The most important thing parents can teach their children is how to get on without them.Frank A. Clark
Often the cause of our low self-esteem is to be found in the past.
Not only in the psychological traumas that must be faced with the help of a specialist in the sector but in simple events that can be carefully revisited.
In fact, as children we are not very aware, indeed, we should say that we are not at all.
Awareness, among other things, is like respect, it is not acquired by divine will or in the grace of age, it must be cultivated, lived and increased deliberately, just as I explained in the article dedicated to how to be respected.
As I often say on the blog, being aware allows us to live with truly open minds.
However very often not we apply awareness by turning it to our past: let's see what I mean.
Awareness back in time
As I said, we are enormously influenced by our experience, since our present self is the sum of our entire past.
Leaving something hanging back in time could undermine our foundations causing us to totter in the present.
This is especially true when it comes to our self-esteem.
In fact, very often, as children, our self-esteem suffers severe blows, not necessarily due to conspicuous psychological trauma, but from simple events valued incorrectly.
In fact, as children, we classify the actions of adults, especially our parents, in an equivocal and often harmful way.
We see our family members almost as gods and if we are scolded and scrambled we blame ourselves.
But that's not the case at all.
Our parents are not gods, they are ordinary people who have made mistakes in the past.
Spesso they were inexperienced twenties or thirties trying to do their best with their children, sometimes succeeding and other times not.
For this reason we must not allow this distorted view of our past to interfere with our present.
We need to re-evaluate the events of our past that we still remember and see them in the light of awareness that we have as adults.
Unlocking self-esteem in the past
To unlock the self-esteem we have lost in our past as children, we need to re-evaluate many events we have experienced.
It doesn't matter if we don't perceive that particular event as traumatic or seemingly irrelevant, analyzing it we can also correctly re-evaluate ourselves.
Take a few minutes to think: Do you remember an event where you were scolded or felt guilty?
Reassess it with the mind, with awareness and with the wisdom of the present.
For example, suppose you infuriated your parents at age 7 and were severely abused as a result.
You obviously acted like a kid, but what did your parents do?
Probably, indeed certainly, they tried to do the best they could in a situation of stress and work problems that we did not know and maybe they exaggerated.
The fact is that all the decisions they made were not necessarily correct: they were not gods.
Imagine them as gods simple twentysomethings trying to do their best to be parents, perhaps stressed and overwhelmed by work.
Maybe just like you are today.
Building self-esteem starting from memories
Do you realize what it means to re-evaluate such events?
Understand what that might mean apply the awareness of an adult person to his child version?
Obviously it is a very powerful tool that can considerably raise the confidence we have in ourselves.
Here is step by step how we can do it:
- Find any event from your past
- Mentally relive what happened without making judgments and without making observations
- Try to remember what emotions you experienced
- Review this event with the mindset and awareness of an adult person
Obviously this simple exercise touches the tip of the iceberg, if you really want to increase your self-esteem using these strategies, the Self-esteem Vera course can be of great help: along the way I expose a quick and fun system to easily retrieve our memories.
Remember that the statement: your (our) parents are not gods, does not authorize us to hate them or to rage against them.
It means re-evaluating our past for what it is, for what it has always been but which we misinterpreted as children.
PS I use the term gods to indicate infallible deities, although the ancient gods were certainly not an example to follow, indeed, it seems they still had a lot to learn.