Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.—Golda Meir
[one_half padding=”4px 0 px 0 4px”]Over the years, I think more has been written about the self than any other topic. Self-worth, self-esteem, self-identity, self-loathing, self-love, and self-help are all topics that have lined bookshelves and stores as long as humans have put ink on parchment. We are very concerned about ourselves and have little difficulty discussing ourselves endlessly, especially now that we have social media so that we can broadcast every ridiculous and trivial detail about ourselves to the entire world. With the advent of phones with cameras, we’ve even started taking voluminous pictures of ourselves, and call them selfies. We are, and always have been, quite full of ourselves.
What has been born out by countless research, however, is that for all our bravado, we really don’t like ourselves all that much. How one sees one’s self determines to a large degree how one sees others. Where we are unsure of our own qualities we find fault in others in an effort to compensate for and distract from our insecurities. We don’t like our bodies, so we shame the bodies of others. We are embarrassed by our own sexual proclivities, so we express outrage at the sexual identities of others. We feel inadequate in our own understanding of a subject, so we refer to those who are experts on that subject in as unflattering a way as possible.Every negative we see or imagine in ourselves we reflect back in some way negatively on others. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]For several years, self-help and self-improvement books and audio tapes have been one of the world’s best-selling genres. We understand that our view of ourselves is inferior and misguided, but we are unsure how to best address the issue. Then, studies have shown, once we purchase the book and begin to see what is required to change, we give up and stop reading. We want to improve ourselves without having to make any significant changes or sacrifice to our current lives. If possible, we would happily take a pill to make it all better, but to have to actually work toward improvement is something very few of us are disciplined enough to actually do.
So, we continue, from one generation to the next, parent to child, handing down the same foibles and shortcomings that have limited us since the dawn of our existence. We fight the same wars, often with the same group of people, we have the same arguments, we battle the same ghosts as everyone who has gone before us. We blame others for refusing to change, to grow, or evolve, not wanting to realize that the problem is more with us than with them.
We talk a lot about improving the world, but we must first start by improving ourselves.[/one_half_last]