In the last week self esteem workshop, we looked to ourselves inside-out in the attempt to observe the self esteem. The reality is that we see ourselves in different ways:
- We see ourselves through the glasses of social norms and rules and etiquette: how we should be. We learn these rules in early childhood from our parents, grandparents or teachers, easily or hard way. They tell us how we are supposed to behave, how are we supposed to get dressed, what we should say or do. And if we don’t do, it means we are bad persons. Doing all these things, is not always aligned to our truth, to our direction or want. So we start making up rules that transform in beliefs and limit our life when we become adults. This is the first step of invalidation of self. We ignore who we are, how we feel, and we do what we must do.
- We see ourselves through the glasses of our ideal projection. These are presented to us by media. Today’s the society model have with perfect body, perfect skin, are always happy, rich people, travelling, spending qualitative family time or raising genius kids, do sport, eat healthy. And we are imperfect. We struggle accepting our body, we put enormous effort to gain money so we can buy dreams materialized in cosmetics to make our skin closer to the one the model in the commercial had, to buy one week vacation in a nice destination so we can post on social networks and draw people’s attention, to fight with our kids who do not want to behave like the etiquette and they do not smile all times but contrary, we feel guilty because we don’t exercise as much as the athletes, or we ate that perfect meal. We sell our time and health cheap so we can be accepted by the society and have the feeling of belonging. And then, we promise ourselves that as of tomorrow we start to do things that will bring us closer to that ideal image we imagined. This is the big proof that we are not good enough, that we are not OK, that we need to change, to have, to be something different than what we are. This is when self esteem is damaged. This is when we doubt, and because tomorrow never comes, we break our dreams and give up.
- We see ourselves through the filters of fear. There the fear that is preventing us to act to the full self-esteem capacity. Apart the fear of rejection we talked about in the previous two points, there is also the fear of being judged, or laughed at, or invalidated collectively by the people close to us. It is now when we decide to keep a side of us just for us, and show the people a slightly different image easier to fit in their norms. It is when we tear apart our being. It is when we put a hard separator between us and…. us. And self-esteem begins to descent fast. We feel empty, exposed, and we don’t know who we are anymore.
This is exactly how we looked to ourselves in the self-esteem workshops. In this week’s session we will make a journey into the fairy tales world with the aim to stop negative self talk and change the paradigm of looking at us.