We are in Part 3 of How Do You Build Self Esteem. In part 2, you were invited to list down your little achievements, have you completed it? If you have not, do it before you read on. I really would like to boost your self esteem. Every exercise listed in this series is to achieve this.
In Part 3, we move into the inner self to improve your self esteem. We are focusing on giving up some unsupportive beliefs. You want to strengthened your inner self before reinforcing it with an outer armour. You may have to give up certain beliefs that are not supporting your self esteem in this process.
Give Up On Rating
Seen an evaluation form? Seen the rating questions or scale on the form?
- How is the food? Rate 1 – 10
- How is the service? Terrible…Poor…Average…Good…Excellent
While businesses, organizations rate their staff to improve their organizations, we rate ourselves for other reasons. Do you realized that most invalidate themselves after rating their own performance?
- “I scored a 4 in appearance, I’m such an ugly loser.”
- “I am very poor in this, I am so useless.”
This kind of rating creates two kinds of effects. Opinion of yourself will be moving up or down depending of your rating of yourself. Let’s say you completed a task, you’ll go “Good job, you are awesome.” The next day, you lose a customer, you’ll go “What a screw up I am!”
Your self esteem becomes more volatile than the stock market chart. You’ll never be able to build a healthy self esteem. From this alone, did you notice that you are only accepting the so called “good” things about you? You build your self esteem base on the nice things about you or happened to you. Do you see that this is extremely unhealthy?
Then there another kind of scenario. Let’s say you are an achiever. You achieve high ratings in life. And high rating is all you care about. At first glance, others may perceive your healthy self esteem. But in actual fact, your self esteem comes from decorations(branded goods, luxury cars) and achievements. But really, deep inside you have a huge sense of fear. The fear of being imperfect, fear of making mistakes, fear of being expose that you are imperfect.
This is a fake sense of self esteem because you attached your identity to the decorations and achievements. A healthy self esteem won’t need external possessions to define who they are. A healthy self esteem allows you to accept both your strength and weakness. A healthy self esteem allows imperfection.
Use the three questions below to check the healthiness of your self esteem.
- Are you constantly wanting to show your best in front of others?
- Are you afraid that your imperfection will be exposed?
- Do you have the fear of making mistakes?
The second effect of this kind of universal rating is a self sabotaging process. You basically rate your whole self base on one or two factors, this is a totally inaccurate way of assessing yourself.
You are too complex and multidimensional to be rated base on one or two factors. The factors listed below define who you are, you are not defined by just one or two factors.
Skills, appearance, fitness, health, ideas, thoughts, actions, integrity, character, strength, hobbies, pleasure, talents, habits, education, potential, desires, goals, achievements, weaknesses, failures, emotions, abilities, roles, morals, values, ethics, plans.
However, people usually rate themselves base on one or two factors out of that whole list. How can this be an accurate assessment?
Comment The Factual
If you really would like to rate yourself, do it with noticing the fact only. Do it without any meaning and interpretation.
Without interpretation sounds like this. “I weigh 120kg. I have to lose some weights to be healthy.”
With your interpretation sounds like this. “I weigh 120kg. I’m such a pig.”
An extremely low self esteem person sounds like this. “I’m such a pig.” Completely taking out the factual.
Few other comments that is not factual sounds like this. “I’m ugly. I’m slow. I’m not funny. I’m not charismatic. I’m not attractive.” There is not fact in these statements. You can’t measure ugly, slow, charismatic and attractive. Judging something that can’t be measure is an interpretation. Each of us has our own definition and interpretation of attractive, slow, charismatic. And that can’t be factual.
Commenting only on the fact gets you to look at one particular area and not your whole self. Looking only at one area protects you from hurting yourself and your self esteem.
Giving up this rating game. It’s doing more harm than good. With the only exception of looking at complementing yourself for scoring 4/10, and like to improve to 6/10, then you can rate yourself. Otherwise, drop it.
List out all the skills, abilities, hobbies, things that you do daily. It can be any small ability or skills. If you love fishing, put it down. If you can sew, list it down. If you can do simple house chores, write it down.
Look at your list once you are completed. Do you know that for every item on the list, there are many millions who are unable to do what you do?
This list really helped me in building my self esteem. One of the simple abilities that I wrote down was telling jokes. I didn’t think so much of it until I examined the list closely. THen I realized not everyone can tell jokes. It takes some special ability to be able to get the listeners laughing at the jokes.
I started to look at other abilities, skills and hobbies more closely, gradually building my self esteem. Of course, this is not the only method to build my self esteem. I got myself into many different activities, which I’ll reveal in the next few posts, to build my self esteem. Building self esteem is a long process.
Be persistent, and do the exercises.
Continue to Part 4.