I have been programmed to outsource my self-esteem. I can create the ugliest drawing, the kindergarten teacher would shower me with praises. I get praises by doing household choirs without being told. As long as I do what I have been told, I will not get into trouble and I will get recognition. I have outsourced my self-esteem down to an art form.
Since childhood, we yearn for recognition and praises. I know I still do.
I turn to Facebook likes and Instagram likes for perk up my self-esteem.
Put up a beautiful picture and get some likes. Boom, I already feel better about myself. Put up a smart quote and have someone share it. I feel even better about myself. If the post did not have the likes and shares that I expect, I get uneasy and nervous. Was I not good enough? I look at my feed every 10 minutes, are there any more likes and any more shares?
I am addicted to the numbers. A set of numbers that has no real meaning. Some people call it gamification. It is all a game. I win by having people to tell me that I am good even though deep down I know I am a fraud. If the numbers are low, I feel sad even though I have given it all I could. I am chained to the numbers. My happiness depends on the numbers.
To get more likes. I have to create content that resonates with many people. Yet. Do I resonate with those content? I do not know. I just want more likes! Where is my self-esteem? I need my self-esteem. Give me more likes.
Those likes and shares are nothing but plaster over deep knife wound. Likes and shares give me temporarily relieve. Deep down, I am never full filled and satisfied.
Take back your self-esteem. Never outsource your self-esteem. You do not earn your self-esteem from other’s recognition. As it is, other’s are already having difficulty managing theirs.
Do hard work. Self-esteem comes from hard work. We may want to avoid hard work. It is through hard work that you feel good about yourself. Do something different. Do something that you have never done but always wanted to do. Today, make your life slightly harder.
From the Daily Stoic.
Confragosa in fastigium dignitatis via est. “It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness,” – Seneca
Self-awareness. Take time to reflect your day. Take 10 minutes to ponder over your day. What have you done well? What can you do better?
“I will keep constant watch over myself and – most usefully – will put each day up for review… Let us balance life’s books each day…” – Seneca
It is only through reflection, you will know how far you have come. Balance life’s books each day.
Express gratitude. You may have a tough day. There are still many things that you can be grateful. Write down three things that went well from the past 24 hours. You learn to see the positive side of life by being grateful. Things are just not as bad as you imagined.
Hate your job? Someone just lost their job and wonders how to put food on the table.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
Watch your own words. Negative self-talk is not a form of motivation. It will never motivate yourself to do better. It is a negative growth mindset. Made a mistake? Screwed up? Good. You can find ways to perform better. You learn from it and keep going. Blaming yourself without any constructive criticism brings you to nowhere.
Cut back on social media. Social media has its usefulness. Trying to gain likes and shares so that you feel good about yourself is not one of it. Limit your time on social media. What you see is only the highlight reels of others, but never their struggle. So what is there to feel jealous about other people’s post? What other sees in you is only your highlight reels. They do not know the real you. Never measure your self-esteem through likes and shares.
Embrace winning and losing. In life, you win some and lose some. Neither state of winning and losing is permanent. Your self-esteem should not be measured by your wins. You should not deduct your self-esteem for losing. Life is a game. It is a game of effort and hard work. Winning and losing is merely a side effect and feedback.
Your self-esteem is for yours to keep. As you move through life. You have to embrace hard work and accept things that you cannot change or influence. Be ready to get defeated by life. It is not a question of if but a question of when. Never outsource your self-esteem.