Are you “Coming Up Short” When You Compare Yourself to Other people? There is a 1 in 5 Chance You Have Low Self-Esteem…. Part 1
A Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Perspective
This article is part of a series on how low self-esteem could create a serious problem in your life.
Since NLP and especially Time Line Therapy® techniques are extremely useful in dealing with these issues and have consistently provided great results for people, it is our desire is to provide you, the readers, with information and insights on this subject. It is our hope that this series will shed some light on the subject and will be valuable for you.
We invite our NLP, Time Line Therapy® and NLP Coaching graduates who have worked in this area with clients to join us in submitting short articles with examples about their coaching successes.
Self – Esteem? What About It?
We did a search on the web and we found two things. An enormous number of websites dedicated to this theme, some legitimate, and some posting an incredible amount of dis-information and manipulation for sales purposes. One thing was clear – it is a theme of widespread interest.
It is not hard to imagine how easy it is to fall into the trap of feeling “less than” since we all compare ourselves to the outside world or even because of self-created standards which we cannot ever attain. Don’t get me wrong – having standards and aiming high is a good thing. It allows you to act upon your aspirations, desires and wishes.
But, there are those who would like to tell you that aspiring beyond your lot in life is “false hope”. This is such an incredible fallacy! Logically it does not follow! Wanting to be the best you can be and aspiring high in life has nothing whatsoever with “false hope”.
In our NLP trainings we discuss extensively about being realistic. If I have no idea about brain surgery, it is ridiculous to hope that I could perform it. But that’s not false hope – that’s losing touch with reality.
On the other hand, we’ve witnessed people who had “false hope” and made it happen in spite of conditions present at that time in their lives. They were well in their 60’s and started from being broke. Against all “reality” – being broke – managed to become prosperous in a short period of time. They came up with a brilliant idea, put it to work, and in spite of all “predictions” succeeded.
I am sure they had friends who told them not to kid themselves because that would be false hope since nobody becomes prosperous overnight.
Examples like this are extremely powerful and inspiring for all of us. It proves human ingenuity and capability. If were to take “the norm” as being realistic, no one would even get past beyond the level of mediocrity.
Think of it!
The “norm” presupposes a statistics and an average where you find the median between excellent and failure and you end up somewhere in the middle. That’s called average. Yes, in translation it also can mean mediocrity. Does that mean that everybody should aspire to achieve more than “the norm”? Of course not! Nobody should do any more or less than what they think or feel is right for them.
And here is the first clue. When you are and do and have – yes, the good old be, do and have – fit what you want and need in your life, you don’t suffer of lack of self-esteem. Unless…
Is The Not Good Enough Feeling Wrecking Your Life?
Unfortunately low self-esteem is not only an emotional problem – it can affect your health and ultimately your entire life. It can prevent you from pursuing the career otherwise you could aspire to. It can prevent you from finding the partner you dream of and it can lead to anxiety and stress which in turn have a direct and damaging effect on your health.
What Is Low Self Esteem?
• Is it lack of personal power?
• Lack of self-worth?
• Lesser social confidence?
• Fears & other negative thoughts?
• Social withdrawal?
• Depression and/or sadness?
• Inability to accept compliments?
• Inability to be fair to yourself?
• Being too self-conscious?
• Treating yourself poorly but always eager only to please others?
• Worrying what would people say?
• Unwillingness to go for the better job? Or a better relationship? Or a better car?
• Refusal to think of you first?
• Some of the above?
• All of the above?
When you look at our society and how many mental problems are diagnosed nowadays, and the number of people who are taking all sorts of medications for problems like Social Anxiety Disorder, the way our science has evolved today is to try and solve all these problems by means of chemical input – meaning you take a drug for a condition you have been diagnosed with. And that’s OK.
But there are other things you can do to help yourself in a different way, using other methods that are effective, fast and easy to do.
People with healthy self-esteem feel good about themselves. People with low self-esteem may feel as if no one will like them or accept them or that they can’t do well in anything.
Many times because of this low self-esteem they feel that they need to cheat and manipulate others into getting what they want because they feel like they could not succeed otherwise. It is the only way they think they can achieve anything…. Don’t blame them. Although their behaviors may not be all right with you, understand that they’re not doing it to spite everybody around them. This is the only strategy they think have available to them. We will see as we progress through this series that is not correct, but more about this later.
The good news is that there are simple techniques that everybody can learn to help yourself out of the riddle you find yourself in.
But please, do not get confused. Investigating articles posted on the web, we found some articles talking about the so called ‘High Self Esteem Disorder’, whereby high self-esteem is made into a disease.
Let’s not lose our common sense here, shall we?
If you feel good about who and what you are, that it does not mean that you are a bully or a criminal now! It does not mean that you have low impulse control, does it? The two are not equated in any way. You can be as much of a bully with or without low or high self-esteem problems. It is a logical fallacy. It is like the bystanders at the site of a fire being considered as the initiators of the fire.
Just as an aside, for those of you who have been trained in NLP at the Master Practitioner level you surely understand the different systems of thinking based on the work of Dr. Clare Graves. Analyzed form this point of view it is easy to recognize that the comparison discussed above is a statement made by VL4 thinkers in respect to VL3 behaviors. I will post soon an article on this topic. Stay tuned, this will be a very important article.
The Question Remains What is Lack of Self Esteem Doing to You?
Regardless of how many definitions we give it, and how much we argue back and forth about what it is, the main issue here is what are the consequences of it?
What is the result of it in your life? What’s the impact it has over you?
Well folks we’ll talk about that in our next article.
Until then, be well.
About Adriana James
Adriana James M.A., Ph.D. is a Certified Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Master Time Line Therapy® Trainer, Hypnosis Trainer and NLPCoaching Trainer. She is the author of the book Time Line Therapy® Made Easy, an introduction to Time Line Therapy® techniques easy to master by everyone. To read more about Adriana go here.