Tag: Confidence

Low self esteem and relationships – Part 3

Anyone can suffer from low self esteem. Regardless of how great your childhood may have been, there may be some experiences that could impact your esteem, such as:

  • Divorce/relationship issues
  • Death of a loved one,
  • Unemployment
  • Life threatening illnesses
  • Failing an exam
  • Financial crisis
  • Housing issues
  • Family break down
  • Stress or depression
  • Dealing with challenging issues within the work place.

All of the above issues could affect anyone. However, people that have ongoing issues associated with low self esteem are mostly individuals from dysfunctional homes, who have been emotionally deprived based on what these individuals have witnessed. These experiences include being sexually, emotionally or physically abused.

There are also incidents where one or both parents may have been polygamous, experienced poverty, suffered with drugs/alcohol abuse, been emotionally unavailable or have had mental health issues.

The sad thing about life is that when babies are born, they are not programmed to dislike themselves; they love everything about who they are, until negative things about them are brought to their attention, particularly when the reflections that their parents projects are negative. Consequently, they will have a negative view of themselves, as babies see themselves as their parents see them. Parents are like a mirror as babies are born with no self identity.

That is why it is very important for parents to love and help build their child’s esteem. If you often hear that you are bad, ugly, dumb, will amount to nothing or that you are useless, then that will be how you perceive yourself and you will surely believe what you have been told by your parents.

Unfortunately, low self esteem becomes more apparent within inter-mate relationships than any other area of a person’s life. People with low esteem can appear confident in their appearance, by the way they speak, class, position within their career and how well they carry out their duties at work. Deep down however, they have a negative view of themselves. 

When your esteem is low you choose partners that are mostly emotionally unavailable or dislike men or women that treat you well. As you are so used to being treated badly, you subconsciously attract partners that reinforce the negative emotions from your childhood. For example picking partners that are emotionally damaged so you can fix them; partners that are overly selfish so work hard for love by putting them as the main focus within the relationship; partners that continuously cause you emotional pain, to keep you more insecure, anxious and paranoid; partners that will abandon you if you have issues with fear of abandonment; partners that have fear of commitment or intimacy, so they can love you from a distance.

How to overcome low self esteem 

Love yourself 

Self love is important and is the most useful way that you can have more satisfying and fulfilling relationships. When you learn to love yourself, you’re more equipped to give and receive love. After all, you cannot give the best of yourself to others until you give your best to yourself first. This is called being self-nurturing, not selfish. Most people always put everyone else before themselves. When you act in this way, you will always be secondary within relationships, in addition to being drained and not having much to give to yourself. Make yourself a priority and create some ‘me time’ to recharge yourself.

Acceptance

It is essential to be aware and accept who you are as an individual (the good, the bad and the ugly). It is impossible to make the change that you want unless you know that have the problem in the first place. There is nothing worse than living in denial.

Take time to understand yourself 
 
The more you understand yourself, the more you will discover the root cause of the low self esteem. Once you realise the root cause, take responsibility to work on yourself and forgive people that have contributed to your low self concept, such as your parents. It’s not emotionally healthy to blame people – doing so can make you a victim and you could become emotionally bitter. Instead, learn to take control of your life and give yourself the love that you didn’t receive from your childhood

Evaluate your relationships 

Ensure that you are not giving too much within your relationships and receiving very little back. A relationship should be reciprocal. When you often give too much to another person, they lose respect for you, so if you want others to respect you then start by respecting yourself. If you don’t, then you can’t expect others to do the same. 

Learn to forgive

Forgiving others helps you to let go of the emotional pain which you may be carrying around. When you hold on to the pain that others have caused you, particularly your parents, you are more likely to be subconsciously drawn to a partner that has similar characteristics as your parents. Consequently, your negative experiences will be constantly repeated from an emotional level. If you find it difficult to speak to the person that has hurt you, you can always write a letter but don’t send it. Just bin it or burn once you have written it.

 

Self-esteem in relationships

What is the meaning of self-esteem? Self-esteem defines how you treat yourself, what you think of yourself and the relationship that you have with yourself. A person can be confident but still have low self-esteem, as they outwardly appear confident. This could be based on external factors including:
appearance, marital status, class, occupation, etc. But inwardly they feel terrible. We all wear a mask, as we have certain aspects of ourselves that we do not want others to see or know.

You can fool people, but you certainly can not fool yourself. When you begin to fool yourself, then you are living in denial. Living in denial can be a painful process as you struggle to accept the reality or truth about yourself or the situation that you are in.

