by Mel Wayne
STEP ONE … IDENTIFY LOW SELF-ESTEEM
The identification of low self-esteem is the first and most revealing step in our quest for esteem. It is easy to identify l.s.e. characteristics by naming low self-esteem personality traits. Before we reveal low self-esteem behaviors, let’s prepare ourselves for an emotional revelation. There’s an excellent chance we’ll find a few of our OWN character traits in the upcoming descriptions. That’s right! In the next few moments we’ll experience a complete revelation and start to feel enlightened, or we’ll go into complete denial and become emotionally upset or confused. For, as we continually discover during our search for self-esteem, nothing is more powerful than the truth, more specifically, being honest with ourselves.
The Identifiable Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem Syndrome: Low self-esteem behavior has reached epidemic proportions. How do we know? How can we prove l.s.e. syndrome really exists? Perhaps the best way to uncover the truth is by asking ourselves some simple but revealing questions about human behavior … about common personality traits. Ready?
Let’s begin with,”Do I, or anyone I know, act or behave angry, impatient, hotheaded, sarcastic, jealous, violent, cruel, hateful, unfriendly, insensitive, vain, insane, greedy, unethical, immoral, rude, inattentive, phony, paranoid, dishonest, co-dependent, obnoxious, indecent, sad, mad, lazy, oversensitive, irresponsible, holier-than-thou, rebellious, moody, depressed, suicidal, neurotic, stressed, revengeful, unforgiving, shy, shameful, lustful, selfish,
materialistic, or envious?”
If we answered NO to the above questions, let’s try asking ourselves, “Do I, or anyone I know, ever … make fun of others, laugh at other’s mistakes, interrupt others, talk only about themselves, argue, constantly complain, scream at a spouse, yell at a child, make obscene gestures, intimidate others, tease others, brown- nose, dwell on the past, mismanage money, procrastinate, sulk, embarrass easily, cheat on income taxes, steal supplies from work, or suffer from fear of failure?”
If we’re still answering NO, how about, “Is anyone I know a … liar, gossip, poor listener, show-off, braggart, loudmouth, talkaholic, flirt,cheater, thief, racist, supremacist, workaholic, spendthrift, perfectionist, gambler, drug user, alcoholic, food abuser, sex fiend, sore loser, sociopath, dare devil, tagger, party animal, lazy good-for-nothing, or reclusive loner?”
If we’re still answering no to the questions, it’s time to read a newspaper, magazine, or watch the nightly news and we’ll easily identify the following low self-esteem personalities: murderers, serial killers, drug dealers, dictators, terrorists, carjackers, child molesters, wife beaters, rapists, arsonists, rioters, drunk drivers, shoplifters, deadbeat dads, con artists, check bouncers, slum lords, and crooked politicians.
After reading the descriptions, people reluctantly admit, “Well, every once in a while maybe I do get a little impatient and yell at the kids… so what!” or “Maybe I’m guilty of taking home a pencil or two from the office … big deal!” or “When I scream at other drivers on the freeway I feel better … anyway, they usually deserve it!” We hear excuses such as, “Based on the first amendment, I have the right to tell jokes about the President, or anyone else I want!” or “Hey, I’m just following what my parents taught me and look how good I turned out!” or “All right, so I get a little depressed every once in a while, who doesn’t?” and the responses go on … and on … and on. Many people conclude their comments with the following statement, “Okay, I admit I have one or two personality traits mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean I have low self-esteem.” Another typical response is, “I know low self-esteem people are bad and I’m good; therefore, I can’t have low self-esteem.” Are These Responses Right or Wrong?
As mentioned earlier, many people won’t admit they suffer from low self-esteem. Some individuals are somewhat aware of their disorders, living in a self-denial mode, but the majority of people are simply unaware or uneducated about what low self-esteem really is. So back to our question. When an individual admits to yelling at children and then adds, “But that doesn’t mean I suffer from low self-esteem!” is the individual right or wrong? Is the statement correct or incorrect? To answer now would be untimely and most inappropriate, for the path to self-identity must be traveled very cautiously. More importantly, we must first meet The Extractors ™…Villains of Low Self-Esteem. The Extractors are, without doubt, the most fascinating characters we’ll ever meet. Why? Because these low self-esteem personalities will open our hearts and minds to the reality of who we, and the people around us, really are. Once we look low self-esteem straight in the face our lives change forever…there is no turning back.
Let’s find out EXACTLY what low self-esteem acts and behaves like so we may begin our self-esteem adventure … our search for a higher self-image.
