I’ve been in and out of therapy for many years. I can chalk that up to having a bad childhood. Because of my experiences growing up I have never felt quite right, you know, inside. This not-quite-rightness has resulted in a deep desire to get fixed, hence the therapy. What I was hoping for was to go in get all the answers and come out clean on at the other end. I just kept thinking if I find the right person (meaning therapist) then everything will be okay. I also thought this about relationships with men. If I find the right guy everything will be perfect and I will be okay. That isn’t the way it works. I have found many people along the way who have guided me. I have done more reading on these subjects than many therapists I’ve known and the most absolute statement I can make on the subject is no one else can fix you, you fix you. Accepting that fact and taking action because of that acceptance is the key to discovering yourself and the final word in healing. The vehicle you use to get you there is insignificant by comparison. By vehicle I mean the type of program you chose or the therapist you chose. The impetus comes from within, always.
I have been told over and over again that I have low self-esteem. Go figure. It’s another one of those canned labels that are passed out like free samples at the supermarket. Many people have been diagnosed with “low self esteem“, but what does that really mean? And how do you fix it? I also think it’s a broad generalization prescribed for those of us who care about our personal development enough to seek the advice of a “qualified professional“, but what about those really successful people who do really well at work and seem to have everything they want and do not seek counseling. I have known many such people and they speak about themselves in a derogatory fashion often discounting their own success and rationalizing their accomplishments using phrases like, “I was in the right place at the right time.” I guess what I am saying is, we all to one degree or another think less of ourselves.
If you don’t believe me try a little exercise to see. Pay attention to your thoughts, this is hard at first. If you are so inclined write these thoughts down and see what you are saying about yourself to yourself on a regular basis.
How often do you focus on what’s great about yourself?
How often do you focus on what’s not so great?
If you are like the majority of people you don’t go around patting yourself on the back for your good qualities. This is not about ideas on self improvement it’s about thinking about that stupid thing you said or did, or focusing on your perceived flaws or thinking generally that you are not so great as a person.
I say shift it around a little and see what happens.
What did you like about yourself today?