Have you ever struggled with anxiety or maybe felt depressed but thought that your self-esteem was firmly intact?
I had a fascinating discussion with a 25-year old woman yesterday who went through a fairly big change in her life recently because she finally discovered that underlying her anxiety and depression was a very low self-esteem
But here's the really interesting part…though she has struggled with anxiety and depression for the last decade, only in the last 3-months has she realized that her self-esteem was at a rock-bottom level – when just months before that she was certain her self esteem was off-the-charts!
Common Mistake With Self Esteem
So, why the disconnect?
Since this woman's sense of self was largely based on feedback from others, she received enough external validation from friends, her boyfriend, her parents, etc…that she was able to be fooled into thinking her self-esteem was high.
Yet, her internal perception of herself was very negative, all sorts of negative self-talk and self-doubt going on.
So, how can that be?
How can we be lifted enough by external validation to mask low self-esteem?
The Foundation of Self Esteem Is Internal
For those who don't get the external validation, a lack of self-esteem is sometimes more obvious. You don't get validation internally or externally, that is going to manifest itself in some very negative feelings and behaviors which will present themselves and need to be dealt with.
But for those that have a decent set of external validations, we can be fooled into thinking that this validation is all we need to have high self-esteem.
Of course, this eventually comes crashing down when we realize that external validation is not enough and that if we "hate" ourselves inside, that will eventually catch up and we will suffer.
Try This Self-Esteem Boosting Exercise
What happens if you are struggling with self-esteem and place a higher value on external validation than internal?
Here's an exercise we pulled from this terrific Free Report: "Live BIG! 5-Steps To Unlocking Your Inner Power"
This exercise is designed to turn the tables, instead of depending on external validation while we put massive pressure on ourselves to "perform" in front of others, we raise our awareness of inner dialog and REDUCE the pedestal-like position we have created for ourselves in social situations.
Here's what I mean…in order for you to be so self-conscious in certain situations (Ex with a peer group you are not entirely comfortable with) that you are scrutinizing every word, joke, action, etc…you have placed yourself with too high a level of importance in the lives of those people.
Stay with me…the only way you can feel so distraught about a single flub or mistake in front of others is if you feel that you have some amazing importance, influence or position in those other people's lives.
Today, what you most likely have is a) a total lack of self-confidence fueled by poor self-image and negative self-talk and b) an elevated sense of your position regarding others – when in fact, what you want to have is
a) a high level of self-confidence and b) To have a healthy placement of your role in society where you can be true to yourself without the pressure of thinking that ALL EYES are on you.
So, work diligently on acknowledging your strengths, your greatness, your purpose, traits that you like about yourself (even if this is a short list in the beginning – start with what you have) – focus intently on this 3-times a day for at least 15-minutes. You want to start to consciously replace the negative thoughts with focusing on what you know are your positives.
Next, understand that your primary focus in life should be to live in line with your inner instincts, purpose and natural capabilities and that these TRUMP any awkwardness or mistakes in delivering on that alignment.
In other words, what is worse, saying something that is a little off or keeping your honesty, compassion, truthfulness from those around you?
What this exercise does very quickly is to interrupt your current belief system about yourself and how you interact socially AND flips the table so that you are placing more emphasis on your self-image and positive self talk worrying less about how you appear externally and how much external validation you require to feel positively about yourself.
Repeating this exercise, and working on some additional techniques available in this FREE report will have you boosting your self-esteem and more comfortable with those around you in no time.