The importance of having a solid foundation of self-esteem should be taught in the school system. Teaching academics is quite valuable, but without the just as important solid foundation of a high self-esteem system intact, the house built on academics alone will topple over. The foundation (self-esteem) is needed to make the inside of the home (academics) stronger and resilient to the effects of the outside world. Here are some repercussions from struggling self-esteem:
- Struggle and suffering
- Scarcity thinking
- Conflict and broken relationships
- Health issues
- Attracting what you do not want
- Abusive, addictive or emotionally-taxing behaviors
Where does lack of self-esteem stem from?
Between birth and age 6, something happens to place doubt in the child’s mind that makes them feel unlovable, not worthy or not good enough:
- Unkind word from peer or authority figure
- Spanking, an insult, argument, bullying incident or name-calling episode
- Possibly could be something the child said or did, that provoked an attack on their sense of worthiness or ability to fit in
The child buys in to the negative opinion or reaction of another, and starts to think there is something wrong with them. “I must be flawed, unlovable, not worthy or defective in some way. I don’t belong or fit in, I’m not good enough!”
Sometimes the self-esteem diminishing episode can be as a result of the child misinterpreting someone’s words or actions, not having anything to do directly with something the child did or said. The other person says “I am going home now”, or their parents getting divorced – “It must be my fault, if I was a better child they would still be together”…..”I must not be a good person and so people leave me because of this!” By misinterpreting these statements by others, and taking it personal, the child might think to himself that he needs to act a certain way in order for people to like him.
This decision colors all future events, as the child creates more evidence to reinforce his early opinions about himself, others and the world. With each passing episode, more faulty misinterpretations are created further reinforcing what internal interpretations he has created — more and more evidence shows up — that he is stupid or boring — it’s just the way he is! Our subconscious mind has a very clever way of tricking us into believing untruths about ourselves.
Another misinterpretation – parents choose to or need to go away (without child) for extended time…for personal matters, anniversary, or on business trips. The child may make up in their mind that parents don’t love him and people want to get rid of him and they are not important in their parents’ lives. With this tendency toward faulty misinterpretations, there are literally 1000’s of opportunities for the child to attach meaning to a situation that continues the process of eroding self-esteem.
From the time of this early realization forward, the child will scan for situations that reinforce this initial assumption that there is something not good enough about who he or she is intrinsically. Over the years and decades of gathering such evidence, actually creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, the child (and later the adult) develops a certain and unshakable belief in his or her imperfection. Diminished self-esteem and the resulting expectations of failure, struggle, suffering, broken relationships and hurt are the inevitable result.
Studies show that high self-esteem is the number one ingredient essential for living happier lives, experiencing fulfilling, rich relationships and having overall success in everything that presents itself to you. My goal in writing this blog, and my subsequent self-esteem elevation books for kids, is to inspire and guide you to help build your self-esteem and realize your full potential becoming empowered to create a happy, healthy life. Turn your dreams and aspirations into reality, and live your life FULL OUT!