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Has anyone recovered from severe/bad self-esteem problems?
November 28, 1999
1:45 am
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Hi,

Anyone out there... who had bad low self-esteem problems since your youth ... hows life going for you? Did you try to get help? Did it help you? What did you do which helped you? How far have you recovered and how far do you feel you have to go..?

I would really appreciate if i could hear from someone who has recovered from very low self-esteem problems .. i am sooo afraid that this thing is gonna stay with me forever....... some one tell me that he's really enjoying his life after his earlier years of life which were probably just completely messed up... i hope there is someone who can releive me and tell me that its possible to recover, to get up and start LIVING life ... and he did it ... and how he did it...? Thanks a lot ...

November 28, 1999
2:53 pm
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Dear guest_guest,
Yes, I feel I have recovered from poor self esteem. Even as a teenager I was so shy I would hide from other teens. I think you are brave to put up your situation in the discussion and ask for help. With your bravery, I don't think you have to be stuck with low self esteem.
When I got so sick of my life that I couldn't stand it any more, I got a little help and created a more positive self image. It was fun to chose a nick name, and join a new sports club. Taking more courses was probably the most difficult part. Meeting new friends sure made life more enjoyable. I admit that I'm still poor at selling myself effectively in job inverview situations, but that's improving.
Part of my self-esteem program was to become a counselor and to help others. If you'd like more info write me at [email protected]

November 28, 1999
3:40 pm
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guest,

still searching for the self esteem answer huh?

Boy, I guess when you find it it will be the most well researhed answer anyone has ever searched for.

keep us tuned in.

Broc

November 28, 1999
9:47 pm
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Hi Cadieux, thanks for your reply. Nice to know that someone got better.. I would like to ask you what you did... I think i'll be emailing to you... Thanks again..

Hi, BROC... you bet, I sometimes say to myself, when i find the answer it should be something really good... but wish me luck...

Anyone else...? Please share your success story..? Any one else recovered from low self-esteem? How?

November 29, 1999
10:56 am
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I think I've gotten over my problems somewhat...

I was very sheltered, and attatched to my family. In high school, I used to have long hair. i would hide my face behind it. When I was called on by the teacher, I would stumble over words and my face would turn red. I was shy and ashamed of myself and how I looked. This contnued into college. You know what really helpoed me? Working in a bar. I was a cocktail waitress, out of necessity, for a few months. I ended up bartending. I talked to a lot of people, got a lot of compliments...it was fun.

And I hate to day it, but taking acid really changed my preception of myself and others. I don't recommend it for anyone else. But I just thought it made me more aware of reality.

Now I'm not ashamed of how I look, or my voice. I think I'm prefectly intelligent and able to navigate the world without outside help. i did it by myself. The only counseling experiences i've had have been pretty crappy. Sup-par, one might say. But I think if you surround yourself with supportive friends and force yourself to interact socially, you can be just as confient inyourself.

November 30, 1999
11:32 am
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that was good... and interesting.. nice...

December 1, 1999
12:58 am
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Anyone else? Any cool success stories? Even if not so cool, still *any* success? Thanks..

December 3, 1999
8:16 am
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Hi guest,
You are not the only one with confidence problems, so please don't think you are alone. Most people would admit to not feeling as confident as they would like to, and I bet if you ask anyone they will all tell you that you gain confidence as you get older.
I found myself much more confident after my teenage years, I stopped caring what other people thought and I would practice asking myself many times a day, am I worried because of what other people are thinking of me? If i found that I was spending too much time worrying about other peoples views, I would just remind myself that I like myself, that it what matters and most importantly I DO NOT KNOW WHAT OTHERS ARE THINKING, I MUST NOT ASSUME. Sometimes I would see a look in someones face as assume " thats it, they think Im stupid, i can see it in their face" it happened many times that I would assume that someone felt negative towards me only to talk to them later and find out that they really liked me. I was guilty of assuming that other people didn't like me because I could not see what there was to like about me, I didn't like myself.

This is an important part of confidence, you can get self confidence from other people, but it is better to be confident because you love yourself and you know you are special and unique person. This takes practice, I bet you could tell me straight off all the things you don't like about yourself right? Well can you give me a list of everything you are good at? If you can and you want to write it up here, its good to share our strenghths as well as our worries.
Spend some time getting to like yourself, write a list of every little thing you enjoy or are good at, then have a look, see how unique you are.

