Self Esteem You Are Not Who You Think You Are

Self Esteem You Are Not Who You Think You Are

David sat in​ front of​ me at​ one of​ my five-day intensive workshops. a​ successful businessman with a​ wife and​ two grown children, David believed that he was not good enough.

“I’m insufficient,” he said. “I’m inadequate.”

I looked at​ this​ kind man and​ felt deep sadness for​ him. He did not know who he was.

“Why do you​ believe that?” I asked.

“I didn’t do well in​ school, and​ I’ve made lots of​ mistakes in​ my life.”

“So you​ are basing your​ worth on​ your​ performance, right?”

“of​ course.”

David could not conceive of​ any other way of​ defining his worth other than through his performance – which he never saw as​ good enough.

I asked David to​ look inside – at​ the essence of​ himself - and​ tell me what he sees. All he saw was emptiness.

“David, please close your​ eyes. Now imagine a​ wonderful being who loves you​ very much. Who comes to​ mind?”

“My grandfather. He died when I was young, but he really loved me.”

“Good. Now imagine that you​ are seeing yourself through the eyes of​ your​ grandfather. What does your​ grandfather see when he looks at​ you?”

“He sees a​ bright and​ creative little boy, who is​ very kind and​ caring. a​ loving little boy. a​ little boy who is​ funny and​ likes to​ laugh, and​ likes to​ make other people laugh.”

“Is there anything wrong with this​ little boy? Anything inadequate or​ insufficient?”

“Oh no! He is​ a​ wonderful little boy.”

“David, this​ is​ who you​ really are. you​ are not your​ performance. your​ performance will come and​ go and​ at​ some point you​ might retire and​ not perform at​ all. Yet that does not mean that you​ are, therefore, worthless. your​ worth is​ in​ who you​ are, not in​ what you​ do. your​ worth in​ intrinsic.”

David realized that, because of​ his highly critical and​ rejecting parents, he had always been trying to​ prove himself and​ always came up short in​ their eyes. as​ a​ result of​ seeing himself as​ unworthy and​ inadequate, he did not treat himself well. He treated himself the way his parents had treated him – with criticism and​ neglect. He was always trying to​ take care of​ everyone else, but rarely thought about taking care of​ himself. He was constantly abandoning himself emotionally, just as​ he had been emotionally abandoned by his parents.

“David, if​ you​ chose to​ see yourself as​ your​ grandfather saw you​ rather than how your​ parents saw you, how would you​ feel about yourself and​ how would you​ treat yourself?”

“I’ve just been thinking about that. I just realized that I treat my dog better than I treat myself! I would never judge my dog the way I judge myself.”

“So what would you​ do differently if​ you​ saw yourself the way your​ grandfather sees you?”

“I would stop judging myself as​ insufficient and​ inadequate. I’m a​ really good person. I am not at​ all insufficient or​ inadequate as​ a​ person. and​ I choose my friends based on​ who they are as​ people – not on​ their performance. So I obviously value the very qualities that I possess!”

“What else would you​ do if​ you​ really valued who you​ are?”

“I would listen to​ my own feelings and​ take care of​ my own needs instead of​ taking care of​ everyone else’s feelings and​ needs. I would no longer see it​ as​ selfish to​ take care of​ myself instead of​ taking care of​ everyone else. I would be at​ least as​ attentive to​ myself as​ I am to​ my dog!”

David was glowing. He was discovering who he really is, not who he thought he was.

People often think that their worth – who they really are – is​ based on​ looks and​ performance. Yet these qualities are transitory. What is​ real and​ eternal is​ who you​ are in​ your​ heart and​ soul. if​ you​ shift your​ definition​ of​ your​ worth from outer to​ inner, you​ will stop trying to​ prove yourself. you​ will know that you​ are already a​ beautiful being, totally deserving of​ love.

Self Esteem You Are Not Who You Think You Are

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