What about low self esteem and lost self esteem, today? Just got off a session with a client who asked me why do so many people deal with low self esteem. And, he instantly added the next question as well: why do so few coaches “teach” how to regain lost self esteem? Ok, let’s talk about that here.
From Mastermind Coaching And Consulting we’ve already learned that coaches do not teach how to do something, consultants do. I have to admit though that I’ve not heard a consultant talking about low self esteem and lost self esteem or giving advice on how to regain lost self esteem, they focus on more “practical things” where they actually teach people certain skills.
To guide people, to help them find answers to questions like the one about low self esteem and lost self esteem and to give them advice on how to regain self esteem, well, that’s where coach-consultants are needed, able to do both, coaching and consulting.
So when I think about low self esteem and lost self esteem as a coach-consultant, there are other questions I’d like to clarify first:
What is a self-image and how does it relate to self esteem?
You see, each one of us has an image of him- or herself in mind, a picture of who we are and what we are. This image starts to develop in our childhood and is formed by influences and experiences out of the interaction with everyone and everything around us, first of all of course, our family and friends. Our self-image, the image in us about us, gets clearer as we grow and become adults, and it gets stronger, sometimes even dominant, as we age. This self-image affects our self esteem and determines whether we have a high or low self esteem and even more, whether we gain or lose it.
Low self esteem and lost self esteem…
A quote to remember:
Where do the problems result from and how does the self-image influence our self esteem?
The problems start with this: most people just don’t like their self-image. They don’t like what they “see” on that picture in their mind, they don’t like the reflection of their inner Self branded in their heads. And they try lots of things to change that image: self help, self improvement, personal development. Mostly, with very limited success if they do it on their own. Why? Because they are not aware of the root of the problems: their own self-image.
Just think back for a second… what was your childhood like? How often were you bullying other children because one of them told something you didn’t like, let’s say the usual “you’re sooo fat”? The moment you heard that sentence you started to see yourself as fat and ugly. And, even if you’re good looking, slim and smart now, you still remember it and, you still carry it with you, right? This short sentence was branded in your brain and you’ve never forgotten it.
For sure, you can think of other examples, all coming from influences, interactions or experiences out of your childhood which created that picture about yourself in your head, which still influences you in how you look at yourself and more importantly, how you feel about yourself now.
Fact is, if you don’t feel good with your self-image and if you don’t feel good “in your own skin” you are vulnerable, often too weak to face challenges. You start struggling, making wrong decisions and you start making mistakes. With each wrong decision and mistake, you’re getting closer to see yourself as a “loser”, you lose your self confidence and step by step you lose self esteem because you “just cannot make it” and booom, you end up with lost self esteem. Do you see how the circle closes?
What are the consequences of low self esteem?
Some people with low self esteem search aka reward in becoming extremely successful in their job or in business. Just think about all the beautiful girls on the cover pages… VIP, beautiful, famous… Apparently, they’ve got everything one can hope for in life, but: they still feel like they are not beautiful or not good enough. And that makes them vulnerable to a lot of destructive emotions such as depression, self-harming, alcohol, etc.
Other people with low self esteem suffer their whole life because they never get to experience success, they’re stuck in a daily rat race and in everything they have to accomplish, trapped in a life they feel like someone else imposed on them. While they are searching for reasons why they are trapped in that life and looking for ways out of it, they just don’t realize that the #1 reason is in themselves: it’s their own self-image resulting in low self confidence and low self esteem that holds them back from going for the things they really want and from living the life they desire.
How to regain lost self esteem?
I could tell you now, coaching can help. Of course, it can. But the point is, people don’t easily open up, they are afraid of admitting that they have a problem with their self image, afraid of being vulnerable and judged for their “weaknesses”. It needs courage to admit that one needs help and, to accept that help as well. Perhaps that’s the reason why there are so few coaches/consultants teaching how to regain lost self esteem.
Let’s make this clear: no one can regain lost self esteem by saying “I’m gonna regain my self esteem now!” This process needs determination and willingness, time and patience to change your “inner-branding”, to change your own image about yourself and also to change how you feel about yourself. What you can start with though is, to better listen to your inner Self. And as the practical part: write down all those things you like about yourself, and also everything you do not like about yourself. This list will help you to get a first clear impression on how you really see and feel about yourself. Next, you should find out what you would like to change, what you could change, what you can change now and how do you think you can do that. And when in doubt, please do yourself a favor and don’t waste time – get professional help.
I could talk about that for hours but, I’ve just noticed that this post is getting too long so we’ll stop here. I’d love to hear from you what your thoughts are about low self esteem and lost self esteem and how you feel about yourself. Drop me a note if you wish!