Thursday, November 19, 2009

When Self Esteem stoops low

Angelina Jolie Voight an exotic combination of beauty, talent and deadly charm. Who's facial features render her almost flawless, who's body is touchstone of perfection.This epitome of beauty claims that she suffers from low self esteem. She says "I struggle with low self-esteem all the time. I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it's unbelievable." With the paparazzi looming on her all the time and with magazines depicting her time and again as a home wrecker who uses her kids, its something that has blown her self esteem way long.

So what do you like about yourself ? Do you look into the mirror and appreciate the lady you see or do you seek only faults and mistakes into her ? Are you proud of yourself? If these questions make you uncomfortable chances are you are one of those millions of women who continuously dodges away from accepting herself as "herself" .

Nathaniel Branden a psychotherapist and writer of books like " The Power of Self-Esteem " & "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem" defined self-esteem as "...the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness". If that's self esteem then may be you need to ask yourself " why are you not worth all this happiness, what is it that you do not have and others have? ". Self Esteem is not a bubble of elation its rather a firm believe and affection for one own self. A feeling of accepting who you are as you are. Self esteem comes from the inside out. It means that a woman is not dependent upon anyone else to make her feel good about herself, because she already knows she's fine just the way she is. She is confident and aware of her strengths and abilities. She is also aware of areas needing work and growth. But that's ok, because she knows she's not perfect, and she doesn't have to be. No one is. She understands that we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

A woman feels low when she constantly absorbs negative messages around her , she cribs with feelings of hating herself and she hates every little thing she does. With one wrong thing leading to another that stoops her esteem so much that sequentially everything gets out of order leading her to blame only herself, this chain of events never seem to end for her which to a large extend is responsible for depression in women. The blame is on us who keep using a set of standards, created by society as acceptable but often unachievable, to judge our appearance, looks, work, relationships, success etc. What women fail to realize is that the set of standards placed before us is often a lie created by media and desire for a superlative life by society.

The reign of youth, beauty and thinness in our society dooms every woman to eventual failure. The media influences woman. Not only are we conditioned to believe we must have the perfect husband, the perfect children, and the perfect life, we are also led to believe beauty is a very important trait and that we must desire and achieve what is often impossible for woman to accomplish. Marilyn Monroe, a very established model and actress in her times, was regarded as a symbol of what every woman wants to live and every man wants to posses. In her case, she was a victim low self worth that led to depression. Angelina Jolie and Marilyn Monroe are just a few names to show us that the trend of being perfect has always deprived us from loving ourselves. As Tanya(name changed) an office goer says " I've always hated myself for almost every aspect of my being. I look at myself and can only think of the negative aspects. Every time I involve myself in certain activities, even if I do pretty well, it's my lack of self-esteem and confidence and I end up failing in those activities even though I would have done well. I've been perfectionist and too hard on myself, because I am never satisfied with what I do. I hate everything I do. For every little mistake, I punish myself. Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for me is to learn to love myself and appreciate my own efforts, and to learn how to forgive myself as well. "

Sadly many of our youngsters are very much confused and upset with themselves a teenage boy from Delhi says " It is the constant pressure to be 'cool' and be accepted as a popular kid. The constant verbal abuse I received for my views eventually broke through my 'self shield' and made me feel bad about myself, depressed and unaccepted. I had to change myself my opinions and looks to be accepted as one of them. " Being one of many is the trend of today, knowing what's in and out is very important. Achievers are never followers, thankfully many young achivers of today do not believe in being perfect, with time and due experience they have realised being honest to yourself is foremost important in being an achiever one such young woman achiever from Mumbai comments about this fashion fad on her blog saying " .... How can they feel good about themselves ? Magazine models are airbrushed to perfection, and anorexic. "Beautiful" movie stars are whipped into perfect shape by personal trainers, and use surgery to create an unnatural cultural ideal. But youth cannot last. It is not meant to. If women buy into this image of beauty, then the best an older woman can strive for is looking "good for her age" or worse yet, "well preserved". Mummies are well preserved. Mummies are also dead. "

Relationships take the hardest blow due to self esteem. Abusive experiences assault female self esteem. Abuse is pervasive, it invariably sends the message that the victim is worthless. Just like a bad or abusive relationship can give you low esteem similarly a low esteemed person can dent the aspirations of another. In a couple where one person has a high self esteem and the other has low self esteem the damage is so inflicting that it leads to a wreck in marriages. A person with low self esteem always tends to see the negative in the other person, becomes prone to fault finding and criticism, and shows no gratitude whatever be done for them. Partners eventually finds it really hard to keep their marriage on when all their honest efforts keep failing. Aarti a homemaker says " I am a happily married stay at home mother of 3 children. I have a B.S and a Master degree in Accounting. We have a nice house and 2 nice cars. We seem like the ideal family and yes we are happy. BUT I not happy with all of who I am. I feel there's constantly something lacking in me. My husband tries motivating me but I feel I never do a single thing correctly. My depression now seems to be effecting my relationship, I and my husband spend much less time now and my kids also avoid me. " Several women like aarti face similar kind of problem, who know that have sufficient qualities yet fail to recognize them. A partner with low self esteem wrecks his/her own relationship over time the one lacking in esteem will kill the motivation and aspiration of the confident person. She gets completely out of control at home her kids get out of her control, she cannot command the respect she deserves from them, she never seems to feel or get her spouse satisfied, at her work place she lets other take the credit of her work because she cant say no, with friends she helps those when she does not want to, dresses like she does not want to look like and goes to places with those with whom she does not want to all because she cannot say "NO".

But that can change. If something bad has happened to you, it does not mean there is something wrong with you. "You can never become perfect so let go of it. " says bustling Mridula, BPO worker. There are parts of you which are beautiful ad are waiting to get recognized, if you feel hard doing yourself get a bunch of friends who would tell you just one thing what they like in you, know it and value it. For the start do not listen to criticism until you learn you balance them with compliments. Stop making everybody happy there are times when we have to be bad to people, you need to understand that people do and say things to you because they have their own self interest involved in it. Like media that shows you all glitz and glamour because it wants you to spend your hard earned money on their folly products.

You can choose your own identity. You can discard the popular cultural image and replace it with something real. Be yourself and your esteem will never be low again. As Andre Gide Quote says "It is better to be hated for what you are, than to be loved for something you are not."

Some Special Quotes ::

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Self pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world. "

~ Helen Keller

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper


rashmi said...

Post is Very helpful specially to underconfident women...

Shreya said...

Thank you ...welcome to my blog :) keep visiting and posting your comments ..

Unknown said...

well written and a good thing to make people think about coz everyone feels this at one or other point of their life and those get mature, rise above these trivialities but those who don't realize it, suffer from something quite unnecessary for them!!!

Shreya said...

So true swati people make themselves suffer unnecessarily for long because of these things. Trying to make yourself better outside is one thing but punishing oneself constantly because of lack of something in oneself is fatal. It sometimes leads to extreme depression also.

Thanks a lot for your comment I read my own article after long time :).

keep visiting

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