A Proposal

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
A Proposal
4
Tue, 09-04-2012 - 10:54pm

Please hear me through and please have an open mind to considering a different proposal.  Once again, I have found my love of research has led me down a road not traveled by many laymen. This is new to me as well.  I bring to you to consider this information.

There is no such thing as "self-esteem".  Many mental health professionals declare this as true.  I will explain:  Self-esteem is a term coined to cover a combination of two other emotions - Fear and Anxiety.  The result of these two emotions are labeled self-esteem.  If an individual has a fear of meeting new people, they may shy away from crowds declaring themselves as not worthy....again, another fear.  As the fear grows, anxiety may follow, increasing the feeling of inadequacy.  The cure for low self-esteem is to address the fear and learn anxiety triggers before they create havoc on your emotions thus thoughts.

The other information is regarding happiness.  So many Western cultures, assume that "if only_____" then we could be happy.  If our circumstances, rather physical, financial, status, relationships, etc were more within our desired expectations....then we would be happy.  Here is the science of the brain:  50% of our happiness comes from our genes!  Only 10% comes from our circumstances(job, finances, etc).....surprising!  The other 40% comes from our choices to live/do what gives us joy/pleasure.  If working in your garden makes your soul/spirit/mind/heart/whatever you want to call it, feel pleasure....that contributes to your happiness.  This is the 40%.    Perhaps looking into your family background would help to understand your genes.  Perhaps accepting that your job, finances or physical appearance has actually very little impact on your happiness would allow you to put that factor into perspective.  Perhaps concentrating on the remaining 40% would start to minimize the other 50 & 10% portions. 

I love research and I love to share.  Thanks for reading.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
In reply to: n2ishn
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 11:25pm

I apologize for not getting back here to reply to your response until now.  I do not have the opportunity, as I would like, to visit the boards or the ivillage site much lately.

I must say that I probably take a more pragmatic approach to the topic; less spiritual.  In my thread, I am relaying this theory as a possibility; being open to another point of view.  I believe this gives the individual more of a sense of control over her/his perception of self. 

When one is feeling anxious or fearful, our sense of worth is often challenged.  The resulting response to the trigger can leave us harshly judging ourselves.  This is especially characteristic of trauma.  “If only I had been smart enough, strong enough, fast enough…then I would be ok”.  We are the only animal that goes back and relives and judges how we react(ed) to our life experiences.  We use this self judgment to determine our worth.  If we don’t live up to our current hero on television or the air-brushed model in the magazine,  then we are deemed less valuable and thought of and treated by ourselves accordingly.  Is this not a type of fear? (I’m not good enough).  We project this belief in our interactions with others.  Then when they follow our lead, we are hurt by their treatment.  Does it make what they do ok?  No, of course not.  Yet, we also have to accept part of the responsibility. 

The point being that we are constantly changing by our experiences, rather lived or knowledge gathered.  To judge ourselves may assist us in learning, yet if accepted by us to be a truth, then we impair our likelihood for change.  Once we base our thinking on this false notion, then we follow with the belief.  This is dangerous because this is often when we hand over our worth to an outside source.  We cannot begin to live up to our own expectations (perfection), so we look outside of ourselves for that validation. 

Here is where my own spirituality comes in.  If we place our worth into the hands of mankind, we loose.  Why?  That is because each individual making up mankind, is also damaged from doing the same thing.  Therefore, the concept of self-esteem is illogical. 

There are many wonderful suggestions out there to help individuals with their “self-esteem”.  However, if they do not change their own way of thinking, then nothing will be successful.  To change that way of thinking, one must first give up being his/her own victim and also being comfortable with that role.  We often play that role from childhood and not so easy to step out of, even though it is damaging.

I think the concept of “self-esteem” is useful, however, over used.  The notion is a good “catch all” to incorporate control issues, body image issues, some circumstantial depression, etc. etc.  But I do not believe that it can stand alone.  Just as most addicts began using the substance to self-medicate, the self-esteem concept is a link to a deeper issue. 

These are just my thoughts with only experience and researching to back them up; nothing empirical.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
In reply to: n2ishn
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:26pm
Namaste
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
In reply to: n2ishn
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 10:32am

We are all naturally magnificent and divine beings.  I believe there are only two motivators in life: love and fear.  If you're not acting from a place of love, it is a shade of fear (anger, sadness, anxiety, wanting etc).  Our highest-self, our intuition is always sourced in love.  If you hear a negative or judgmental thought, it's not even yours.  But I haven't seen evidence to say self-esteem isn't real.  If it wasn't real, what would that prove for you?  I'm asking so I understand your statement.  

Self-esteem is 'ones overall evaluation of his or her (self-perceived) worthiness of being kept alive.'  It forms very early on as we realize shortly after being expelled from the womb 'omg, I'm going to die' because it's impossible for our parents or care-givers to cater to EVERY expression of need.  So, we learn to seek the attention and approval of our parents to keep us alive.  As we become 3, 4, 5, and 6 this becomes a very important part of our evolution, ensuring that we mold to community (family, tribe, etc) expectations.  If we didn't care or desire to be kept alive, we would have no reason to pay attention to the social expectations and behaviors of being human.  Dr. Kevin Solomons wrote a fascinating manuscript called "Born to be Worthless" on this.  You can learn more about him here: www.borntobeworthless.com.

It sounds like you watched the documentary on happiness called "Happy?"  If not, it's definitely worthwhile.  I was very inspired by it.

Thanks for throwing up a conversation about self-esteem! I look forward to more.

Most Sincerely,

Melanie

 

Community Leader
Registered: 12-21-2001
In reply to: n2ishn
Tue, 09-11-2012 - 7:40pm

  Shukriya, for the introduction of another POV.

From one person with a love of research to another.  Namaste

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