Overcoming Low Self Esteem from the NLP Coaching Perspective Part 2
Overcoming Low Self Esteem Part 02 Interview
Interview with Tad James and Adriana James, Master Trainers of NLP, Master Trainers of Time Line Therapy® and NLP Coaching in Sydney, Australia
INTERVIEWER: Nice meeting you Tad…Adriana
Tad – Nice to be here.
Adriana - Nice to talk to you today.
INTERVIEWER: Okay. Tell us a little bit about why is lack of self-esteem so prevalent among young people… among people…..I think that’s the first question.
T: Well, I came out with the techniques which are part of Time Line Therapy® because in the trainings and seminars we have lots of people come to us and ask questions like: “You know Tad, I have been harshly criticized by my father or by my mother or by my school teachers in my youth and I know I’ve done a god job at the time…. I can’t get over this and …. I realize that it has followed me along all my whole life…. This is why I have now a profound lack of self-esteem…I always feel like I am not good enough, and I pretend… I put on a face, but deep down inside I feel like I can’t do it….
Or, they say “There were many times in my life when I have been ignored, or ridiculed, or teased and I did not do anything wrong…. Now I don’t even dare to open my mouth and say anything….”
A: Or sometimes people say things like “I look around and see many other people who are happy, who are successful, but to be honest I doubt that I can ever achieve anything like that…? Besides all of other conditions, like where you’re born, who do you know, your parents financial situation, it also takes good looks to make it and look at me….”
One woman said “I remember hating to stand up in class at school to say something as you just froze and stood there like no being sure of what to say! Now like then, I am just not capable of speaking what’s on my mind… what would the people say of I say what I think! They’ll surely laugh at me…. What if they’ll find out who I really am?”
T: A man shared this with me: I have…. I can’t have a relationship he said, because I simply cannot get myself to begin a conversation with new people because I know I am not attractive enough to them and I find that I am not confident about what would…what would they find interesting in me?
Most people suffer to some degree a lack of self-confidence. It’s a fact of life.
I was already experimenting with the issue of memories that contain lots of Negative Emotions and bad life experiences from the past and how to get rid of the ones that ….wreck our lives because…. because they tend to stay with us…. As you know, they stay with us for a long time…in many cases as long as we live….But I was convinced then and I am more convinced now that there are in fact ways of changing our beliefs about ourselves … and we can get rid of our lack of self-esteem quickly and easily. We witness this happening all the time in our seminars and trainings. There are many ways of getting rid of our fear …and… we can get rid of our fear of not being good enough and we can do that quickly and we can do that easily…
A: You know, there are ways of changing our inability to say what we really want to say …to our spouses, to talk to them, be capable of talking straight to our bosses … and in this way we don’t have to take a long time. …..all these things are easy to do. There are ways to completely feel self confident. There are ways to change our insecurities into self-confidence…..
INTERVIEWER: Now…. wait a second. You’re saying that things that you come up with, that are part of a man or a woman’s personality, things that have even been diagnosed as psychological disorders can be all lumped together with this issue of lack of self-esteem?
A: Well, when you look at the way our society is … and how many mental problems are diagnosed nowadays, and the number of people who are taking all sorts of medications for problems lie Social Anxiety Disorder, or Public Phobias . . . the way our science has evolved today is to try and solve all of 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 quick, fast and easy to do.
INTERVIEWER: And the general belief is that if you have low self-esteem there is nothing you can do to change that, you basically just have to live with it.
T: That’s right….That’s right!
INTERVIEWER: And you can mostly pretend that all is well, because nobody really knows what you’re actually hiding on the inside….
T: So the general belief is not serving us…it’s not serving us very much … because when we have this belief we become more and more…we become more and more victims of our behaviors which are learned or acquired…..we’re not born with those behaviors….
A: When you were a baby you didn’t think of yourself as being not good enough, did you? You did not think of yourself in a good or bad way. You did not think “I am the greatest person in the world” when you burped your lunch on your mommy’s shoulder… (chuckle) Yeah! You did not worry when you wore a diaper that your bum was too big, or that your legs are not straight and look weird….
T: That’s right. Our Lack of self-esteem is not inborn… and yet there is a prevalent belief that there is nothing we can do about it. This is how we are! And the best it gets is when we spend years and years and years trying to overcome this problem…What? Years? What a waste of life. You can do this much more quickly!
A: It’s not something you are – it is something you do…. Therefore it can be changed …. and it can be changed now.
INTERVIEWER: OK. Yes.
