Self-Esteem and Confidence: Worthy Goals?
Most of us have heard about the negative impact of low self-esteem. For that reason many people seek to improve it. But what if there was a better goal?
For some reason, confidence shows up as a synonym of self-esteem but not visa-versa. I don’t understand this. However, for the purposes of discussion, I will consider them the same.
What’s Wrong With Pursuing Self-Esteem? And Why Is Self-Acceptance Better?
1. It fluctuates and is situation-dependent. It is impacted by outside influences and has become intertwined with body-image and appearance. A big zit can ruin your day and your confidence. Does that seem right? Does it seem healthy and productive?
It’s like chasing bubbles, you may catch it but you can’t hold onto it.
2. It’s temporary. We can’t count on self-esteem, so why work on something that’s impermanent when there’s a permanent option of self-acceptance available?
3. Building self-esteem isn’t easy, but gaining self-acceptance is. (You can choose building, boosting or increasing or you can choose gaining and achieving.)
4. Seeking self-esteem doesn’t allow for you to recognize your human imperfections. You may ignore or avoid them but with this focus, you will never embrace or accept them as part of you. And you will not seek to change those traits that you consider undesirable even if you can.
Self-acceptance follows the serenity prayer: accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can.
Because of all these things stated above, I have come to believe that self-esteem may be a need of the ego once in adulthood, as it requires outside approval/validation (from people and situations) and is often derived from feeling superior, winning, creating envy, and having power over others.
I was painfully shy, introverted and would run from being the center of attention, often literally. No matter how many people believed in me, I couldn’t believe in myself. No matter how many compliments I received (which I usually rejected, rudely I might add), I could not see myself as others saw me. I could not feel attractive. I was self-consciousness and insecure. I couldn’t trust other people’s interest in me because I didn’t feel worthy of it.
I discovered that I was imprisoned by my own subjective thoughts and opinions about myself – which were self-abusive and mostly about my appearance.
Eventually, I was delivered my Self-Acceptance Exercise.
I discovered that gaining self-acceptance leads to self-worth, self-respect, self-trust (which are all synonyms of confidence) and self-love.
In my previous post, I talked about the things that block confidence, and I had most of them. But after gaining self-acceptance, much of it just washed away. The rest of it went away as I continued my self-growth work: all without increasing my self-esteem!
I have come to believe that part of my purpose in this lifetime is to shed light on the fact that self-acceptance is more important to our personal growth and development than self-esteem. And another part is to provide people with the path.
In all honesty, I would love to be able to take the number of people who are searching on Google for self-esteem and confidence and inspire them to search for self-acceptance instead!
I developed a theory that our needs are supposed to evolve. What we needed from others when we were dependent and developing become things we have to give to ourselves (self-deliver) as we become independent.
The self-acceptance exercise allowed me to bypass trying to achieve a transient goal and what I have since determined as developing human (DH) need, and went straight for my evolved need of gaining self-acceptance, which is permanent.
Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing my theories on what I call evolving needs and the phases of needs.
Some of my ideas may seem controversial or just unpopular, so I would love to hear your thoughts on them. Please leave any positive or negative feedback below. I welcome the chance to defend my theories, as well as receive support for them.
May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
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