Copyright 2006 Dr Joe Rubino
Watch TV, open the newspaper, listen to the radio, or visit news sites on the Internet and youll immediately notice that the amount of human failure and disaster one is exposed to is disheartening. If you are like me, you may find yourself avoiding these sources of news and entertainment because you cant stand the amount of negativity that infiltrates your mind and harmfully impacts your energy-state! Not surprisingly, much of the negativity in the world is sourced from people having an unhealthy, low level of self-esteem. Shocking, extensive research shows that over 85% of the worlds population has some type of deficiency in their level of self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes feelings of discomfort, unhappiness, anger, fear, procrastination, frustration, shyness and incapability. This array of negative thought processes and sensations causes people to look for artificial ways to cover up their lack of confidence by taking on forced or unnatural behaviors. Three of the most common ways of covering up a negative self-image, diminished self-esteem and low confidence levels are:
1) Forced and unhealthy communication Forced acts of communication are ways we relate with each other in an unnatural and destructive way. Examples of unproductive communication could be uncontrolled anger, screaming or abusive language, or making unfair or unproductive remarks. All too often, when we feel uncomfortable in social situations or fear being controlled by another, we try to gain the upper hand by dominating the other person in some manner. For example, your spouse might make a remark that you allow to cause you to feel poorly about yourself or attacked in some way. (The words of another can never negatively impact our self-esteem unless we allow them to do so.) Most of the time, we react to what someone says when they bring up something we can not be with about how we see ourselves. This reactive feeling is all too often a sign of a diminished self-esteem. As a result of feeing threatened, you might counter with an aggressive or hostile remark of your own. Before long, you have unintentionally begun a downward spiral in communication that will surely erode your relationship over time.
Lacking self-esteem likewise impacts all other areas of life. Additional examples include fear of public speaking, ineffective professional communication, pursuing a carrier that is not in alignment with ones passions and life-purpose, dating or even marrying people that do not match up well with our most important values because we fear we may not attract our ideal partner, and bringing up children to be fear-based, reactive, or unhealthy in their perceptions of the world and in their relationships with others.
2) Sleeping Excessively in order to Escape from Reality Do you know anyone who sleeps their time away? For countless people, sleeping is a way to escape their painful feelings of incapability, fear, discomfort, unworthiness, and weakness. These feelings stem from the interpretation that one is somehow unlovable or not good enough and are ultimately the result of low self-esteem levels. They drain our energy and cause internal friction that makes us tired. They also result in having us want to escape those situations instead of coping with them in an appropriate and effective manner. For many people sleeping is the easiest escape rather than learning to face lifes challenges. Sleeping is a means of recuperation so upon awakening, all challenges can be coped with more easily with fresh energy. However many people dont use sleep for the purpose of regenerating energy. They numb their pain with chronic sleeping as an escape from reality. As an escape strategy, problems remain unaddressed and unsolved and so tend to become worse with the passing of time.
3) Use of Alcohol, Drugs, and Cigarettes As an active observer of peoples coping strategies, notice how often so many look for ways to numb the pain rather than address the source of their challenges. Many find comfort in cigarettes as a stress reliever. The underlying source of mental stress and bodily tension is often diminished self-esteem. So often, people condition themselves to turn to alcohol or drugs after experiencing a stressful event. Rather than deal with the causes of lifes disappointments, relationship challenges, or ineffective communication, its often easier to look for ways to forget about the problems by turning to alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Of course, these destructive forms of escaping the uncomfortable feelings that are caused by low confidence, a bad self-image and poor self-esteem often result in compounded health and social challenges of their own. In addition to their harmful physical effects, drugs and alcohol amplify negative feelings and thus result in further destructive behavior. In this way, they compound the already present challenges and result in a worsening, vicious cycle of greater proportions.
Low self-esteem is most often the cause of these destructive and escape-seeking behaviors. Rather than detach from or attempt to escape the challenges brought on by a poor self-image and low self-confidence, there is a more effective way to live a more powerful, happier and more abundant life simply by elevating ones level of self-esteem. After working personally with thousands of coaching clients in the past 15 years, I have uncovered an effective yet simple and easy-to-implement formula for improving ones self-esteem. The entire process of healing ones painful past, accurately assessing ones current situation, and proactively designing the future in choice can be found in the step-by-step self-study program entitled, The Self-Esteem Book: The Ultimate Guide to Boost the Most Underrated Ingredient for Success and Happiness in Life. For more information on restoring your self-esteem and reclaiming your magnificence, visit TheSelfEsteemBook.com website.