Practical Ways to Build Self-Esteem (2)
By: Beth McHugh 2006
Lani is 28 and hasn’t had a serious relationship for over four years. She believes that she is dull and unattractive, and this is confirmed in her mind by the fact that men show little interest in her. A couple of “arranged” dates set up by friends failed miserably. These incidents only serve to strengthen Lani’s beliefs about herself.
Despite Kane’s considerable academic achievements, he feels like a loser at work. A junior partner in a small-town law firm, he feels that he should have achieved a higher status by the age of 35 and be earning more money. His wife and two young boys adore him, he is well respected in his community, yet Kane is haunted by the shadow of failure.
The roots of poor self-esteem
Poor self-esteem is based on incorrect beliefs about the self. Sure, you may believe that you are unattractive, but is it really true? Often we carry beliefs around for years, never questioning the validity of them or where they originated from. Let’s look more closely at the case of Lani.
Lani spend her teenage years in a lather of self-doubt about her looks. This is not unusual behavior for an adolescent of either gender. But at 28, Lani is still caught up in the insecurities of her youth and has not matured to an acceptance and appreciation of her looks. In reality, Lani is like most of us, neither breathtakingly beautiful nor outstanding ugly. Lani is a standard, run-of-the-mill, normally-attractive young woman. But Lani does not believe that. Lani’s problem is not her looks, is her self-esteem. Or, more accurately, her self belief.
We soon discover that Kane has similar problems with self belief. Kane has always excelled at school, and later, at college. At 35, he is better-placed in his career than most of his colleagues. He also earns far in excess of the average American salary. Yet, despite the confident front he presents to the world, Kane believes he is a failure.
In coming articles, we will look at why these two attractive and successful
adults, and hundreds of thousands more just like them, believe that
they are precisely the opposite of what they truly are. Where do these
beliefs come from? And how can we eradicate them? Stay