”You are very ugly” he said to me repeatedly. I held on to that statement for a long time and was gradually losing my self-esteem. Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity of family telling me how beautiful I am. So, when He said I was ugly I believed and felt really bad because his opinion mattered and I couldn’t have thought he would dare lie to me. Telling anyone that he/she is ugly is a
stigma that can refuse to leave if the person concerned doesn’t fight it. My friend will say ”Your face gives you confidence to some extent” don’t think she is vain in her thinking, its only normal. The famous objective theory of aesthetics states that ”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
” You are not brilliant’, I doubt if you will be able to cope in my school” he added. Telling anyone they are not good enough or brilliant enough or sharp enough can also reduce their self-esteem. I am not limiting causes of low self-esteem to the above mentioned, a lot of things can lead to it actually.
I am sure the question on your mind is what causes low self-esteem? Well then, let’s take it gradually.
The beliefs you have about yourself often appear to be statements of fact, although actually they are really only opinions. They are based on the experiences you have had in life, and the messages that these experiences have given you about the kind of person you are. If your experiences have been negative, your beliefs about yourself are likely to be negative too. Crucial experiences that help to form our beliefs about ourselves often occur early in life. What you saw, heard and experienced in childhood in your family, in the wider community and at school will have influenced the way you see yourself. Examples of early life experiences that could lead to your thinking badly of yourself include:
- Failing to meet parental standard
- Failing to meet peer group standard
- Being at the receiving end of other people’s stress or frustration
- Absence of praise, warmth, affection, being the odd one out, at home or at school.
- Neglect or abuse
- Systematic punishment
Sometimes negative beliefs about yourself are caused by experiences later in life, such as workplace bullying or intimidation, academic failure, abusive relationships, persistent hardship, traumatic events amongst others.
There is this thing about finding yourself, knowing yourself and accepting yourself. It comes with a dangerous level of freedom, because at this point what other people or society say doesn’t really matter, you are at peace with who you are, so when they abuse your age, weight, marital status, financial state. It really doesn’t count because you have made peace with who you want to be devoid of distraction. I wish everyone will be able to go on this self-discovery journey. It’s a journey you need to go alone.
This is the point you have a voice and as such a beautiful voice it is. This point you know what you deserve and do not deserve and you do not go seeking validation where you can’t find it.
At this point you realize that it is okay to put you first, it is not selfish or arrogant just living. This point you shut down the voices telling you that you are good enough, not humble enough, not slim enough, not beautiful enough, not handsome enough. This point you just love being you.
Stephanie Bennett-Henry said ”No one is going to love you exactly like you imagined. No one is ever going to read your mind and take every star from the sky at the perfect time and hand it to you. No one is going to show up at your door on a horse, with a shoe you lost”. Do you understand? That’s why you have to love yourself enough, so that any other love just adds more candles to the cake you have already iced.
Having read all this, you are thinking ”…how do I fight low self-esteem”. Well it will be coming up in the next post. Be on the lookout #smiles#
Whitney Houston ”I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” still on replay.