Low Self-Esteem Picked-Up in Childhood
Those Downplayed Good Intentions
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast, and each will wrestle for the mastery there". ---- Wolfgang von Goethe
We often hear how those first seven-or-so years are the most crucial in the development of our emotional inner world---which includes the way we feel about our own worth.
While I would gladly take it as a rule, when it's about human nature there are no rules without exceptions. I have personally seen individuals who had a well protected, supported, and in every sense a promising childhood---only for them to turn later in life into traumatized and self-hating people.
That quite possibly due to that very comfortable childhood which didn't make them ready for some rude realities of adulthood.
In a reverse sense, I have also met folks---well, myself being one---who had a crappy childhood to unfold into something that almost doesn't exist as the developmental probability of those smart psychological textbooks.
However, while I couldn't just skip mentioning those exceptions, we are not about to talk about them, but rather about that majority of folks whose self-esteem got a sort of crippled early in life. As we are going to see, that resulted with a life long unconscious self-sabotage, a spell of a heavy stage fright in their self-scripted drama of life.
It is not that such folks have no spirit to plan some positive changes---but they are usually of intensity and duration of those new year's resolutions which fade away together with the short-lived inspiration, run down by the stampede of self-doubt generated by their lack of self-esteem.
Somewhere in the unexplored, buried, and almost unreachable depths of their wounded souls, there is that matter of "not deserving".
The Truth Behind Those Belittling Remarks
"Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks" ---- Shannon L. Alder
This could be a good time to learn something about our parents' belittling remarks. Did you know that we generally treat out children, even our pets the same way that we are treating our inner child?
When we act over-demanding and critical towards that kid in ourselves, we tend to project that treatment onto those who by their appearance remind us the most of him or her.
Look how many parents are pushing their kids into some exhausting training, or playing an instrument, or qualifying for a beauty pageant, or excelling in education---just to fulfill their own missed ambitions.
Thus, when our parents were being too critical, or "mean", or ridiculing towards us, that didn't mean that we were the ones who "deserved" it---but they were mistreating their own inner child and only projecting it onto us.
Of course, they didn't know what they were doing, it all came so spontaneous and somehow "necessary" and unconsciously generated, that they were not aware about their doing it to us while doing it to themselves.
Ironically, they might have even thought how "that was for our own good".
That Little Demon in Us
"Why is it that we don't worry about a compass until we're lost in a wilderness of our own making?" ---- Craig D. Lounsbrough
Like a little playful demon in us is this voice of a spoiler that makes us settle for less. So we pick a wrong line of vocation---while deep down intuiting that "we are capable of something better".
And we surround ourselves with friends who seem to compete in getting on our nerves. The car we buy turns out to be a lemon, and we agree to pay too much for that house, just because that nice couple really seemed to be in a need to sell it fast.
"I know, I should have married John, not Steve, but don't ask me why I didn't, because I don't know it myself". Sounds familiar? So often, it's like we are under a spell to do exactly the opposite from what was in our best interests.
There seems to be that invisible sabotaging little demon lurking from the dark corners of our soul and throwing sticks into our gears, making us settle for whatever seems to be a good idea at the time---which just happens to be a wrong one.
It feels like the season is never over for people taking us for a ride. Why? "because we were not born under a lucky star"---say we with a shrug, believing in it too.
Inner Conflict of Tendencies
"Once you embrace your value, talents, and strengths, it neutralizes when others think less of you." ---- Rob Liano
Maybe it's time for us to ask that uncomfortable question : "What do we really have against ourselves---and who back there inspired us for it". There is obviously an inner "spoiler" hidden in our emotional makeup; so every time "one-in-us" goes hot about something or someone, the "other-in-us" does its very best to thwart it somehow, making us constantly to take a back seat.
Now, now, it's only a figure of speech, and I didn't really mean anything like a "split personality". And neither was I suggesting that we seek services of an exorcist to kick some demons' asses out of us.
It's all just an inner conflict of tendencies caused by an early childhood bug implanted into our little impressionable heads with those words : "You are good for nothing"---or anything along those lines. You pick the version that rings the bell for you.
Well, believe it or not, folks like that are actually scared of a possibility that they might succeed. I know it sounds silly, but that's how it all gets computed subconsciously, so their is always a finale of "aborting every mission" before it turns into a success.
Why? Because the prophecy of their parents has to be fulfilled. You see, they can't emotionally afford to make wrong those on whom their little life was depending. It's like that little demon's voice in them is producing a logic of "success being wrong for their survival".
"I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself." ---- Jane Eyre
Now, is it possible to get unstuck from that childhood spell? Of course it is, and it's definitely much easier than our shrink would want us to believe. Indeed, if it was up to him, we would be stuck re-examining our age of pre-toilet training to find out why we peed into diapers.
Some things we simply outgrow, and so we can outgrow those counterproductive remarks from our parents about our value. Some ninety percent of success in yanking ourselves out of that spell is in the simple realization about the true nature of their prediction.
We have to start seeing it as nothing more than our diapers that we outgrew. Just like there is no need for us to "struggle" with a tendency to wear diapers, it's also nonsensical to fight against our parents' discouraging predictions.
After all, we don't agree in some other matters with our aging parents---so why would we hold on that one?
Also, not only that we shouldn't believe in reasoning of our parents with everything they ever said---we shouldn't believe in the reasoning of that impressionable little kid that we were.
Detaching our minds from all of our earlier stages of maturing often produces magic of inner freedom. It takes nothing but a little conscious resolve not to emotionally slave anymore to our previous selves, that toddler, that school kid, that teenager...well it's up to us at which age we start trusting our reasoning.
Like a plane pilot would tell you, "an airborne plane is 99% of the time off its course". And so is our life. We cheated ourselves into a low self-esteem, but here---we are still breathing, and now we are only one deep liberating breath away from realizing how great person we really are.
Paying a Forgotten Debt to Our Life
"Dare to love yourself, as if you are a rainbow with gold at both ends." ---- Aberjhani
There is so much fun that we owe to our life!
So much gutsy exploring of opportunities which will all become obvious once that we are willing to see them. So, let's dress up for success, go places, surprise everybody who knows us with a brand new-ourselves!
Let's enjoy this new-found freedom and tear down the cobweb of reluctance and self-doubt! Let's blow the dust off our self-esteem and polish it until it shines! Of course, you can choose to see all this as a pep-talk, but really, how can a genuine encouragement and support look different, if it has to use the same words.
The moment you start doubting, ask yourself "what in you" is doing that doubting, and grow beyond it. You may be one of those many who owe it to their life---to once and for all break loose from that inner spell. And if you are---you are not alone.
Can you imagine how different the whole world would be if everybody was thinking highly of themselves? Well, we don't have to wait until this personal liberation becomes a trend.
Now is the time. If not now---when?