Step One: You are not your iPhone
How do we value our worth? You have probably assessed the value of a thousand things today, the value of that politician, those jeans you saw on Instagram or that Tesco sandwich. We spend our lives assessing the value of a million things around us but what about ourselves? If your immediate reaction is to shake your head and think, I can’t be a valuable human being I have not worn anything but pyjamas for a year then you might have what psychologists call low self-esteem.
So, what exactly is self-esteem?
To put it simply self-esteem is how we rate our intrinsic value as human beings. Do we think of ourselves as worthy? Do we feel happy to live in the skin we are in? Do we like ourselves even when we don’t get that job we really wanted? Do we love and support ourselves even if we have eaten nothing but takeaway pizza for three days? Those with high self-esteem see themselves as good, meaningful human beings with unconditional worth.
So how do we achieve this?
Firstly, picture this scene, a man parks his Porsche across from you, he is wearing a fancy suit and is talking on the latest model of iPhone. You can also see the glint of a Rolex on his wrist. I bet you think he probably has a huge amount of self-esteem. Wrong! Therapists up and down the country will tell stories of highflyers with crippling self-doubt. No, we must start by giving up valuing ourselves by external factors. Capitalism has taught us that we measure worth by money and power however to hold ourselves to these factors means we are constantly on a tightrope. You can lose your job, your partner could leave you, your house could burn down. True self-esteem means we do not measure ourselves by external factors, we do not decide we are worthwhile human beings based on our jobs or our level of education. We decide we have value purely because we are alive.
I will tell you a secret, those with high self-esteem have no more than anyone else, they have simply mastered the ability to give themselves unconditional love. Self-esteem needs to become that old friend who knows every nook and cranny of you, knows all the good parts and the bad and still wants to have margaritas with you on a Saturday night.
So where should we start?
Well how about with realising the miracle that is you. Think about it, you wounded up on a planet that just so happened to be far enough away from the sun to support life. How can you have no worth when you are the most precious thing in existence, a living, breathing human being? You don’t have to prove anything.
Picture another scene, a baby is crying. It cries because it wants to be fed and it knows it should be. It has nothing, yet it has the knowledge it deserves to be looked after. It has worth it because it exists and for no other reason.
Be more like the baby. Porsches are rubbish anyway.
If you want to work on your self-esteem please get in contact with the Nightingale Counselling team by either using our Contact Page or call us on 0141 353 9373.
Associate Couple Counsellor
Nightingale Marriage Counselling