Looks can come and go, Friends can come and go basically everything is in a constant state of change even you. But you will always be you and you can grow and develop the inner parts of yourself and love your self and you become the best you you can be.

I have found that so many things are easier to overcome when you can be your own best friend.

Hugs to you
Hazza

December 5, 1999
10:18 am
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Hi Hazza,
Thanks alot, that was very nice.
Well, i do know that everything becomes alright when you have a high self-esteem. Its just that i dont know what to do about it, or if i try, it doesnt work for long. Its so hard to find energy to do those things, and its like a vicious circle. You need energy to do something but you dont have it. What does it take to create energy in yourself? Energy i guess... I dont know, i've been trying for long and i dont see any good progress.. i always seem to fall back. Either its that, or i figure i was never 'there'. Both ways, it seems like a dark abyss to me.. i dont know... i've been trying to do so many things... and i keep thinking HOW?... how to be like that...? and i just sigh.. i dont know 'how?' ...
I know self-confidence comes from inside you and having a high self-esteem. I just dont know how i can bring it out from myself. I know the first thing i have to get over with is being comfortable with myself, but i dont know to do that...
and i keep thinking that all the things ppl. tell me how to do that, takes energy and then i say to myself i dont have that energy so how am i going to do it?

Well what am i good at? I dont know... i guess its so hard to call any characterstic of myself as nice because i dont think its nice. Maybe i dont accept it. I mean, if i have low self-esteem, its so hard to search good things in myself. I dont know why... and i dont know whether this is all going to end. I know right now i'm in a more bad mood, but thats where it starts from, and where i fall back to...
how can i be comfortable with myself..? i would give anything to do that... to feel like that all the time..no matter what happens... it just seems a never-ending thing... because the patterns are so consistent... and i sometimes say to myself, that where did come from (my close ones)? and i say 'well, thats why youre like that... or well, where did i come from man??'.. and i know where i came from... everything seems so impossible... sometimes it feels as if it will never happen...will it ever happen?
oh i dont know really... what do i do? what should i do about it? ..

December 5, 1999
10:29 am
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I feel so shattered right now.. like a broken building... bruised....in a well... looking up... and the outside seems so far... almost impossible... i feel myself sinking... but its not like that i just keep sinking... i take a deep sigh and there's a voice in my head which tells me 'No, you must not...', or 'No, you must..' ... but it seems just like as if i'm in the well... and then i just rest my head on my knees taking another sigh... and i say 'shit...'.. or just 'god..'

December 5, 1999
10:31 am
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and all these feelings are real and sometimes so consistent ... sometimes it feels so absurd to be like this ...i dont know what to do...

December 5, 1999
10:39 am
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and i come back to read my words again and again and i find that its all real ... its happening..its there .. but i dont know what to do about it ...

December 5, 1999
2:04 pm
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Dear guest-guest,
I think that all of us at some point suffer fron low self esteem. changing your lifestyle helps; My ex husband made fell worthless. i was a mess! The crunch came when i got ill and realized that things could not go on as they were, so i kicked him out! however, it took a while to get my life back on track. What did i do? changed jobs, enrolled at college, went out and met friends. what am i doing now? ...... Something I've wanted to do since i was five!..... I'm training to be a qualified nurse! It takes 3yrs but i know at the end of it i will be proud of MYSELF!
What do you do? ...... write down what you really want do /be... and go for it!! Always think positive , try and turn the negative thoughts into positive ones, ie
I always thought that i was not intelligent, but i now realize this wasn't true, I left school with no qualifications but now i'm at university doing a degree in nursing! If i can do it anybody can!

December 5, 1999
5:52 pm
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Guest_guest.
The problem with low self-esteem is that it feels bad. I don't have to tell you that, do I. 🙂

However, there is a clue in this. We are talking about A FEELING, not a thought, as the 'cause' of the problem. When we 'feel' worthless it is then that we begin to think, 'I am worthless'.

The key is realising that the 'feeling' both precedes and 'causes' the 'thought' and not the reverse. The 'thought' is our interpretation of the feeling into words.

Where does the feeling of worthlessness come from? It comes from recalling an emotional memory that is experienced in our awareness as a 'feeling'.

Where does this accursed emotional memory of worthlessness come from? From not being given proper nurture, love and affection in infancy and childhood.

What triggers the recall of the emotional memory of worthlessness? It is triggered by a whole lot of perceptions which come from the unconscious emotional processing that occurs without your awareness and as a result of seeing, hearing, smelling,and touching things that seem to threaten our wellbeing in some way.

