3 Steps To Achieve Lasting Self-Esteem
Who do you live on? Have you put someone in charge of your life by trying to live your life to please them? You don't need someone's permission to live your own life; you have to grab it. Throughout my long career in psychiatry, many patients have told me, "I just want to be happy." […]

Who do you live on? Have you put someone in charge of your life by trying to live your life to please them?

You don't need someone's permission to live your own life; you have to grab it.

Throughout my long career in psychiatry, many patients have told me, "I just want to be happy." It's like I'm going to hand them a magic potion that will suddenly make them feel good about themselves.

They look a little shocked when I tell them, "How much work are you willing to put into this?" Then I add, "I'll work hard to make you feel better." But I won't work harder than you.

. . .

Addicted to approval?

Many have tried their own essences to repair damaged self-esteem: sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, and pornography.

A life filled with the pursuit of the rush for the next dopamine high relieves pain, but only transiently and superficially. And to reach that next high, a person has to seek more and more stimulation. But they never reach that peak of pleasure again.

I've come to believe that the search for approval works in the brain the same way addictions do.

. . .

I felt far from my soul

When I was little I asked myself the question, "How am I ever going to learn to be a man?"

I heard, “Boys don't cry,” but I cried. Boys are supposed to want to win, but I didn't care. Boys are supposed to like to fight, but I avoided conflict.

Boys get mixed messages: make yourself vulnerable, show your feelings. But if you do, the world will rid you of your emotions. Telling me to put on my big boy pants never really worked.

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska where everyone looked, thought and believed alike. I tried to look and think and believe like them. But during those painful years, I felt estranged from my soul.

I felt alone and helpless as those around me seemed to have all the power they needed.

I tried to deal with it by being the best little boy I could be. I followed all the rules. I went through life as if I was everyone's designated driver.

When people said to my mother, as they often did, “What a beautiful young man is Loren,” I felt good for a while. But I always felt a little bit squeamish too.

Why can't I be the bad boy, the one whose rules display was rejected by "The boys will be boys"? But I couldn't risk being frowned upon.

When I walked out, I wasn't just saying, "Hey, I'm gay." I wanted to shout: “I am what I am! It is I who am me! It's also my world!

Ironically, when I stopped faking the social definition of a man, I finally started to feel like a real man.

Gandhi was right; they couldn't hurt me unless I let them.

. . .

A model for achieving self-esteem. Source: the author

Self-esteem exists where the ideal self and the real self overlap.

Step 1

The organizing principle of self-esteem is our ideal self, in other words, the idea of ​​the perfect self. The ideal me is who I want to be. He is a competent, attractive, valued and morally good person.

It is the sum of all the traits, values ​​and issues that I have inherited. I inherited them first from my family, then from my religion, society and culture. These are the lookalikes, thoughts and beliefs that I assumed were the norm when I was young.

The ideal self was easy to understand because it was delivered to me. It got more complex as my world got bigger. Sometimes what some people wanted me to conflict with other people's expectations. It was all very confusing and it made me anxious.

I realized that I needed to deconstruct this old idea of ​​the perfect self and rebuild my new ideal.

But I knew I was risking disapproval from the people I loved and respected.

The perfect self had to be a little stretchy but still achievable. If reaching a goal is too easy, it doesn't make sense as a goal. To be meaningful, I had to be the one to choose that ideal.

What I found was that when I chose this new ideal for myself, people didn't care as much as I thought.

I tried to fit into a group I didn't really belong to. And frankly, it was a band that I didn't even like very much.

Integration and belonging to a group are not the same.

2nd step

The other task was to start evaluating myself more realistically. Often when we evaluate ourselves, we criticize ourselves excessively. We have a negative prejudice about ourselves.

We must eliminate these distortions in our thinking.

I needed to stop fighting for not being the man I needed to be and I thought I had to be.

I wasn't perfect, but was I good enough?

Earlier in my life, when I couldn't be the person I thought I should be, I blamed myself for not being able to do it. The circles in the diagram swirled in a pool of shame and guilt.

Once I started to get a good idea of ​​my own ideal and an accurate assessment of myself, the circles in the diagram above started to line up. The area defined as self-esteem has grown.

Step 3

The self-esteem model pictured above has nothing to do with the approval of others. Self-esteem is nothing more than the degree of correspondence between the person we are and the person we want to be.

Brown Brené written that when your path is clearly marked out in front of you, it really is not your path.

Always seeking approval, I followed someone else's plan. I had surrendered my power to others.

I knew who I should be because they told me, and being a "good young man" meant I was meeting their standard.

The approval of others is like an addiction. You get success and it feels good but it doesn't last so you have to keep coming back for another. And another. And another. And each approval comment should be more complimentary than the last.

As I began to let others see myself deeply, I found more acceptance from others than when I tried to be someone I really wasn't.

. . .

Summarize the steps

1. Take charge of the ideal self, the person you want to be. Listen to your soul and show yourself as yourself.

2. Learn to see yourself for who you are. Avoid exaggerated self-criticism. Ask yourself, "What are the facts?" Are you good enough?

3. Stop seeking approval from others. Look within yourself for approval. Set well-chosen goals and be specific in your progress.

. . .

We can choose to be a different person than we expect. We usually find that others approve of us just as much.

It feels good to take back possession of our lives.


This message was previously published on Change Becomes You.


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About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no volonté to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.

There are versions of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH sport director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no assistance from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff zones musculaires, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.

to set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral position at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck position. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.

From this starting position, use your back to sweat the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting place. to control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting position in 2 seconds.

By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.

We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.

But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big effet on their current and future health.

Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than sept percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole grains and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally active and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even bermuda bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of soutenu activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.

It’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be hard on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider nicotine replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.

Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. tera protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.


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