and less practical in our day-to-day life, without applied conclusions.

In the following, we are going to discuss some aspects of self-esteem in its nature and origin, based on our own and others’ observation and on real experience of real people with low self-esteem in a therapy room, that is, on the experiences that could be of any of us living in society. In this way, we will see some practical conclusions about self-esteem and how to address it. As always, it’s not about you believing them, it’s about you experiencing them for yourself.

Finally, we will discuss self-esteem from the point of view of consciousness, self-knowledge and the process of conscious awakening in life, as they are closely related.

Self-knowledge.

Knowing yourself. How can I love myself if I don’t know myself? The first step towards self-esteem is self-knowledge, so that if we are aware of who we are, how our body, mind and emotions work, we can begin to understand and love ourselves.

Knowing oneself requires an exercise of introspection, that is, we must observe ourselves, we must look inside to see what is there. Who I am, how I am, why I do the things I do and what I do them for.

The journey of self-knowledge is long and slow, requiring time, honestyand willingness. Little by little, we discover the character we have become.

Throughout life, we all develop a character, based on the experiences we have lived, which in turn give rise to the beliefs and values that make up our personality and character.

We start from a given genetic configuration, a raw material, from which we add layers like those of an onion. Knowing these layers, their origin and their reason for being, is the key to understanding how and why we act the way we do.

For example, an aggressive person, who was not born aggressive, at some point in his life, understood that, by being aggressive, he could get what he wanted, he could protect himself in front of others, get respect, social acceptance, etc. This surely has an explanation, and most likely has to do with some experience throughout your life. Sometimes it can be a one-time event (he was beaten at school and defended himself) and other times it can be something like at home, his father always instilled in him that to get something, he had to fight for it at any cost, sometimes it is a set of several factors and that is why it can be complex to distinguish them.

Once we identify these onion layers, these traits that define us (insecurity, arrogance, superficiality… etc) we can begin to know ourselves, getting an idea of the reasons that have led us to be the way we are now.

Sometimes it is difficult to identify these onion layers, these traits that define the character we are building, because sometimes we don’t see them and sometimes we don’t want to see them. To explain this, it would be very interesting for you to do the following introspection exercise.

In the following chart we establish 4 areas about ourselves, four approaches to our personality, to our Self. Taking a journey through them makes us think and helps us understand ourselves a little more, making it easier to peel back the layers of the onion.

For the blind self, there is a coaching exercise called The Pendulum, which is very revealing. It consists of listing 5 traits of others that you can’t stand and reject. Once you have done so, go through them one by one and be aware that many of these traits are also in you. This is what is known as the Mirror effect, we reject behaviors in others because they are also ours, and yet we do not see them.

Through these exercises, you will discover personality traits that you like and dislike. The important thing is that you honestly recognize and accept them.

Acceptance

Once we have a map of ourselves, we must have the honesty to recognize ourselves as we are. In terms of self-esteem, it is important to value our positive attributes, but it is even more important to accept those that we do not like. Accepting ourselves in order to love ourselves.

Throughout life, we have managed as we more or less knew how, we began to live without an instruction manual, without awareness of what we were doing or why or what we were doing it for, it’s okay, nothing happens, accept it.

Another key to self-esteem is to understand and be aware that we are not this or that, but that, throughout our lives and experiences, we have developed certain traits that have made us act in a certain way, we have learned to behave in certain ways and to interact with others.

For example, through self-knowledge one may discover that for much of one’s life one has been or is a Prepotent, then? How can I love myself if I am a Prepotent? No, you are not an arrogant person, but you have learned to behave with arrogant attitudes, to the point that, perhaps, arrogance is a characteristic trait of your personality. It’s okay, it’s okay, don’t blame yourself, now that you know and understand that this behavior has a reason to be, change it.

Learn to Respect Yourself.

We love each other so little that we don’t respect each other. This is reflected in a very clear way, when we observe our behavior.

Normally a person with low self-esteem is compliant. He is always there for others, but he does not fulfill himself because he does not even respect himself. The person with low self-esteem does not know how to set limits, neither to himself nor to others, so he probably does not know how to say NO when someone asks him for something because he seeks the affection of that person even above himself. To respect oneself is to know how to set limits, that is, to know how to say no when someone asks you for something, if by doing so I have to put other people’s interests above my own. For example, when someone asks for a favor that implies dedicating time, and we stop dedicating time for ourselves, which we need to invest in the other person, thus putting their interests above ours.

Once I observe myself, know myself and respect myself by setting limits, then I can begin to love myself and give myself courage. Our value is not in the things outside, in the car we drive, in the clothes we wear or in our physical appearance, therefore, a person who values and loves himself, knows that he does not need anything from outside to give himself value or to be valued.

We hope this article has helped you to understand yourself a little more, to wake up and to love yourself.

Don’t believe anything you just read, experience it and start thinking for yourself.

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