It’s time to meet those all too familiar low self-esteem characters weencounter every day of our lives…at home, at work, at play, and in personal relationships. We will first identify HOW they behave, before we discuss WHY they behave as they do. Ready? Say hello to… THE EXTRACTORS!
YOU MAY NOW READ “THE EXTRACTORS … VILLAINS OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM” SECTION OR CONTINUE WITH STEP ONE.
THE LEGACY OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM
Low self-esteem, the torch of human misery,has been UNINTENTIONALLY passed from generation to generation since the beginning of recorded history. The low self-esteem virus continues to spread, seemingly undetected,as follows:
>From the parents and stepparents to the child
>From the grandparents and guardians to the child
>From brothers, sisters, and relatives to the child
>From teachers and role models to the child
>From the peer group to the child
>From the media and entertainment industry to the child.(television,radio,books,ads,movies,magazines, and music)
IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT
It’s critical to remember, low self-esteem is unintentionally passed to the next generation. No parent or teacher really plots or plans to give low self-esteem to their children or students, they’re unaware they’re doing it, it’s not their fault. Throughout their entire adulthood, dysfunctional low self-esteemers unknowingly teach low self-esteem to their own children, spouse, friends, business associates, and social contacts without ever realizing it; in effect, by accident! Most human beings believe they’re doing the right thing, after all, this is how they were raised by their parents and teachers.
Since all low self-esteemers are raised in a dysfunctional family atmosphere, the chances of them passing l.s.e. behavioral traits on to their children are almost guaranteed. Logically, we can trace our own genealogy of low self-esteem by simply reviewing our own family tree. “I got low self-esteem from my parents … who got it from their parents… who got it from their parents … who got it from their parents … who got it from their parents … and so on … and so on … and so on.”
Each generation of parents faithfully passes what they consider normal behavior on to the next generation. It seems hard to imagine such a self-destructive cycle has been occurring for centuries…no wonder Planet Earth is overrun with social, political, and economic turmoil.
Problem? What problem? Wrong? Nothing’s wrong. I’m okay…everything’s fine! Admitting to ourselves or to others we have a problem, any problem, is sometimes undeniably uncomfortable, and for many, virtually impossible. Self-evaluation and self-admittance requires a healthy self-esteem. Fact: low self-image promotes self-denial.
Self-denial, or being “in denial”, prevents us from making correct decisions and stands in the way of clear thinking. When we are in denial, we create a fake reality, destroying any chance we have to improve emotionally. Denial takes away our desire to change, robbing us of our leadership potential. When we’re in denial we’re in deep trouble, and we don’t want to admit it.
Popular concept: if I avoid it…it will go away. It’s so much easier to tell ourselves there is no problem than to have to deal with the problem. We’re hoping the problem will go away by itself…disappear into thin air. But it never does.
AM I IN DENIAL?
Self-denial is learned. We are not born with it. Denial, like all other forms of low self-esteem, is acquired during childhood by observing parents in denial, brothers and sisters in denial, and relatives in denial. As we grow up, we tend to emulate the denial habits and patterns of our peer group. People in denial pretend everything’s wonderful…they often live in a world of fantasy and make-believe. People in denial tell us everything’s okay. People in denial won’t admit anything’s bothering them…if something’s wrong they brush it off as a minor problem that can be solved later. People in denial refuse to talk about their problems. People in denial act happy and well adjusted. People in denial tell us they’re buying this book for someone else. Yes, denial is self-crippling.
GREAT ADVENTURES AWAIT US
There is one way to dissolve our self-denial, to cure our on-going depressions, to admit something is wrong. We must find High Self-Esteem. We have identified low self-esteem characters and how they behave, now we must seek out High Self-Esteem individuals and observe their behavior. Our great journey is under way. Our desire to change fills us with wanderlust…with a high spirit for adventure, great adventure.
In concluding our first great step, our first search for self-awareness, we put low self-esteem in proper perspective by identifying it. By identifying the virus, we force the sinister low self-esteem invaders from the dark shadows of human emotion into the bright sunlight of social awareness. We’re now aware of l.s.e. and vow to eliminate it. Our senses are magnified…keenly alert. Our new-found awareness has captured the attention of people closest to us, especially our loved ones. Family and friends notice a subtle change in us. Somewhat attentive, but very cautious, they’re watching us closely.
Self-Awareness, the first great treasure, is now ours. We’ve identified low self-esteem behavior, realizing it’s acquired during childhood. We’ve earned treasure one … Self-Awareness. Let’s continue our great journey, our search for self-discovery, so we may eliminate the emotional disease, low self-esteem, from our lives and the lives of the people we love. Step two … Recognize High Self-Esteem, awaits us.
For the remaining steps, see: http://highselfesteem.org