Only for people with low self esteem

Dear reader,

if you are one of those who consider themselves not being self confident, not having very high self esteem and who are experiencing doubts about your skills, abilities, etc., ..

.. this post is for you. If you are fully confident you are one of the best, this post is not for you, so do not keep going.

I’m seeing enormous numbers of clients since September. Men, women, various age, different ethnical groups, social class and definitely different abilities. Before starting to work as a coach and more recently, as a therapist, I worked as a head of tutors for students with disabilities. Hence I met many students. I trained several hundreds of people in numerous groups. Let me tell you a secret.

People I met who were the most capable, special, most skilled, gifted and promising were people, whose self esteem was rather low or very low. These people were full of doubts and very often pretty insecure, quiet and shy.

Their bright minds prohibited them to see their own brilliance, which was probably the reason why others could see and recognise it.

Mass media persuade us high self esteem and self confidence is the key to success. By this we are targeting the belief that we should believe we are something special and that we can do whatever we opt to, no matter what. I think high self esteem is not the key to success and growth. Here’s why.

  • If we believe we are something special and unstoppable, but without moral values concerning the wellbeing of others, we can easily become brutal, heartless and without any internal boundaries. Some of the gangster leaders, brokers, bankers, owners of multinationals are very high in self esteem. Yet only look at what they are doing to our community.
  • Thinking we are special does not necessarily make us special. If you think you can sing, doesn’t necessarily mean you really can.
  • Being content too quickly leads to sloppiness and shallowness. If you are happy with your achievements and inputs of average quality, you are not likely to be heading down the masterpiece route.
  • Yes, it is more likely you will be noticed and yes it is more likely you will have more doors open if you are high in self esteem. Yet if that’s about it for you, people will notice soon enough. And on the long run it doesn’t pay off. You need to demonstrate some real skills then. And they do not develop through nourishing your self esteem.
  • Even if you do have the skills and are truly gifted, having high self esteem can easily drag you into the zone of comfort. This is where you stop being modest and from there you won’t be able to grow any further.

Here’s on the other hand how having low self esteem works for you:

  • You are your worst enemy and no.1 critique. If you do something that you consider good, it is probably a masterpiece.
  • People like spending time in your company, because you can actually listen and are interested in what they have to say, others than talking about yourself
  • You don’t mind being and working alone, because you do not rely on others opinion.
  • When people criticise you, you take their opinion seriously. It might paralyse you for a moment or two, but once you recover, you will improve and get better.
  • The Pareto principle is not for you. Once you go into something, you strive towards perfection. Imagine what a gem you are for the team and to your boss … Imagine having someone like you as a help. Invaluable!

The bottom line: it is much easier to climb a step up and admit to yourself that you actually deserve some of the glory when you truly worked hard for it, than to step down from the pedestal of fake successes you ascribe to yourself. So I am really concerned by this mantra of being super confident, self assured, etc. It leads us to a society of narcissistic, self-reliant individuals. And yet I’m hopeful. Because I see many people. I met and am meeting many people. Many of them are not confident, some not confident at all and have very low self esteem. And this post is a tribute to them – thank you so much for letting me be with you on your remarkable journey and for teaching me this valuable lesson I’m sharing in today’s post! You are and will make this world bright again!




Who Shoud Be Your Best Friend?

Dear reader,

I hope you have a person in your life, your significant other whom you call a friend, perhaps even a best friend. You might even have more than one and that’s fantastic, though also one isn’t too bad.

We are social beings, that goes also for those exceptions who like spending time being alone. Alone doesn’t equal lonely; i.e. with other words, we need others to feel accepted, secure, belonging, to care for them and to be cared for. But there is one catch: human beings are not very reliable and trustworthy, we can never be certain what’s going on in other person’s head and there is no such thing as “forever and ever”, “I promise and I won’t break my promise” or “I will never hurt you”.

Others don’t always behave perfectly. And nor do we. In the end many people die alone. More than half of the marriages end up in a divorce. Best friends forever become worst enemies. Siblings hate each other. And so forth. Yet still we don’t give up and we do look for connection with and to others. Other’s opinion matters. We define ourselves according to social norms, patterns, beliefs and attitudes. We all do it, even though some would not admit and would claim they are unique and don’t care about what others think (I suppose only those who don’t even bother to say anything about this matter really don’t think about it :)).

I’m noticing my inner dialogue and the words I use to talk to myself are sometimes so rude that I wouldn’t even say it out loud to the most toxic person who would actually deserve it. I’m my worst assessor, criticising every single aspect, even the ones that are actually quite fine. With others I can tolerate a lot and can accept mistakes. With me no ways. I accept failure and small steps and even encourage it, but when it comes to me, my demands and standards are literally unreachable. I reward and compliment others constantly, myself rarely. To make it short: I’m my own worst enemy.

Giving I’m an intelligent person, there must be some rationale behind it. And there is: by being your own worst judge, this guarantees you that nobody will criticise you more than you would. Nobody can hurt you more than you can. And that gives you a sense of security and control. Not insane at all.

With just one small missing gap: your inner voice becomes the words you use. Your words then become your thoughts. Your thoughts your actions. And your actions your behaviour. Long term criticism and focusing on what’s missing and what’s not good enough will make these aspects bigger, until there is nothing left but these gaps. You talk yourself into the problems, that can become your narrative and your life story. What a pity to miss all the beautiful aspects and working ones!

So I’m learning to change my inner voice. I still do agree that I should not obey the Pareto principle and not give just 80% if I am capable of giving 100%. But I don’t have to demonstrate more than others. I don’t have to impress. I don’t have to make others like me. I have to make myself like me.

Your relationship with yourself is the only relationship that will last for a lifetime. You will always be there for you, whether you like it or not. Make sure your company is welcoming and supportive. The world is cruel. And beautiful. And the only one that will completely understand what’s going on with you, is you. You are the only expert of your life. So why not being your best friend, your confidant, your nest to rest? Why not trusting your intuition? Why not letting yourself take the leading role of your life? Others surely have lots of plans for you. But it’s your life. And it’s ending one minute at the time, they say.

Sure you have and make mistakes. Who doesn’t? As long as you are alive, you’ll make mistakes. And others will too. And they are your mistakes, your chances to learn. Learning is good. Embrace it. If it’s hard, it means it’s worth it. And it also means you can do it. Your inner self is offering you a hand. Take it and hug yourself. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be yourself. Including every aspect of yours that you are not proud of, including that lazy, fat, broken, damaged, grumpy thing you might have. You won’t make it go away by hating it. Try accepting it as an integral part of you. Your most honest and truthful friend is standing right next to you. It’s always been there for you, yet you didn’t see him or her. 

Your best friend in life is you. And it’s about time you get acquainted with them :). I must say it feels strange, but I’m kinda liking it. And surprise – others like it too!


Picture borrowed from the web. Relax. Nobody’s perfect. Also you don’t have to be – you are already good enough.