What do you do about it? You find a way of 'controlling' your emotions. 'Will power' alone is useless here. Appropriate therapy is one way.

What type of therapy and what therapist is 'appropriate'? Now this is where you have to do the 'footwork'.

Have I eradicated my emotional memory of worthlessness?
NO!!! And I never will. It is set in concrete.

Have I learned to control my negative emotions after they are recalled? Yes; to a large degree. Please note the difference between suppression and control; suppression does NOT work. However, I still have spectacular failures every so often. 🙂

How do you learn to control your negative emotions? Now that is a very long story best learnt about by you from a competent therapist in a way that suits your present stage of growth and your personal needs.

However, congratulations; you are well on the way. You know that you have a problem and what it is. Many people do not even realise that.

Good for you, mate. Go for it.

December 5, 1999
6:40 pm
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Thanks.. nurse and Tez

Tez, what is the footwork i do?

December 6, 1999
2:58 am
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How do I find a good therapist..? Someone i know that i wont be wasting time with, someone who I'll be able to *trust*, someone who really wants to help me, not anyone who's just interested in my fees, not someone who is mechanical... i mean someone from whom i know i'll be helped for sure .....?

December 6, 1999
5:51 am
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hi guest,
i dont know much about therapy, i live in england and i cant afford therapy, ive tried the doctors but they were no help to me. However you dont know til you try, trust your instincts, does the person make you feel that they can help you?

Back to self esteem. I suffer from agoraphobia, this means that basically I cant go anywhere on my own without having major panic attacks. It has become a MAJOR dissability for me, it is a challenge that one day I will overcome but it takes time. Today i will go on my own to post a letter, the mail box is 1min walk from here, but to me this is like climbing mt everest. Sometimes I look at my life and how i find everything so impossible and i get very depressed. I mean who reading this can understand that going to post a letter is a major problem for me?
I found that very few people understand this problem, i have been so alone with it, but I have built my self esteem up more in this period that ever before in my life.

I refuse to concentrate on what i cant do, this list would be too long. Nurse is right about doing what you want and going for it.

I think of it like this. If you try to push open a door the wrong way, you use energy but get nowhere, this is what you are doing, this is why it is taking so much energy. You push the door the right way and it opens easily.

When you spend time working on your natural talents, ths things that make you you, it will take very little energy. if you are good at writing or art and you enjoy, it will take little energy to get really, really good at writing and art. If you are no good at music, but you convince yourself that the only way to be confident is too be a singer, you could spend a lot of time trying to be good at something that maybe isn't where your natural talent lies.

I have always wanted to learn stained glass, there is a course at the college down the road and i enrolled on my own, I so wanted to do this that i went for it, despite knowing that i would have panic attacks being away from home for those 2 hrs a week. I nearly didnt go because i was so afraid, but im glas i did because i am so enjoying it, it takes something you really want to do to make you ignore the silly comments your brain tells you sometimes,

Tez is so right, these are only THOUGHTS that tell you you are no good, I too used to allow other people and my own brain to tell me I am no good, but it is rubbish.
There is so much i cant do, but no one can help me except myself and for me to get better I must be kind to myself to have the energy. So must you.

Now you still never told us what you are good at or what you enjoy!!!
Do you like to write? Paint? Sing? Cook?
Tell me what you like or what did you like to do when you were younger,
I refuse to beleive that you cannot find one thing that you would enjoy to do, even if you feel it is impossible right now, so lets start getting to know you!!
Take care
Hazza

December 6, 1999
6:40 am
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Hi guest_guest,
what's your goal? And do you really want to go "there"? What is it about what you call "bad self esteem" that you find worst? Why? What is it you like about bad self esteem or what is keeping you there (don't accept a selfdestructive answer). I had worse self esteem when I was younger, but by now I also found out that too high self esteem can be "just as bad", because sometimes it seems to make me more vulnerable, when I fail in something that I thought I could do easily. High self esteem seems to help built "expectations" that can or cannot be met. Is that what you fear? Is this fear a good enough reason not even to try?
A lot of questions, not really any answers, but keep looking for a question with a helpful answer, and just ingore the ones that don't make sense to you for now.
Good luck,
Eve

December 6, 1999
9:37 am
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Hazza i thought about the things i like and i'm going to do them the first thing i get the chance (there are some things i like to do but i cant do them right now because of some constraints. I'll be able to try them within one years time hopefully).
So does doing the things you like to do really help you? I know it might not be an intelligent but i just want to be sure. Does doing the things you like to do make you happy? And better...? And tell me i wont get tired of those things... like is there a possiblity I'll get tired of them? and wont find them pleasureable anymore? Or will it go on forever? I know i havent really tried anything much so i should atleast try and i'll definitely do that when i get the chance.

December 6, 1999
9:56 am
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Eve,
I think all the problems in life come due to low self-esteem. E.g., it doesnt let you get close to ppl and enjoy the relationship. It creates a barrier between you and the rest of the world and sometimes you seem as if you're always defending yourself from something. That barrier doesnt let you get close. I'm experiencing it and it gets you down to see that youre not as close to ppl as you could be. I mean only ppl who're comfortable with themselves can go on being comfortable with the rest of the world. Bad or low self-esteem never lets you be happy. Life is a total mess, and pain, nothing else.
I think high-self esteem doesnt mean you have more expectations. It means that whatever you are you are satisfied with yourself. Infact in low self-esteem you have more expectations like i wish i could be like that and why am i not like that or that person? I'm so this and so that and why couldnt i be more like... etc.

I see that ppl. with high self-esteem are always satisfied with themselves, always comfortable with themselves. Some are just common ppl. with no special traits or things, but they seem so smug with themselves. I think thats high self-esteem. I think high self-esteem doesnt depend on things you have or have achieved. It just comes from inside you for no reason. Just the reason that you like yourself... its what i think...
My goal is to have high self-esteem and be very comfortable with the person i am, be happy with myself and sure of myself etc..

December 6, 1999
9:59 am
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Hi guest,
I can only speak from my experience, but what im saying is you should build on what you are good at.
You do something and you know in your heart that it is something you are good at.
For example, i like crafts and making things. I am always making jewellery. The other day i heard that my college is having a craft fair so on impulse I booked a table. I was nervous but i went for it. I had 4 days to get things ready i was amazeds how much stuff i had to sell. I really enjoyed those 4 days getting ready, because it is one of my hobbies, sometimes i dont do it for a while but i never grow tired of it completely.
On the day of the craft fair, i looked at my table and felt really proud of all the things i had made. As i sold things and saw people buying my jewellery and enjoying it, i got a real buzz.
I enjoyed that day and felt good about myself because i was focusing on what i CAN DO not what i can't do.
Had i sat there on that day just thinking of my agoraphobia and anxiety problems, or had i sat there looking at other people and thinking they were somehow magically happier or better than me, i would noot have had a good day would i?
I know its hard to get the motivation and energy up, but it does get easier. You must focus on you and your strenghths, that is all that matters. You don't need to compete with others or feel jealous of them, you are not in their shoes you don't know their life, just focus on you.
If you like to write, then write- send your stories to publishers, if you like to work with children or animals ar whatever, then maybe you could do some volunteer work at a hospital or animal centre, if you like to act, then join an amateur dramatics group, what have you got to lose?
You may fear making a fool of yourself but so what, is that really likely to happen?, many,many times i have done or said stupid things in front of people, but if you laugh it off, if you can laugh at yourself other people love it, people love to be aroung someone who can laugh at theselves, i know i prefer the company of people who can see the funny side to life.
My confidence soared when i started focusing on what ITHINK OF ME and learned not to take myself seriously.
just be you, but be the best you you can be!
peace
Hazza
oh, and if you don't enjoy one thing anymore, then change and do something different, but do something, find yourself.

December 6, 1999
11:24 am
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Hi there everyone! Like a great many people I have to fight low selfesteem on a regular basis. I really agree with Hazza that it helps to find your own talents and be proud of them. The only problem I have found is figuring out what my talents really are and seeing their value through the screen of bad selfesteem. I think I am working on this but I still have a long way to go before I am anywhere near confident. For example, all through grade school, I really did well with academics (not to brag but I was actually valedictorian of my high school). However, I never valued these achievements AT ALL. Acutally I was more than a little embarrassed by my high grades, after years of hiding my papers and test scores for fear of being called a "schoolie." The achievements I really longed for were mostly in dance. I have been a passionate student of ballet since age 3, and although it has brought me great joy at times, it has been HORRIBLE for my self-esteem. Although there are some things I do well in dance, it has never come easy for me but I have measured myself against the most talented artists for years, and suffered the pain of inadequacy. I wanted to skip college and pursue a dance career, but I changed my mind at the last minute and I am so glad I did. In my first semester of college I have made wonderful friends, learned fascinating things, and discovered the value of my skills. I'm still pursuing dance, which is still harsh on my psyche; time will tell if I can really keep doing that to myself for a lifetime. However, I now know that I have potential to be a success and there are others out there who are like me and who will value me as a person. So, I guess I don't have any great advice, but just remember to value ALL your talents not just the ones you've asked for. And never turn down an opportunity for growth. You just never know what god, or fate, or whatever governs the universe has in store for you. Good luck y'all!