Self-acceptance is the most powerful experience you can gain. To truly love yourself, it is important to accept everything about who you are as a person, including the good, the bad and the ugly. After all, no one is perfect. People with low self-esteem, often do not respect themselves and they consistently attract spouses that disrespect them. They put up with unreasonable behaviours including; cheating, domestic violence, serial liars, emotional abuse and highly selfish partners.

These individuals have a strong desire to be loved, so they often attract spouses that do not love them the way that they deserved to be loved. Consequently, reinforcing any negative experiences from their childhood. This makes a person live in constant fear of the worst outcome, which reinforces more negativity within intimate relationship experiences.

It is always best to have good relationships with yourself before committing to a serious relationship. After all, how will your potential spouse understand you if you do not understand yourself?

Building your esteem within relationships

  • Learn to respect yourself.

Self-respect is key within all your relationships. The reality in life is that you will meet people who genuinely do not like or respect you the way that you should be treated. However, you have a choice not to accept unreasonable behaviour. If you put up with people constantly disrespecting you, then these individuals may feel that it is OK. If you do not like how you are spoken to or treated, then speak up.

  • Avoid people pleasing.

Repeatedly pleasing others in order for them to like or love you is emotionally draining and never works. You subconsciously give your power away and this could make you feel worthless. People have to like or love you for who you are. If you feel that you need to please others for love then, it is time for you to give yourself what you want from others, (love, reassurance and happiness) so you can break the cycle.

  • Learn from previous mistakes.

Life is like a school and our experiences teach us a lot about ourselves. Always learn something positive from your mistakes, these mistakes help you to do things better next time. So, instead of being hard on yourself because of mistakes that you have made or living in regret, learn something valuable about yourself.

  • Never allow another person to control you.

When you allow people to control you, you are actually giving them your power. Set boundaries within all your relationships. Controlling people are normally not in control and only want to feel like they are in control.

  • Analyse the type of spouses you attract.

You often attract people that are very similar to your character and the type men or women that you attract is a reflection of where you are at emotionally. For instance, co-dependents attract narcissistic mates and victims always attract perpetrators. Find out the patterns of the type of spouses have been attracted to. Make a list of the characteristics and consciously try and make better decisions when choosing your potential mate.

  • Explore your relationships.

Are you often giving more to your relationships than what you always receive? If so, ask yourself why do you give so much and yet get so little back. It is good to give but if you are the only one always giving, you became a “doormat”, so learn to get the balance right.

  • Create a happy list.

Make a list of all the things that you enjoy doing, that makes you happy and ensure that you do them as often as possible to make yourself happy, whether or not you are in a relationship.

  • Learn to conquer your fears.

Everyone is afraid of something, that is the reality of life. However, living in constant fear could leave you feeling stuck, and allow life to pass you by. Life is a risk and the more you take healthy risks that are not self-sabotaging impacts your esteem. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Dealing with the challenges of being a single mum. 

Being a single mum can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. You are responsible for playing so many roles on a daily basis including being a mum, dad, friend, mentor, teacher, cheerleader and a working mother to make ends meet within the home.

It takes a woman of strength and courage to apply these roles, since it is a very demanding role to play. Some women became a single mum by choice, where most do not.

If you are a single parent having difficulties bringing up your children, I want to encourage you not to be dismayed. Keep up the good work.

There are 2 million single parents in the UK and 92% of them are single mothers. Research shows that children from single parent families are more likely to suffer poor health, do badly at school, and fall into crime or drugs abuse when they are teenagers. These facts are not entirely true, as there are many children from single parent families who have excelled in all areas of their lives and are very successful.

Useful tips:

Avoid being super-mum

Always remember that are you are not super-mum and there is no such thing as a perfect parent, you can only do the best you can. Juggling a career and running a home is not easy for two parents let alone one.

 Get support

Get the help and support from family and friends.

Learn to heal and deal with unresolved issues from the past

It is important to forgive people that have hurt, disappointed, rejected, betrayed and abandoned you, specifically your children’s father. There is nothing worse than being a bitter woman; this will not help the relationship with your children. Even when you decide to date again, no man wants to hear negative things about your ex, as it shows animosity.

Never say negative things about your children’s father in front of them, because this actually reflects a negative image of you, and children believe what they hear. If things did not work out between you and your ex-partner, try and avoid getting your children involved. The relationship was your choice and not your children’s.

