Entombment of poor self-esteem

How do I know if I have poor self-esteem, you may ask. It may be that your self-esteem is not poor, but you could still have a wounded image of yourself that needs healing. Here are some signs:

  1. You need the compliments or approval of others to feel good about yourself. This could also be a symptom of approval addition if the need for the approval is too great.
  2. You say unnecessarily negative things to yourself about yourself.
  3. You emotionally beat yourself up for making a mistake, doing something stupid, missing an appointment, being late, and so on.
  4. You believe you’re not worthy of being treated well or fairly. Note: There’s a difference between being humble and letting others emotionally walk all over you.

There are many other signs, but I’ll address these things. Some ways to combat these symptoms are:

  1. To combat approval addition:
  1. List the areas in which you hunger for approval or compliments from others, i.e. your work, appearance, cooking, housecleaning, mechanical skills, problem solving, to name a few.
  2. Next, write down beside each area what it is you believe about yourself, for example appearance: I’m not pretty (or handsome).
  3. Dig a little deeper. Is there some practical thing you can do about the situation? Face products (makeup, wrinkle cream), weight loss?
  4. Think about all your positives, the things you do well, what’s unique about you (what talents you have that others may not). Celebrate those. Remember that beauty is only skin deep. Others may look great on the outside but be ugly on the inside by being mean, inconsiderate, etc.
  5. If you have friends, ask them what they like about you. If you have to, tell them you want to learn more about yourself. You might be surprised about what you learn.
  1. The world will direct enough negative against you as it is. You don’t need any more from within you. If you have negative friends or friends that don’t respect you, consider forming relationships with more positive people.
  2. Again, others will beat you up enough (emotionally). If you really need to work on something, i.e. being late, then take steps toward the goal of being on time. Being on time is rather important.
  3. Know there’s room for improvement, but you don’t have to be perfect. Cut yourself a little slack.
  4. What’s behind the feeling or idea of unworthiness? Do people overlook you, ignore you or disrespect you? Are people (unjustly) criticizing you or treating you badly? Are you comparing yourself to someone else (i.e. they’re a better (fill in blank) than I am)? If you’re a good person and others are not playing nice, it says more about them than it does about you.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Would you describe your family as “dysfunction junction?”

I’m talking about the ‘entombment’ of family issues. For twenty something years, I went through rejection by my husband’s family. (For more information on my experience, read “From Agnostic to Deacon, A Story of Hope and Conversion” available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. If you live in Charlotte, NC, you can go to Park Road Books to buy a copy.)

Kevin’s family decided I was too ‘backwards.’ I didn’t fit their perception of what they expected me to be. My mother-in-law’s mental illness didn’t help. Only after my parents-in-law died did our immediate family realize that my low self-esteem at the time had only made matters worse. Now that my self-esteem is much stronger, my relationship to my sister-in-law, in particular, is much improved.

The number of things that can hinder family relationships are too numerous to mention, so I’ll focus on just a few in the next blog post. I’ve already mentioned self-esteem (see my blog post entitled Entombment of Rejection just a few posts ago).

  1. Incorrect/negative perceptions, assuming.
  2. Finding fault, judging others or criticizing. This one, I hope, is self-explanatory.
  3. Overstepping your bounds.

I think that’s enough to go over for now.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Boosting our self-image

Okay, so let’s say we have identified this issue of inferiority, poor self-esteem or insecurity. How do we go about boosting or repairing our self-image?
– One way is positive self-talk. We tell ourselves positive things, such as:
– I am a good person.
– I am worthy of God’s love.
– As long as I repent of (be sorry for) my sins/misdeeds, God will take me back despite my many sins. After all, if I had been the only human on earth, He still would have died for me, He loves me that much! He will help me with my struggles.
– God has not abandoned me.

Of course, one pitfall is that we want to avoid reinforcing qualities or things about ourselves that may NOT be true unless we are working towards bettering ourselves in that area. For example, we can’t spell well or every time we try to sing we are off key (out of tune). However, if we are working on an area we may not excel in or be good at (just yet), like being patient or being able to spell well, we can encourage ourselves by stating what we want to be, i.e. “I will be a patient person.” By reiterating positive things, we may actually come to believe it and therefore make it come true for us, but we also have to work at that thing we have trouble with in order for this technique to be effective. Without belief and action, the change we want won’t take place.

Disclaimer: These techniques may not work for everyone who reads this or whoever puts these things into practice. Remember that change takes time. You may need specialized help, but this is one possible way to start.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

The Entombment of Rejection

This type of entombment can take many forms, some of which are:

Rejection by others:
Abuse, bullying, deliberate ignoring, unacceptance, and unkind teasing.

Rejection of yourself:
Self-destructive behavior (such as alcohol or drug addiction and self-mutilation), self-loathing, and poor self-esteem.

For now, I will talk about self-esteem.

Poor self-esteem makes so many things in life difficult, particularly our relationships with others. It makes sense that if we have a poor opinion of ourselves and don’t love ourselves (appropriately), it doesn’t help our opinion of others or our ability to love them as they are. We have to start by working on ourselves. After all, we can’t give to others what we don’t have (for) ourselves, i.e. love, respect, and kindness.

How do we know we have an inferiority complex, poor self-esteem or are insecure?
– By listening to our words to others about ourselves:
– Do we put ourselves down, i.e. say we’re stupid or an idiot… a lot?
– Do we unduly criticize ourselves over and above what is normal?
– Have we forgiven ourselves for mistakes committed in the past OR do we ‘should’ on ourselves? In other words, do we say ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I should have done that,’ but didn’t?
– Do we allow others to get away with things they shouldn’t, i.e. hurt us physically without doing anything about it? (We can discuss ‘enabling’ behavior later.)
– Do we feel the need to brag or boast about something in order to ‘prove’ to others we are a great lover, a good worker, a good parent, etc.?
– Do we do this because we need to convince ourselves of this, because deep down we doubt we are what we are boasting about? Because—think about it—if we are convinced, why do we need to convince others?
– We think whenever people are talking it’s about us.
– We are supersensitive and take things (said to us) personally, i.e. we respond (defensively). i.e. ‘What did you mean by that?’

In my next post, I will spend a little time talking about what to do if poor self-image is holding you back.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Entombment of Unemployment

At one time or another, most of us have suffered the entombment of unemployment. Our reactions can vary from anxiety, betrayal, embarrassment, fear, grief, feeling overwhelmed, poor self-esteem, self-consciousness, vulnerability, and even anger. We long to feel valued, loved, and relevant.

In Romans 5:7-8 (NRSV), Christ assures us that we ARE relevant, valued and loved by Him:

Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

It’s very tempting to lose heart during our search for employment.  But we are assured concerning God’s presence and His plans for us:

Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV)

do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Jeremiah 29:11

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

 

Be of good courage. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, He will raise us up out of the tomb of our unemployment!

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Blog copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams