It’s amazing how many years we can live with lack of self-esteem. I am in my late sixties, I’ve had a career as a linguist and another career as a textile artist, and I can speak 3 languages more or less fluently. I have travelled widely with my work, in Europe and America, sharing my skills and ideas with other highly motivated people. I have three amazing kids and two amazing granddaughters, and yet…
I can easily, so easily fall into “lack of self-esteem” mode even after years of proof that I’m OK, that I can be a good friend and parent, and I can motivate my self in the course of serious illness.
So where does this come from? I think in my case as in many other people, it has to do with inner recordings, statements which have been repeated to us as we grew up that we eventually believe. These are small messages that were shouted out to me as a child and which now take the form of whispered messages, constantly making themselves heard; “Who do you think you are?”; “You’re too proud”, “You cause disruptions”; “Your never listen to anyone but yourself”; “you’re too fat”; and most of all “You aren’t good enough to be loved”.
Instead of having the courage to acknowledge our strong points and realise that we are “good enough”, we listen to those inner recordings and let them influence who we are and how we relate to the world and other people.
So what’s the solution?
1) Become aware of these inner recordings and recognise them when they try to make themselves heard.
2) Recognise the feelings they bring of inadequacy, unworthiness, etc.
3) Stay still for a while and in your mind turn these messages into positive statements about yourself.
4) Write a list of 10 things that are good about yourself, denying those inner recordings.
5) Meditate and pray for help in transforming these recordings into a force for good, instead of destruction.
6) Trust that you’ve done all you can do and that you will gradually feel stronger and more positive in your life.
There have been many books written on the subject of identifying these recordings and letting them go out of our lives. This shows that we are not unique in feeling this way and we can gather strength from friends, acquaintances and colleagues who think we’re OK.
The last couple of days have reminded me that I can be a social being again, though not yet at full volume. A lovely afternoon at the Douglas Hotel with Fiona, Bev, Angela and the gorgeous Bijou Baby and our new friend Kathy who Fiona and I have met recently through the Rewild Challenge. So good to meet a new kindred spirit who loves Arran.
Today I caught up with my friend Maureen who has just returned from living in France for six months. We drank tea and scoffed scones at the Cruize Bar at the the Auchrannie Hotel watching the cold, rainy weather outside. We have layers of memory that go back nearly 40 years. What a gift!