From a very young age I was made to feel unworthy, which has directly contributed towards my lack of self esteem ever since. In this post I want to share with you the experiences I have had with low self esteem and how I have managed to live with the emotional repercussions and insecurity that comes with it.
The Root Cause
When I was about four, my Father decided he wanted to be a Jehovah’s Witness again (he had been raised as one but came out of the religion when he was 18, resulting in his family disowning him).
Up until this point I had been extremely close with him – a true “Daddy’s girl”. All of that was about to change.
Within a few short years, my parents divorced and my Dad remarried several months later. My Stepmother was also a Jehovah’s Witness and had two children from a previous marriage. If you are familiar with this religion you will know that it is a very staunch one and in my personal opinion more of a cult. Unless you are willing to let them convert you, then you’re looked upon as something of a ‘leper’.
It didn’t take me very long to realize that I was no longer a priority in my Father’s new life, let alone his new found family.
My mother is a Catholic and raised me as one, meaning I went to a Catholic school and followed the formalities of everything my school/s and church encouraged. So, you can imagine how this was frowned upon by my Dad’s side of the family.
At the age of eight…what did I do? Did I hurt my Mum and insist on going door knocking just so I could see my Dad and make him (and the family) love and accept me? When you’re a child everything is very much black and white and this was the choice that I had to make.
Despite my Mum’s wishes, I did everything within my power to conform to how my Dad wanted me to behave and believe whatever he wanted me to believe. This emotional longing that I possessed lasted for several years (during which time I developed bulimia and began self harming), but no matter what I did – it never made the slightest bit of difference. Regardless of the pleading, the crying and the religious fanatics that I tried my best to follow – nothing I did was good enough. I was not good enough.
I reached 15 and done a U turn. I thought f**k this – if my Dad doesn’t love me then that’s his problem. I’m going to do what I want. If you’ve read my About Holly page, you probably already know what happened next.
I got involved with the wrong crowd, I started drinking and taking drugs, skipping school, getting arrested and sleeping with guys who had no respect for me whatsoever.
I was on a mission to destroy myself, everything and everyone else around me.
In hindsight, I can clearly see that all I was doing was playing right into the hands of those who had been the trigger for this type of behaviour. I even attempted suicide on a few occasions. After a pregnancy scare with a guy who enjoyed hitting me, I decided to sort myself out. Hence, my self development journey began. Please see About Holly to read the more positive ‘Part 2’ of my story! 🙂
Soothing The Inner Child
Low self esteem is conjured up over the years based on others making you feel a certain way. You are conditioned into believing certain things about yourself. With religion set aside, it is a form of brain washing that can be soul destroying.
Such emotional scars and ‘hang ups’ do not disappear overnight and I find that even now they manifest themselves in my daily life in all forms. For example, I am an incessant people pleaser and feel the relentless need to prove myself by how happy I can make others. My perception of the world, the people in it and the role I play will to a certain extent always be fragmented.
On the flip side, I am fully aware of this and accept it, which means I am able to control the influence these subconscious preconceptions have over me. Every day, I work on myself, trying to soothe my inner child that still feels alone and worthless. I am by no means ‘cured’ and I do not know if I ever will be but I have come on leaps and bounds since deciding to take action.
7 Steps To Freedom
On a brighter note, my reason for this article is to help you make progress with your own self esteem issues too. By executing the following steps starting from now, it will help you on your road to a more confident, self assured you.
- Let go. I have told you the root cause for my low self esteem so acknowledge yours and make peace with it. Stop focusing on it and energizing the feelings with a power they do not have. Acceptance of your past is the only way you can embrace your future. Depending on your circumstances, it may be necessary to seek professional help with this.
- Make a decision that you are going to be happy from now on. What’s done is done, there is nothing you can do about it. We all make mistakes so love and accept yourself (warts and all) for who you are today. Life is short. Say out loud right now; “I deserve to be happy and fulfilled“. Say this a few times everyday for as long as it takes for the message to sink in – you will be surprised by the empowerment you feel.
- Have a spring clean. Distance yourself from those that bring you down and make you feel inadequate. Unless they are part of the solution, they are part of the problem and you don’t need them in your life. Trust me. Surround yourself with people who you can be your true authentic self with and those who love you for who YOU are.
- Start a journal. Throughout a lot of my articles you will hear me talk about writing. Keeping a diary/journal is an indispensable part of the self development journey. It provides you with endless opportunity to vent out all your emotions which are buried way back in your subconscious. You don’t have to be JK Rowling – it is for your eyes only. Just get a pen and some paper and see what happens…
- When you feel self loathing or uncertainty creep up on you, switch it round by thinking of all your accomplishments, your strengths and talents, and all the breakthroughs you have made in your life. Give yourself credit where credit’s due. You are amazing and whatever difficulties you have had in the past – you are still here. Does that not tell you anything? Build up this momentum and channel all that emotion into a purpose that will serve you well.
- Stop putting others first. Do what you want to do and don’t be afraid to say no. If people put you under pressure and you feel inclined to just go along with what they decide, start putting your foot down. You will be happier in the long run and no doubt will be respected a lot more for it as well.
- Look towards the future. What aspect of your life causes you to feel intense insecurity? What can you do about it? Take action and take control today. You are the master over your own destiny – nobody else.
One of my secret weapons has been Ed Lester’s Ultimate Abundance Mastery Program which has helped me shift my perspective from the inside out. To read more about this powerful and very valuable program click here
Should you require more information or need some guidance with low self esteem please do contact me and it would be my pleasure to help you in any way I can.
Sending you lots of love & light,