Lately, there has been a trend toward bashing self-esteem based mainly on the fact that trying to boost our personal confidence falsely clouds the reality that setbacks, failures and challenges do occur in life and we need the tools to be able to deal with these when they happen.
Behind this assumption is that building self-esteem and being confident is merely done by accepting fake praise – a rather aesthetic concept that has no bearing on our true inner strength.
For those of us who truly do see the value in self confidence though we KNOW that true power comes from within and that self-esteem is really that exact ability to trust (in fact know beyond a shadow of a doubt) that we can handle anything that comes our way in life AND turn it into a positive.
The 2 Biggest Hurdles In Life
1. Living In The Past – people that lack self-esteem, that do not truly believe in their ability to have the strength to bounce back from anything typically spend a good portion fo their conscious and sub-conscious brain activity fixated on the fear and anxiety associated with the exact situations/environments/thoughts that they fear they cannot handle. Basically, what we do in this situation is pick a negative point in our life and continue to churn that over and over again, building it up much bigger than it was and specifically focus in on how we could not handle the situation with grace (we ran away, we froze, we looked stupid in front of someone we valued, we were embarrassed, we made the wrong decision, etc…). This single phenomenon can hold us back our entire lives — if we let it.
2. Giving In – There is another phenomenon where we get beaten down so many times or we get so inundated with setbacks that we simply give in and give up. Unlike #1, this situation can take a little longer to recover from as the negative reinforcement is even greater than in #1. But it still can be overcome as we locate a secondary source of internal passion, fight and persistence.
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So, when I read articles like this one about how kids need to be taught how to deal with failure in school rather than be taught to ignore it or have negative situations hidden for the good of "self esteem" – I do agree that we, as humans, gain strength from learning how capable we really are of facing down the most challenging setbacks in our life…of coming back stronger.
To me, this is all part of true self-esteem.
When we have a healthy degree of self confidence, it simply means that we have an inner peace that we can handle whatever comes our way and so stepping out, taking chances is not such a big deal.
Have you gotten to that point in your life? Let us know by leaving a comment.