As human beings we are always scanning our environment and assessing where we stand. On the totem pole of value we want to know if we are near the top, near the bottom or somewhere in-between. Based on what you think, you are going to have a certain amount of inner resources. You will have certain amount of confidence, charisma and expression and it is all dictated by where you think you stand in a certain environment at some point and time. Here is the secret. People are run by this. Depending on the situation they have a little more or a little less of the internal resources. This is the life of everyone on this planet.
I always can tell if my soccer girls are going to have a good game or a great game by how they warm up. This is why I always try to get their confidence up. They always look over at the other team to see how they are warming up and I can tell they are comparing themselves to them. Depending on if they think they are more talented or not will depend on how they play. I have a couple of girls that know they are the best so they play every game the same, but for the most part all players do this. In practice they know exactly where they stand, but in a game they have to reassess their value on the field. In the same way you might act a certain way around your friends and family, but when you get out in public you will act different based on where you think you stand in value among a crowd of strangers.
Without a high self esteem we will lose access to that range of internal resources. Im going to show you how to break free from that and how to stop being bullied by your environment. How to not scan your environment to see your place in value and to always have max capacity of internal resources. Im not going to teach you some watered down crap. Im going to show you what I teach my girls in soccer. Im gonna go deep on self esteem. You will know more about self esteem than most other people. I have been cultivating it since my daughter was born and I started coaching soccer. I get it to stick with my soccer girls so it will last the rest of their lives whether they play soccer or not. It’s not just a temporary boost. It will change your life if you let it.
Where does low self esteem come from? Low self esteem seems to be the default mode for most people. It ranges but it still is low. I had it too. I always wonder how different my life would have been if I just knew as a kid what Im going to show you. We all have been social conditioned. We learn by first had experience when you do something yourself and decide whether we will do it again or not. Like touching a hot stove. But we also take in second had information and assume it’s true because we don’t have time to try everything ourselves. We let others raise us or teach us and tell us what is true. Parents, teachers, friends, media, bosses, etc. We filter the information by how certain the information is or by how much we value the person we get the information from. If that person has status or authority we will believe it or if a lot of other people in society believe it we will take it as true. When it passes those filters we take it as truth even if it’s not.
If you audit your life and ask yourself what you took as truth that you never tested yourself, it will be quite a bit. This includes the assumption that you are not good enough. Self esteem is taught and most are not taught to have high self esteem. We are born into this world and it has rules and guidelines. Which is good but the way we are taught those rules is through punishment and reward. You obey, you are rewarded. If you break the rules, you are bad and punished. We also have a very limited perspective and we misinterpret and skew reality. Mix all this together and as a kid when you are rewarded or punished you see it as Im loved or liked or I’m not loved or disliked. As a kid when your parents punished you your limited perspective was my parents don’t love me. If they abandon me I will die. Of course you are not thinking this literally. It is all subconsciously done. Your survival instinct kicks in and you suppress whatever it is you got punished for because you want to survive in this world. It could have been a girl being a tomboy or a boy acting feminine, being too loud, being a show off, etc. You just banished it and hid it. Every human does this. We all have a split with our acceptable side and unacceptable side.
With this conditioning you subconsciously think you are only good enough if you only show the acceptable side of yourself. If you show the unacceptable side of yourself, you are not good enough. We all have this part of ourself we want to disown and get rid of. My father always told me the odds of making it playing sports is way too low. You will be poor. Get a real job it’s more steady. Subconsciously it effected my play. That is why I always try to instill high self esteem in my girls. They can truly go as far as they want if they are willing to work for it. This works with artistic creativity too. It also works with thoughts and emotions. We are told certain thoughts and emotions are bad. So we suppress those too. We suppress traumatic experiences. Anything can be traumatic to a child. Survival instinct kicks in to something that is overwhelming to a child. All of this makes up your shadow.
So we have low self esteem to begin with and a split within where we are only good enough if we express the acceptable parts of ourselves. This causes us to live a life where we always try to justify ourselves and become good enough. Become good enough to others, society, god, universe, parents, bosses, etc. We want to compensate for the unacceptable part of ourself. We spend our lives trying to be good enough for others instead of ourselves. We always want that approval.
