Self Esteem & Self Concept
Our self-esteem and self-concept are connected to our past
No doubt about it! It’s short and sweet, the past dictates how we see ourselves. Our old experiences decide what we believe we can accomplish, what we deserve, and exactly what our place is.
Although some may not struggle with a negative self-view, the sad truth is, the majority do! However, we must understand that we did not come into this world with a negative view of ourselves! We were not born believing we weren’t worthy, or good enough, or whatever negative thoughts are running through our minds.
So, when did it begin?
Was it yesterday, 15 years ago, or 50 years ago?
The hard truth is that most of us began to build today’s view of ourselves in early childhood. Between the ages of 0 and 7, before we could talk our beliefs were formed.
At that age, our contact with the world is small but mighty. Our world only consists of our parents, extended family, caregivers, and other outside forces. But during those years we learn stuff like how important we are in this world, whether the world is safe or not, and if others can be trusted. We learn all of this and more by the cues we received from our caregivers and those around us. Are we loved enough to be fed and changed when we ask for it? Does mom’s face tell me she loves me? Am I important enough for dad to play with me? Dad yells and mom cries, am I safe?
Let that sink in!
Take a moment and really let that sink in. Read it with me. From the moment I was conceived those around me helped shape the view, I have of myself.
That’s heavy right? Please understand, just because you’re struggling with negative self-esteem does not mean you had a horrid childhood. Nor does it mean your parents treated you badly! It means that through the eyes of a child we interpreted the world around us.
My childhood was great!
As we continue to grow and get older our self-view is affected by a wider more diverse group of people. We have peers, peers’ parents, babysitters, and teachers. They now add to how we view ourselves as well.
Even if our early childhood shaped us to be confident and resilient, these outside forces could warp that positive view. This is especially true in our school-age years. Something as simple as a teacher sharing their paper as an example of what NOT to do can be devastating. Then suddenly, they are overwhelmed by a feeling and thought that “I must be dumb”. To make matters worse the 20 other children laughing at your mistake confirm your thought, “I must be dumb”. Suddenly in a matter of moments, you begin to see yourself as dumb. This moment can truly shape the rest of your life and how you view and feel about yourself.
Are you thinking, it’s just one moment, how could it change the positive view I have of myself? And you’re right, it is just one moment. However, our lives are full of “just one moment”. As we progress through the years, we continue to experience moment after moment like this one. After a multitude of times and in a multitude of ways, we can form a harsh view of ourselves.
Then we get older
And suddenly we experience things that confirm this harsh view of ourselves they prove our self-view is correct. For instance, you don’t get that promotion at work you desperately wanted. Without even a conscious thought, you say to yourself “see I am not worth it. Why did I even try? This is who I am and whom I am always going to be.” It stands as proof for you were taught and what you believe.
Holding these negative beliefs about ourselves only serves to hold us back and keeps us from striving and achieving. What’s more, they steal our joy!
There is Hope
We can change the view we have of ourselves; we simply must realize that this isn’t the way it always has to be. With the help of Emotional Freedom Technique and Energy Healing, we can revisit those moments in our life and change the way we connect to them. The emotion and energy of that moment can be released allowing you to live outside of its shadows in the here and now!
Instead of carrying around the memory, emotion, and energy of the past and allowing it to control us. Choose to break free of it and take back your control! Once you can do that, a whole new world is opened to you and it’s one that isn’t controlled by our past.
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