In yesterday's post, Kahless Asks about Self Esteem I posted links to various older posts that all spoke to ways to improve one's self esteem. This subject is as complicated as they come. There are sooooo many ways that we undermine our self esteem without ever knowing it.
There is no simple fix. It is an ongoing process and each of us sees it a little bit differently. So while we might think we understand it, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
My feeling about the way to break through that wall is by discussing the different views. Opening the subject up for discussion is bound to contribute more aspects to this complex subject.
Kahless volunteered with more information in the comments that is a situation that many victims face. I guess for me too, one of my destructive things is I look for approval from others. Particularly it seems at work at the moment. I look for it from the people who are never going to give it too, cos that is not that style. I try and try to say to myself to stop looking for approval where I am not going to get it.
And yet, she continues to look for that approval as do many victims. Just like we tend to hang in there with our family of origin hoping that things will get better, we hang in at work hoping they will finally provide us with what we want and need delivered in the way we want and need. We tell ourselves that "they" are the reason we don't feel good about the job we do, because they don't provide us with the praise we need.
In this situation we have totally turned over our personal power and put it into the hands of people who can not be trusted. There is no way those people at work are going to provide the kind of support the inner child of any victim needs. The expectation that they will is totally unrealistic.
When a child is victimized, their self esteem is damaged because the child buys the grooming done by the offender. The offender tells us we are garbage and deserve what we got. We buy it hook line and sinker because it is the only way we can feel that we have any power at all.
How that would apply to the issue of approval at work comes when you picture the small child waiting for approval from her/his offender. That child has learned she/he is less likely to be hurt if approval can be gained so the child learns to seek out that approval. If the child doesn't get approval, she/he frets worried about what might happen next. That approval is important to the child's well being. Looking for it, seeking it out, has been a good coping skill.
As adults we carry those inappropriate lessons and apply them liberally across our lives. We accepted them as truth as children, as adults we still go by those same rules.
Granted that may have been effective as a child, but as an adult that coping skill is no longer effective. The others around us are not "trained" to respond to our cues. Yet the inner child frets and worries about what might happen next and the downward spiral begins.
It is the coping skill that is the problem. The "rules" of our world have changed but the coping mechanism has not adjusted allowing for that change. Instead it fuels our demise, beating us up because we have not gained approval.
As adults, we have the power to accept that these coping skill are based on lies and discard them. Until we do so, our self esteem will suffer.
If you go to work feeling ineffective and insecure that is exactly what you will be. If you go to work and do the best job possible but still feel ineffective and insecure, your self esteem will suffer. Just doing good work isn't enough, we must acknowledge it for ourselves. We must be generous to our inner child and give her the credit she is due.
If you need more positive input about your abilities at work, you are going to have to be the one to provide those. The lack of respect for effectiveness on the job is your own inner message. It may be re-enforced because of the behavior of co-workers. BUT they couldn't shake your confidence if you had true confidence in the first place.
What comes to mind were my finals words in comments, Just remember, your self esteem is about your "self." Not those other people at work. That is the key. It is within us that self esteem must be repaired. It is never going to happen from some outside source. We must change our perceptions of our self.
If our self esteem is suffering, we must look to ourselves for the fix, not hand it off to someone nearby in the hope that they might just say the right thing. We are the ones causing that inner distress. We are the only ones that can fix it.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did self esteem