Consciousness & Mental Health

Two Elements Which Are Probably Killing Your Self-Esteem

*I thank you for your tolerance. English is not my first language. But I’m evolving*

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Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

Low self-esteem is a BIG issue nowadays. In fact, it can even lead to suicide if not managed properly. But what actually causes people to undervalue their worth? What causes them to have this biased view of themselves? I won’t pretend that I have the answers to these questions, but I DO have clues. It could be interesting to reflect on that. Here are some possible reasons:

Advertisement:

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It never stops. You are watching a movie, an advertisement shows up. You walk on the streets, you see advertisements everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against advertisements. It’s a good way to promote products, and online advertising is helping a lot of people to become financially free. However, I’m interested on the way people react to advertising. For many of us, advertisements are a reminder that we are not good enough. If girls don’t like you, you should try this new body-spray. Oh, you still have this old smartphone? You’re a loser! If you don’t have these new beauty products, then you aren’t a real woman. And that’s it. Our self-worth now depends on our external possessions. I have seen people getting into debts, JUST to buy the latest smartphone. I assume that if gives them a sense of accomplishment, or something like that. But since new phones, tvs, cars will always been produced, will you be able to keep this pace? Will you always keep “buying” your self-worth from manufacturing companies? And what about those who don’t have enough money to afford these things? Are they unworthy of attention and respect? The way you see yourself will have an impact on the way people see you. As Oprah Winfrey said: “If you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are”. Therefore it could be a great idea to work on your inner values, and start loving yourself more, not because you’ve got an expensive watch, but because your actions are inspiring.

 

Social Media:

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Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

Everyone is beautiful on Instagram. Everyone is having the perfect life on Twitter, or Facebook. No one wants to expose his flaws or weaknesses on the internet. As a result, it looks like you are the only one experiencing issues on the planet. But you know it’s not true right? When people get likes, or followers, it activates the reward system of the brain, which is responsible for incentive salience (motivation and “wanting”, desire), for associative learning and positive emotions. The person then makes an unconscious correlation between the number of likes (and followers) and his/her self-worth. In the first part (advertisement), self-worth was linked to external possessions. In this case, it’s linked to an external validation from your peers. If they like your posts, then you are likable. Once again, nobody holds your self-worth in his hands. You are Unique, with a single DNA, with your own talents and gifts, with so much value to bring to this world. You are worthy of Respect, Abundance and Love.

 

This issue of low self-esteem pains me, a lot. Statistics on social media and self-esteem are alarming. Our society has put people in boxes. We keep feeding this concept of duality. Either you are good, or bad. Those who don’t fit in therefore feel isolated, misunderstood. And from where I stand, I think there are much more people who don’t quite fit in but are afraid of showing their differences. If I don’t look a certain way, then I have a problem. Low self-esteem, again! We should rethink the concept of love. We should learn how to love people, based on what they truly are. We should stop seeking for external validation, stop giving our power to others. I love myself. And no matter what you think, you are a lovable person. So, will you love yourself too?

 

Rebuilding Self-Esteem After Addiction to Social Media | Sarayu Chityala |TEDx