It’s not What You See in the Mirror, it’s How You Feel About What You See
I remember a time in my life when I avoided mirrors altogether. The reflection made me feel sad and lonely and I didn’t want to feel like that. I still felt sad and lonely because I was unable to escape those emotions. Still, I did not have to look in the mirror and see what they looked like. I did not believe I had anything worthwhile to offer the world so I tried my best to blend into the world around me. I was too embarrassed to stand out from the crowd and consequently became angry about the negative emotions that had invaded my mind.
Over time I believed there was always someone better qualified for the job, or someone else would make a better friend, the next person could paint a better picture and so on. I had zero self-confidence. This became a heart breaking theme for a time and I knew somehow it had to end.
Believing that I was not good enough came from within myself. I took every mistake and every failure as another sign that I was right. I had to change my core belief about who I was, change the emotion associated with what I saw in the mirror. The next thing I had to do was change what I thought success and failure meant. I had to be alright knowing that where I was in life was where I needed to be in that moment.
Where Does Low Self-Esteem Come From?
People who suffer from low self-esteem have usually suffered since childhood. They may have struggled through their school years feeling like they never quite fit in. Many factors can lead to a person’s lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem issues. According to Celeste Gertsen, Ph.d, who is a clinical psychologist specializing in helping people build their self-esteem, problems can develop at a young age. “It starts early, as soon as we’re old enough to know our own name.” Problems can stem from the family, society, (poverty, discrimination, bullying) or an internalization of a loss.
When a person’s need for love, attention and belongingness are rejected some people automatically believe that the rejection is personal. They think they have some kind of flaw that makes them not good enough to be accepted by others. Rejections begin to skew how they view themselves. Then their view of life becomes distorted.
So what about the people who have no issues with their self-esteem? How do they do it? They see the world objectively and believe they have a positive place in it. They are able to accept that they are a good person with flaws. They recognize both their strengths and weaknesses as part of themselves. They believe they have an important place in this world.
So What do You do About it?
You have to change how you feel about what you see in the mirror. To do that you have to dispel the belief that you are less than you should be, that you are not deserving. These beliefs are created by your mind. It is important to recognize that the image you see looking back at you is an image you created yourself. If you can create it, you can change it.
There are some simple things you can practice in your life on a daily basis to improve you level of esteem:
- Stop doing things that create negative results.
- List and appreciate your positive qualities.
- Discover a positive attribute for every perceived negative one.
- Do some charity work, giving promotes positivity.
- Surround yourself with supportive people.
- Accept a mistake as a stair to success.
- Accept the things you cannot change.
- Learn to live with a little discomfort and fear.
- Actively do something positive.
- Realize that most fears are perceived by what we think mayhappen.
- You are responsible for your own happiness.
- Positive relationships begin with self-love.
- You can do much more than you think you can.
Manage your life and your future with confidence. Believe in yourself and so will other people. It is easy to become overwhelmed by feelings of low self-esteem.
When thoughts that you aren’t good enough begin to invade your mind, take control of them and remind yourself that in fact, you are good enough. Learn to think in new ways which will lead you to behave in new ways. You will begin to see the world and your place in it rather than watch it pass by as you hide behind the curtains.