Self esteem is the primary driving force that shapes the behavior of every person and every environment we live in——the offices we work in, the homes we live in, the children we are bringing into the world, the friends we spend time with, the grand children we love, and most importantly, the quality of our own life.
Our self-esteem is directly related to the level of happiness we experience, and the degree of success we are able to achieve, in our lives. It has the power to create who we are.
And most importantly, without healthy self-esteem and a strong sense of pride and dignity, our life quickly becomes meaningless.
Virtually every behavior we observe, both our own and the behaviors of everyone we know or observe around us, is essentially someone’s conscious or unconscious attempt to build up, maintain, or recover their self esteem.
Despite all of these amazing benefits, our self-esteem is also probably one the least understood of our human possessions.
Most of us put more energy into what we plan to do this weekend than we put into consciously enhancing our own self-esteem, or the self esteem of those around us.
Here are five facts about self-esteem that can change your life and the life of those around you.
When our self esteem or dignity has been threatened or damaged, we will do everything in our power, both consciously and unconsciously, to reclaim or repair it.
Our self-determination, the ability to have control over our own lives, and our sense of uniqueness are important aspects of our self-esteem. So when our identity, our pride, our sense of belonging, or our sense of being someone who matters is in any way threatened or harmed, we will always do what ever it takes to get these important possessions back.
Our pride and our sense of self will not passively tolerate or allow others to step on our self-esteem or our dignity. It’s only a matter of time and we will seek to undo the damage.
When we observe behaviors in our selves, or those around us, that don’t seem to make any sense, look at them through the lens of self-esteem.
For example, brightly colored hair, outlandish form of dress, tattoo’s, and body piercings are all simply attempts to establish a person’s self-esteem and sense of identity.
Even vandalism, theft, graffiti, aggression, addictions and other self destructive behaviors are all essentially behavioral attempts to be noticed, to make a statement to the world, to leave one’s mark, to impress friends, to send a statement to parents—–a shout to the world that their self esteem or dignity has been harmed in some way.
Our own unhappiness, conflict in our home, unhappy children, broken relationships, and unhappy marriages can all be traced back to the simple truth that an issue of self-esteem is most likely at the heart of the issue.
Examples might include not feeling appreciated, a lack of respect, not feeling valued, ridicule, abuse, abandonment, not being taken seriously, embarrassment, being ignored, being forced into obedience, feeling used or exploited, feeling overly controlled, a lack of empathy, being mocked, or a lack of acceptance. These are just a few of the many ways that a person’s self esteem, pride, or sense of self can be wounded or damaged.
Sometimes unhappiness can be linked back to an event in childhood that damaged our self-esteem.
The primitive ego psyche of the inner-child that lives inside each of us sometimes stubbornly hangs onto those self-esteem damaging events from our childhood. We may have decided very early in life that a negative self-identity or low-self esteem is better than having no self-identity or self-esteem at all.
Always protect your own self-esteem by learning how to establish protective boundaries for yourself.
For example, one way to do this is by picturing a powerful shimmering, force field around yourself. Make a personal commitment to never allow anything through the force field that in any way harms your self-esteem or your healthy sense of self.
And remember, a protective boundary always requires a clearly stated consequence as to what will happen if someone violates your boundary.
If you want to be a person who makes a difference in the world, if you want to be a healer of souls, if you want to create a more peaceful world, learn to be a person who honors, affirms, and supports the self esteem and dignity of those around you.
You will be amazed what it does for your own self esteem.
Intentionally building someone else’s self-esteem is far and away the most powerful spiritual practice you will ever encounter.