T: These things can be changed right now and yet millions of people all over the world let a lack of confidence control every single aspect of their lives. Self –esteem is not who you are. Self esteem is not who you are. therefore low self esteem does not have to stay with you forever.
A: think of it, every single aspect of our lives has a direct relationship to the way we feel about ourselves… We create happy intimate relationships because we have the self-assurance or the confidence to start a dialogue with those we’re attracted to…..we also have the self-assurance that at some point is OK to accept a committed relationship… If we are in a relationship, then we have the confidence to love them and know that it is OK to be loved in return ….
T: What is the difference between successful people and people who are not successful? Those who succeed do so because they truly believe they will succeed even if they do not yet know how. They just know they will! There are people who were hard hit by the economy and yet they already bounced out of it!
A: What you do right now, your career, the way others relate to you, the way you are perceived by your friends, by your family, by your co-workers, the way you carry yourself, who are the people you hang out with, the amount of money you make, your love life… they are all a direct result of your self-esteem.
Self esteem is nothing more than how you feel about yourself. And nobody is born feeling in a certain way about themselves. We begin to learn to have self-esteem or not as a result of our environment. We are taught by mom and dad, by our relatives and friends, by our school teachers and first relationships how we are supposed to think about ourselves…
T: Even so, even so, let’s say that you had a good upbringing and your parents encouraged you to have a good self-esteem and you grow up with a good dose of it …. You have now a healthy…healthy dose of self-esteem. But what if at some point you run into a situation that completely changes the way you think about yourself? Something unexpected, surprising and you are unprepared? Something so shocking that and in many cases it can take years or even a lifetime to reverse the damage done to your self esteem…
Many people realize that they have a negative lack….lack of self-esteem or negative self-image while others spend secretly their entire lives trying to compensate for their lack of self esteem and doing their best to prevent it from controlling their lives….
INTERVIEWER: So you’re saying that these people are not … sure what the underlying problem actually is.
A: Exactly! They don’t understand what is it that blocks them. Self-esteem is all about how much you feel valued, loved, and accepted by others but also how much we value, love, and accept ourselves. Do I feel good about my body? About how smart I am? When I walk down the street or when I go to work every day. Or when I am in an intimate relationship with my partner…..
T: People with healthy self-esteem feel good about themselves. People with low self-esteem may feel as no one is willing to like them or no one will accept them or that they can’t do anything well… 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.
A: Have you ever seen a stranger in public, or at a party who you would really like to meet, but where to nervous or shy to approach them? That could be your future life partner, the perfect other and life just made it possible for you to meet…. But it would never happen because … of your lack of self-confidence, self-esteem and belief in yourself.
INTERVIEWER: It’s all the same thing anyway….It makes you feel the same way….
A: Yes it is!
T: Yet, how many people…how many people you know that hate their jobs? They just go there every Monday morning because it pays the bills…They would rather not go there, rather not do it, but they feel like they have no choice! People with healthy self-esteem are not staying in a job they hate. They seek out jobs they really like, or maybe they even start their own businesses. They know they’ll succeed at whatever they want in life. So if you’re stuck in a job you don’t enjoy, and if you’re afraid to ask for that promotion, if you dread going to work everyday, most likely this is a direct result of a lack of self-esteem. It’s a feeling that you don’t deserve something better.
A: Are you still faithful to the dreams you had when you were young? Think of it!
INTERVIEWER: I…think so….
A: So, you’re not very sure! But let’s say you say “ Yes”…That’s good! But are you doing something about them? Are you continuously taking action to follow your dreams? Do you deep down still believe that they’ll come true? Because if you don’t, you lost the self esteem you used to have when you were younger. Self confidence is the determining fact… People who feel self confident and have a healthy self-esteem (regardless of their age, gender, body shape, etc….) will actively pursue and …and…achieve their dreams, because they believe they can. People who lack confidence, they have a low self esteem, they won’t take action, because they have a false sense that there is no point …even trying. They will fail since they feel they are not good enough.
INTERVIEWER: So I gather that self-esteem is the defining factor in whether or not you live the life that you want to live.
T: Absolutely. There is good news though. Even if you’ve struggled with a low self esteem problems your entire life, you can completely change the way you see yourself and begin to live a happy confident life, and the answer is probably a lot easier than you think…I know very well, I had a time in my life when my pretty good self-esteem was put to a great test. And I was lucky to have two parents who loved me and did their best to make me feel appreciated … and loved. After that, once I grew up into adulthood, things started going haywire.
