Would you like to learn about a common self-esteem exercise that can actually affect you negatively? If so, you may be surprised at what you’re about to discover.
The community here at Pick The Brain is certainly aware of the benefits that high self-esteem has to offer.
You’ve probably read over and over (ad nauseam) about the power affirmations and positive self-speak have. Pick up a number of resources or talk to the experts and chances are you will hear about them in some form.
While I am one who strongly supports optimism, ambition, and aspirations, often there is something very important that is left out of the conversation when talking about affirmations.
An Experiment In Development
When I started on my quest for personal development and growth I had a very low sense of self-worth.
The lack of esteem I struggled with was reflective in my personal and professional life.
Sure, every now and then I’d feel pretty good, especially when something amazing would come along. But that internal feeling of fulfillment just didn’t stick around very long.
I knew that the first place I had to start was with myself, but found it frustrating because I just didn’t feel that great about who I was.
Without a solid sense of worth in myself, I knew that my accomplishments and achievements would continue to remain few and far between.
So I started to learn and experiment with a variety of exercises and tactics.
One thing I kept noticing was that affirmations seemed to be the most recommended and appeared easy to implement. But after putting them into practice for a while I became less and less satisfied with the results I was getting.
Why Affirmations Can Hurt Your Self-Esteem
An affirmation is simply a declaration that something is true or exists.
In matters of personal development and growth it typically includes verbal and/or internal statements of ones ability and worth.
Have you ever tried to blanket yourself in positive words and thoughts?
Your hopes for seeing a change are there, your mind and meaning for doing so are certainly in the right place, but the results just aren’t.
So what are you doing wrong?
If you’re simply telling yourself “I am great,” it means nothing if you don’t feel it’s true. It’s just talking the talk.
Say you’ve been struggling to pay the bills and falling behind financially. Telling yourself you’re rich just isn’t going to work for you, unless you believe in your ability to turn a profit.
If your relationship is on the brink of destruction and you tell yourself everything is just fine, you are misleading yourself. The proper solutions and corrections will not come about until the trust in yourself and your relationship comes from a genuine place.
The problem with pouring on the affirmations (in any sense) is not the act of being positive with yourself, it’s the structural foundation beneath your words.
You’ve got to feel it and be assured of your potential and ability to change your life, relationship, and finances, in order to attract the positive results you seek.
If you’re feeling down or hurt in some manner, cheeky words and exercises can potentially cause you to spiral down even further.
There’s a verbal and mental disconnect between what you’re saying and thinking, and what your feeling.
Why tell yourself you feel good, when you feel like junk?
Negativity Turned Upside Down
While being happy and positive is a choice, I can’t tell you how many individuals I’ve encountered who just can’t move themselves to make it.
If you’ve been feeding yourself hurtful and negative self-talk for some time, chances are you’ve now established negative core beliefs.
Think about this. You may have been subjected to a lifetime full of negative affirmations. Dumping all the kind words and happy statements on yourself just isn’t going to cut it.
On a daily basis our level of self-esteem is scrubbed against our experiences. Some experiences are better than others.
The best way to spin a negative into a positive is to accept that nobody is immune to the highs and the lows, or the drama of the day.
We all have car issues, arguments with our spouses, trouble with the kids, and setbacks at work. That’s just the order in which the circumstances play out for us all.
The big difference though is not in how many problems you face or how much drama you’re subjected to – it’s how you move past it.
Action Steps For Building Esteem Today
1) Embrace The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Learn to accept the victories and perceived failures equally, for there is room to grow with both. Whether good or bad, you now have a result. Use your results as a means to gauge and set your next course of action. Celebrate your accomplishments and find opportunities in adversity.
2) See Past The Fear, Doubts, and Uncertainty
You may currently believe, fear, or think that success and happiness are not something that you deserve. You may even feel guilty or undeserving of a simple compliment.
If you haven’t tapped it, there is a dormant skill set within you. Fears and limiting beliefs are tools of procrastination and avoidance. If you tend to find yourself stuck in one place often, just move. Go beyond your doubts to establish either a new beginning and/or a starting place.
3) Focus On Potential, Not Production
One of the great hurdles for those struggling with low self-esteem is act of believing in their own worth. If you feel that you must accomplish or produce something to be of value, then you are mistaken.
It is knowing and getting excited about your potential to be great, produce, earn, and thrive which fosters high self-esteem. You don’t have to lift a finger or generate a result to feel good in your own skin.
Remember: Beliefs shape your attitude, which affect your decisions, in turn affecting your results in life.
High self-esteem is reached and then amplified when you arrive at a place of belief in yourself and your own promise. If your currently struggling with this, just the act of reaching out to find the right resource, article, or mentor, is a step in the right direction.
I’d love to hear what you think about this. Have you, or do you currently, struggle with building self-esteem? If so, what seems to be your biggest hurdle? Please leave your comments below and don’t forget to Tweet, Share, and Like.
Jason Anthony is founder of EvenMinds, a personal growth and development resource for those who think alike and are looking to empower themselves and enhance their well being. Visit today and receive a free course on building powerful and dynamic relationships just for signing up for their newsletter.
Photo credit: ‘Being and Seeker’ from BigStock