Are you a member of the Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Club? What you’re about to read may inspire you to cancel your membership.
One of the times you feel low self-esteem and self-worth is when you’re around someone you believe, according to your perception, has more going for them than you have, whatever that is… money, success, a relationship, more stuff, etc. I say “perception” because no one has a perfect life or does everything perfectly all the time. But, people with self-esteem and self-worth issues may imagine this to be a fact about others, when it isn’t. Another time is when you’re around authority figures, which also gets addressed.
What happens when you’re with those people? Are you your authentic shining self, or do you sit quietly and try not to take up too much space? What’s this about, anyway?
When you doubt your self-worth, you’re afraid to be yourself, especially around people in authority or are successful, real or perceived.
Maybe you’ve noticed that when you’re with friends who know the real you—and still love you (grin)—that you can be who you are and do so with ease. Put you in the same room with a person you feel intimidated by, for whatever reason—a professional or personal acquaintance, or family member—and, what happens to you? The real YOU, likely, goes into hiding.
I think it was Ram Dass who said, “If you want to know how enlightened you are, spend a week with your parents.” If someone as highly regarded as Ram Dass can recognize this truth (or whichever wise person said it), then we can ease up on ourselves, don’t you think?
Tony Robbins had Beverly Kingsley join him on stage to talk about her weight issue. Progress was being made when Tony asked her why she now knew she had true value and worth. Beverly’s answer: “Because God doesn’t make junk.”
That’s about the most straight-forward response any of us could ever hear. We can cause human creations to perceive themselves as junk goods, but no creation starts out feeling that way—including, or especially, you… no matter what anyone told you or tried to convince you about YOU that is different from this truth.
It is unfortunate that people who were caused to feel low self-esteem and self-worth passed it on or inflicted it on you and others. But, even if they admit they did what they did, it won’t change the internal programs you’re running about this. You have to do that.
The next time you feel unworthy or intimidated when around one or more people, consider using these tips:
• Remind yourself that Source doesn’t make junk.
• Take a deep breath, or a few, and straighten your posture, whether you’re sitting or standing. It’s pretty difficult to feel like you’re less when you deliberately take up a bit more space (meaning, avoid folding your body inward, as though you need to protect it or close up like a telescope). Let your arms rest naturally on armrests of a chair, or find whatever posture feels natural but uses more of the air space around you (and repeat the first tip to yourself).
• Remind yourself that anything other than the truth of your uniqueness and unique contribution to life (whether you know what this is or not) is a lie. And, the most important person who needs to know this is you. This includes honoring your efforts about any aspect of your life you’re currently in the act of improving now.
• If you feel anxious in the presence of people who stir up such feelings, focus on being interested rather than interesting. 1) You’ll learn things; 2) it takes the pressure off of you to do anything other than ask good questions; and 3) it’ll make others happy to talk about themselves. If you really don’t like the person and it’s your choice to be around them, give thought to why you choose to be in their company. Vote with your feet, whenever you can or need to.
• If someone is a genuine problem to be with—abusive in any way, including verbally, please know that you don’t have to be around such people. Never endanger yourself, but do keep in mind that some people are actually bullies without bite. You may find that if you stand up to them, they back down. If they don’t, you want to give thought to continuing the relationship or not.
These are quick-fixes, though they can have lasting, positive effects on you, if you put them into practice. A more lasting “fix” requires you to reach the point where your opinion about you is the one that matters most. And, this is the most important point to keep in mind: If you chose to NOT think thoughts that “nurture” low self-esteem and self-worth, who and how would you BE? Someone may have planted the seed, but we are the ones who decide to feed it or weed it.
Practice makes progress.