Earlier today I posted a blog about self-esteem, and an ironic look at how we sometimes sabotage it with negative decisions and behaviors. Though there are many, today I came up with two more self-esteem destroyers that undermine our ability to experience joy and appreciate the lives we have created:
1. Compare Yourself to Others. Seek and you shall find all kinds of people who are thinner, smarter, prettier, and more successful. Lets face it, our world is filled with people who could make us feel bad about ourselves if we were so inclined to use them as a yardstick with which to gauge personal value. People with good self-esteem, however, recognize that personal acceptance comes from within and comparisons only serve to undermine our worth and deflate our sense of self. People with good self- esteem focus on their personal strengths and use their weaknesses as opportunities for growth. While they may admire others and aspire to emulate some of their qualities, they’re realistic enough to know that each person has his or her own insecurities and demons to face. Far be it for us to decide that their lives are perfect based on our own fabricated perceptions. It may seem like some have it better, and it just so happens that they might, but remember that life is a journey, not a competition. If you want to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and the person you hope to be tomorrow.
2. Surround Yourself with Negative People. If you really want to feel bad about life in general, and you want a partner in crime, surround yourself with negative people. Those who are never happy, constantly complain, and are always quick to judge are the best. After all, misery loves company. But if you tired of hearing their incessant litany of reasons that others do them wrong, or life in general just isn’t fair, or if the decisions they make seem to rub you the wrong way, you might want to consider spending less time in their company. It’s a well-known fact that those we spend the most time with have a profound influence on our attitude. People with good self-esteem surround themselves with positive individuals who inspire them rise to the occasion, live their best life, and be their authentic self. They know that positive energy is contagious, and when we’re in the company of those look for reasons to be grateful and experience joy, we are inspired to do the same.
Our self-esteem is something that is cultivated over the years, a make-up of our personality, upbringing, and experiences. It’s an overall sense of being in control of our attitude and approach to life. Ultimately we are the creators of our self-esteem through the decisions we make and the behaviors we adopt. With added insight and a little humor, we can steer clear opportunities that sabotage our self-esteem and adopt behaviors that make it stronger.