I felt so bad that I hated being me… I had a very negative attitude! I was blaming everyone else for my bad luck and I was jealous of other men who had happy, fulfilling jobs and …happy fulfilling relationships. Surely during that time I didn’t appreciate myself at all.
I started talking to acquaintances and friends but they said to me, “Get used to it. This is what it is, and there is nothing you can do about it!” I did not want to accept the victim position, and I started doing affirmations. Affirmations would say “You can do it… You are lovable…or you are worthy…or you are powerful” But truthfully I did not feel like that when I did it. I wanted desperately to feel this way, but I wasn’t….”
I said the affirmations you know and … I finally went out and bought a tape set that had affirmations covered by ocean waves. And so I’d hear the ocean waves and in the back…. this was one of those affirmations that had 50.000 affirmations per second….layered in in different levels. They were layered in at different levels. So I’d hear the waves …..(waves noise)…like that. And then underneath that they’d be going like this (replicating very fast noise of 50000 affirmations per second)…and I’d wake up in the middle of the night and the year phones would be wrapped around my neck … (laughter)…that didn’t work very well…So that all of that sent me on a quest to find out that actually does work.
There are a lot of things out there that could improve your self-esteem, but some require taking pills…. and some require 20 years of meditation and some got short term results but not long term results… but none of them seemed to be what I needed…
And all of that sent me into a quest to find something that actually does work…
INTERVIEWER: And you teach that in your seminars now….
T: Yes we do. Yes we do.
INTERVIEWER: Because you seem to have snapped out of that…. You two have a great relationship and a beautiful, wonderful career which fulfills you…
A: Yes we do…and we know that regardless what happened to you in the past, so can you!!!
T: You already know better than anyone else how much your lack of self-esteem impacts your daily life. It affects everything. Self-esteem is the defining factor that makes people feel lonely … if you want to feel loved the first thing you need to do is love yourself…
If you want to stop feeling like you struggle to get by regardless of how you do…. and become successful you need to let go of not being good enough.
For example childhood trauma can have a big impact on the self-esteem and the confidence of a grown up…. there are so many ways in which we can experience childhood trauma … and… I am not talking only about major trauma like sexual abuse or physical abuse, like war, or severe neglect, or rape, etc…I am talking even about situations where the parents unintentionally create severe emotional pain because they ignore their children so much that the children just feel alone…and this because the parents were too busy dealing with their own stressful situations, their own issues or … maybe they were dealing with other siblings. So … children grow up as highly introverted, with a reserved nature, and pretty poor at making friends with the opposite sex…. Lack of self-esteem can lead to inability to understand what it is like to be in a relationship with the members of opposite sex be it men or women.
INTERVIEWER: Right… Right….
T: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study has demonstrated that…clearly… that childhood trauma can lead to poor quality of life later on…
A: It did.
T: Extremely low self-esteem, thus lack of motivation, lack of desire for anything… the deep feeling of unworthiness and thinking that you don’t deserve anything good in life….
A: See, lack of self-esteem could damage your personal and intimate relationship completely. Think of this: part of the advice given by sex-counselors is for you to have confidence in yourself and your sexuality. They say that the key to a great intimate relationship is to have the confidence in yourself.
But then you may scratch your head and say … but how do I do that? I feel like crap about myself… (Chuclkes)…. I should have self confidence and self esteem but I DON’T…that’s the problem! If you’re a woman you hope to god that he will be done quickly so you can put on your pajamas because your bum is not looking good and you’re not as skinny as you used to be and you cannot bare the idea of him looking at your body because you are one of those people preoccupied with all the major and minor flaws in your physical features… you feel you don’t have the legs for short skirts, and you can wear only some type of pants because the fashionable ones make your hips look too big…
And this is all part of your physical insecurity but it’s not only about physical insecurity. In our trainings we meet women who are very successful, with great careers who still worry about their abilities, discounting their thriving careers and a reputation in good standing of maybe more than 20 years. If guests are coming for dinner, they worry that their home won’t be pleasing, that their food won’t be pleasing, that the conversation won’t be sufficiently entertaining, they worry continuously…..
What’s present is the same self-doubt that derailed Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman…think of it! There’s a scene where she’s telling the wealthy businessman played by Richard Gere that nobody ever plans to be a hooker, that she fell into this line of work because she didn’t think much of herself. Gere observes that she’s a special person with a lot of potential and capabilities. And she replies, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”
END of part 1.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this Interview
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.