Here is a big example of this that happened to my daughter. I have trained my daughter since she was five years old in soccer. Around sixth grade she was still playing recreation soccer for me. My team was great. They won the state championship and she was the star. She was a great passer and scorer, but what she really excelled in was dribbling. She made her middle school team and all the girls on the team were club players. She started for the team and in the first game she stole the ball from an opponent dribbled the ball all the way down to the other end of the field, passed it off to another girl who took the shot but missed. All the club girls yelled at her and said you can not just takeoff with the ball like that. This caused her to suppress the best part of her game. She made the club team, but she never took off with the ball anymore. At the end of that year her coach retired and a young vibrant coach took over with modern soccer ideas. He went to her and told her that if she does not start taking off with the ball when she has open field in front of her then he would bench her. Suddenly her game blossomed. The team went from scoring 1 or 2 goals a game to 4 or 5. He came to me and asked who taught her how to dribble like that and when I told him I did I became his assistant coach. Now I teach all the girls how to dribble like that. My point is that until she was given permission to bring out what she had suppressed she didn’t blossom.
We all fear people seeing the unacceptable parts or our real self. We all hide behind a mask. We are all like that. Now you know why.
The art of raising your self esteem is an inside out job. You must understand this. It is not outside in. Your inner world will never align with the outer world. If you get success outside it might help your self esteem but it becomes a situational self esteem. Where it’s not you that is good enough it’s only because of the success that you are good enough. You will start clinging to the success and not want to lose it. In return it just makes you more insecure about losing your success. The internal always colors your external. Unless you change internally it will not stick. Two people could go through the same experience and one will think its negative and the other will think it’s positive. All because your internal will hijack your reality and skew it to what you align with. This is why external to internal approach does not work.
Your selective focus is what your mind wants to take in. There is way too much information coming in so we focus on what has the most value to us. Your selective focus is easily hijacked. I can tell you to close your eyes and tell me what it blue in your surroundings. When you open your eyes you will immediately look for what is blue. That is your selective focus. If your internal state is fear it will hijack your focus and look for threats. It will distort reality to match that. I can give three girls on my team a compliment after they have done a drill. The girl with low self esteem is going to think it’s a snarky comment. A girl with mid level self esteem will deflect by saying “Thanks but that was and easy drill”. The girl with high self esteem will let the compliment land and say “Thanks”. Notice how the low self esteem won’t even see the compliment. It is usually people with low self esteem who will change teams. They think that things will change if they could just play somewhere else. In the same way someone with low self esteem will want to move or go somewhere else to start over. “Where ever you go there you are” is a saying with so much truth.
You will only let information in to who you are. If you are negative you will look for things that will validate you being negative. On a cool beautiful day a negative person will only see the cold. They will only look for things that align with their negative state. Never mind the sun is shining, leaves are changing or the birds are singing. It’s cold and the wind is messing up their hair. This makes them more negative and they look for even more negative things. It is a feedback loop that has to be stopped. This is how self esteem works. This is why its an inside out job. Change the internal and you change the external. Why do you have low self esteem? Working on that directly and the grip it has on your selective focus starts to loosen. Suddenly things look different. You start to look at the good things and spiral up.
People usually deal with low self esteem in three ways. First is they try to bring others down to their level. They try to get other to feel insecure and doubt themselves. This is toxic but many try to do it. The second is they try to enhance themselves to reach others. They will try to have more or do more to look better to others. The second one does not work because the more you try to become more confident or good enough the more it reinforces you are not confident or good enough. The third thing is what if you have bought into the lies that keep your self esteem low? Letting go of the lies is the only way to a high self esteem. What if you thinking you are not good enough is a lie? What if you have been fake for so long you have convince yourself that your fake self is you? What if by default you have high self esteem but you have convinced yourself otherwise? Let go of keeping the assumption that you are down there. Let go of the lies. Realize you have been good enough all the time and you have just been playing a game with yourself that you are not.
As you start letting go of all the things holding you back then the feed back loop loses momentum. You start experiencing and seeing the world differently. You start feeling confident and more self esteem just because. You can’t achieve or become more self confident. You can only realize it. This is the foundation of self esteem. What most people don’t understand is your self esteem will dictate your level of success in the external world. Your level of self esteem will dictate your ceiling of success and your floor of success. People don’t know how to see what their ceiling is and they don’t know how to break free. You might have things you want to achieve but its like an invisible force keeps pulling you back. That is your self esteem dictating that and in the next post I will show you how to see it and break free from it.