I took the Overcoming Low Self Esteem (Melanie Fennell) book back to the library. I read it in one sitting (which apparently isn’t the best way to make use of it, except perhaps as a first reading). I believe my self esteem isn’t that impaired… if it was, would I have a blog?
We are supposed to rate how much we believe our own statements, so I asked myself for a rating for that one:
“I have healthy self esteem.” 80%.
Some of the book was interesting and even amusing, but when I tried to follow the exercises, I made myself a ‘vicious circle,’ remembered one that the cognitive behavioural therapist and I were trying together all those years ago, wrote down “we focused on the wrong one,” and then stopped. I couldn’t make myself do any of the rest.
The one we were dealing with in therapy was the big bewildering one, the going out and panicking; it wasn’t any of the individual events that all added up to make this one big Snowball. It’s of interest to trace back and think about why you might have felt a particular way in a specific situation; less helpful to say “the world won’t come to an end if you do have a panic attack.” I know it won’t… but it doesn’t stop me feeling that I don’t want to be there.
I agree with Elizabeth from 1sojournal that we’re all full of self-doubt; in this world it would be hard to avoid. But I also have a certain confidence in myself. I believe that, given time, adequate resources and enough space, I could solve problems and work things out. It’s mostly in my communications with people that things go wrong.
I’ve seen a lot of posts by others saying the same thing. They can get by perfectly well with whatever their specific problems are, and it’s only where other people (or their structures and arrangements) come into the mix that things take a nosedive.
I don’t know if that’s low self esteem or something else. I don’t think all anxieties will be due to that. I started life believing it would be a certain way, and that everything would be straightforward, and soon discovered it was anything but!
I can’t give a fair opinion of the book unless I follow its suggestions and guidelines, which I didn’t do, for reasons of my own. It led to some interesting trains of thought, however… the idea that we have personally-developed ‘rules’ which cause distress if we break them. Some are obvious; others less so, and might not make a lot of sense when examined.
Do you know what your ‘rules’ are?
One of my ‘rules’, I think, is to be the ‘finder’. I was the youngest in the family (sometimes feeling left out due to lack of age), and we would go on rambles, and so it was wonderful to be the one to discover a flower, shell, mushroom or fossil that nobody else saw. The vexing thing was that I rarely did… or if I found something, it turned out to be something perfectly ordinary, like a piece of quartz.
When I was 5 or 6, I read a short story about four-leaf clovers, and forever after I was always looking for one. My class was taken on an outing to a farm, where I found a four-leaf clover which I gave to my teacher to look after. At the end of the day I was surprised and hurt to find she didn’t have it any more… she had just dropped it. To me it was a magical thing, a rare find. It was like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and I thought she would be as happy as I was. 😀
I don’t know if it’s a ‘rule’ as such, but… I rather think it is. Nothing makes me happier than to be the one to answer a question; find something; make the best suggestion; think of the nicest name. I can’t say I come crashing to the ground if I fail, but that’s because there’s always the next time…