Allow your children to have a relationship with their father

Not allowing your children not to see their father because you are hurt and using them to get at a man is never a good idea. It is manipulation and you’re actually hurting your children more. Playing these emotional games, especially when the man desires to be involved in the child life, it is not healthy and can be emotionally draining.

Be open and honest with your children

Children are more intelligent than you think and they have the ability to recognise when you’re not being your true self.

Children need your time and love

The most valuable thing that you can give any child is your love and time. No amount of money, gifts, toys can replace this. Keep your children busy by engaging them in regular activities.

Boundaries within the home

No matter how close you are with your children, always have boundaries, you are the adult within your household and you need to be respected.

 Enjoy your hobbies

 Have time to recharge yourself, meet up with friends and enjoy your own hobbies.

Don’t give up on restarting another relationship because you’re a single parent

Take your time to get to know the other person. Remember that dating is no longer about just you. You now have to take your child into consideration.

Avoid getting new partners to meet your children too soon

It doesn’t reflect a positive view of you in your child’s eyes or your new partner. Remember it is always your responsibility to protect your children and be careful about who you invite into your home.

 Be a positive role model

Encourage your children to believe in themselves and always speak positively about them. You are the person that is responsible for building their esteem, from birth.

Set goals and enjoy your life

Remember not everyone is blessed with children, so be grateful for what you have.

 

 

Don’t give up on your dreams

If you lack confidence it will effect your ability to excel and be the best that you can be.

It is really important to believe in yourself. If you don’t, sadly no one will. I can appreciate that it is not easy to be bold, courageous and persistent and go for what you want in life. After all, you will never know unless you try.

It’s very important to pursue the career of your dream and ask for what you want in relationships. Avoid constantly pleasing others and devaluing yourself or giving up on starting a relationship due to fear of the unknown or failure.

Fear is a dangerous emotion, which can paralyse you from being your best self. If you want to grow, then it’s important to come out of your comfort zone. I can appreciate that this is not easy, but you have to understand that growth comes with discomfort.

Imagine if a baby becomes so afraid of falling that they refuse to crawl or walk, how would they enjoy what life has to offer or develop themselves. Likewise, it’s the same when you resist growth; you will always be in the same place and may start envying others that are progressing.

People distract themselves in many ways including watching excessive TV, using recreational drugs, alcohol, sex addiction, work, and being too busy doing meaningless activities.

Sadly you will never see the end the result of any goal if you lack perseverance. However, there are individuals who have endured a challenging journey, which has allowed them to arrive at their destination. These individuals are driven, determined and are called ‘doers’, ‘go getters’ and ambitious.

What is it that you want right now in life? A new job, relationship, children, starting a new course, new house, car or more money? Did you know that the only person that is stopping you from getting all these things is yourself? Start resisting the negative inner voices that are telling you, you can’t.

How to go for what you want in life:

You must believe you can.
Create time to visualise what you want.
Write down your goals and ensure that you visualise them and look at them on a regular basis.
Set reminders on your mobile device to do one thing each day towards your desire goal.
Do some research, about the desired goal and ways to reach them.
Don’t let anyone discourage you, if you want it, go for it.
Surround yourself with positive and like-minded people.
No matter what challenges you encounter, don’t ever give up.
Remember challenges shape, and develop your character.
You can and you will!

How to avoid low esteem

• Always value yourself, if you don’t then no one else will.

• The only person that is responsible for creating your destiny is you, and no one else; so you can’t expect other people to make you happy, if you are not happy with yourself.

• You can’t truly love or receive love without falling in love with who you really are.

• Improve your esteem by treating yourself as you would treat a valued friend.

• Learn to identify your full potential, and your purpose in life. (learn to focus on your strengths and work on areas of development).

• Setting goals gives you a purpose, vision and direction in life. You can do one thing daily towards your desired goal.

• Take care of yourself by, exercising, having a balanced diet and getting enough rest.

• Be conscious of what you feed your mind with.

• Be aware of what you focus your time, money and energy on. It is mostly positive or negative?

• Stop trying to please people; it is not good for your emotional well-being and you can never please everyone, even if you tried to.

• Be positive, negative energy can be draining.

• Enjoy your hobbies

• Consistency is the key to success.

• Challenges are part of life. It helps to develop your character, grow and come out of your comfort zone.

• There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, but avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. If something you are doing is not working, then you must learn to do things differently.

• Create time to nurture yourself , even if you have a busy schedule.

• Learn to give yourself, what you desperately need from others (LOVE)

Never ever give up on yourself.