December 6, 1999
12:54 pm
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guest_guest, I think people who have a high self-confidence all the time are cheating either the others or - worse - themself. You call that smug, I call it frightening. For example: where I worked before there were a bunch of people responsible for management who were very self-confident for no apparent reasons. They just kept telling each other that they were doing a good job, when it was quite obvious to others that they weren't. But they were so confident, so stuck in their ways, that the company went rapidly downhill and a lot of people lost their jobs. Some of these managers have seen, that they messed it up, got a dent in their self-conciousness but went on to find another job, where they will hopefully do it better next time. Some others still can't see anything wrong in what they did and are looking for somebody else to blame (lazy co-workers, politics, conspiration of...) they will probably mess up the next company just like the one before. But one chap, my previous head of department, he is really poor. He still insists that he is well and when you talk to him everything is looking roses. But he lost half of his body weight (and he wasn't overweight before) and he starts looking like his own ghost so I guess he is clinging to his official self confidence because he is terrified of loosing it - not realizing that he could gain a lot when he let go at this end of his self confidence and started working on it somewhere else.

What I'm trying to say is: perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. Self confidence is something that cannot be wished into being from nowhere and it is not a value in itself - it needs some backup from real life. It is not a single event or thing you can comletely have (but you can't also loose it completely, once you made a start). Couldn't you just find smaller chunks of selfconfidence - small things you like about yourself and put them together, look at them lovingly and try to build something from there, like a gardener who puts seeds into the ground, protects them against cold and wildlife, waters them and weeds them sometimes and looks forward to a beautiful harvest, and saves some of the harvest to make seeds for the next year?
Eve

December 6, 1999
3:08 pm
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i'd love to be like that farmer...
Maybe I'm not able to put my ideas across successfully. I have an article from the web, here's an extract from a book. Its quite cool. But some parts are hard to understand when it mentions things as the Divine bieng ... Can you see what it says about the centre of a human being..?
-----------------
..... The development and functioning of his worldly strength, as well as his self-confidence and ability to survive, are conditioned on all sides by external factors. Under such conditions he is liable to be easily upset, touchy, quick to feel aggrieved and always on the look-out for security. He sways backwards and forwards between states of restriction and abandonment, hypertension and dissolution, elevation and prostration. He experiences every condition except that of being firmly balanced. Why is this? The explanation is to be found in his lack of a centre capable of supporting him, a centre which cannot be shaken. Once a man is anchored in his essential being, he becomes aware that there exists in him a core that nothing can destroy. From this he gains stability and permanence. He acquires a composure that is independent of the world, a clear sense of his inner direction, and above all, a self-confidence that is independent of the world's praise or blame. The personal significance of 'being centred' is that a man can so live in the midst of all the ups and downs of life that he receives strength, purpose and direction from essential being. Imperturbable and at peace, he ceaselessly pursues his inner destiny and so manifests Divine Being in his life in the world.
-------------
... a centre in a human bieng that cannot be shaken...firmly balanced ...a composure independent of the world ...
how do you find this?

December 6, 1999
3:36 pm
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guest_guest, to me living is a miracle. Every creature alive is such a complex system of interchange betweeen inside and outside, between self regulation and reacting to outer influences. This goes for bacteria as well as for animals. Come to humans: every human being is a miracle. Period. The fact alone that we are alive to me is something that is so utterly amazing that I don't need any more reasons for self esteem. When I think about it maybe one thing impresses me more than life: the ability to heal. Just think of how complex technological things are. But when they are broken, somebody has to come and fix it. But we? We cut our finger - and all we have to do to fix it is to wait until it has grown together again. We have influenza - lots of viruses "using" our system for their own purposes - here comes our immune system chasing those buggers away. I really don't think I need more. But I can understand, that hard circumstances can chase this feeling of "i'm alive and able to heal" into some very dark and hidden corner inside yourself, where you can have a very hard time unearthing it again. But keep trying! Eve

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