The Three Major Pitfalls on the Road to Building Self Esteem

self esteem

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The process of building up your self esteem can be a challenging concept.  It takes daily effort and practice as well as continual reminders to yourself that your happiness does not rest on external factors such as financial security or social standing, but on the value you put on yourself as a human being.

You would think that this would be enough of a challenge, after all it is extremely difficult to shuck off years of societal conditioning in order to come to grips with our own self-worth and an appreciation of ourselves just as we are, but no, on top of this already daunting task we must also look out for the most common pitfalls that tend to waylay those who are re-evaluating themselves.

Three Common Pitfalls

Listening to the Media.  It is a fact; insecurity sells.  That’s right, if you listen to the media; specifically to the advertisements that we are confronted with at every turn, whether on television or in print, you will see and hear the common marketing ploy of claiming that you’ll feel better about yourself if you obtain or use this or that product.   And it’s true!  So built up have your expectations about a product become that for a brief time after the purchase you actually DO feel better about yourself.  But it never lasts, and when you take a look at your credit card, you feel even worse about yourself, so do yourself a favor and stop listening to the media.

Comparing Yourself to Others.  There is always going to be someone who has a better body, a better hairstyle, a bigger house or car or better job than you do; always.  Comparing yourself to those around you is a very big pitfall, and one that most people fall into more than once.  Stop it!  Don’t judge your own happiness by how you stand in comparison to other people that is just asking for problems.

Identifying With the External.  It is so easy to allow ourselves to identify with some external factor such as our job, our spouse’s job, or even our children.  How many times have you met people who introduced themselves as their job title?  “Hi, I’m Ruth White, Chief Accountant for Blair Industries.”  It is as if they have become their job, or their position, or whatever it is that they identify with.  This sort of action always leads to disappointment, for as soon as something changes in the external identity, the person’s self-worth plummets.

While there are plenty of other circumstances that can divert you from building your self esteem, these three major pitfalls constitute the bulk of where the problems lie.  Being aware of what they are can make it easier to avoid these pitfalls altogether and enable you to make swift progress in building your self esteem.

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