Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shallow Ground

I by no means am a perfectionist, but I lived with one for 17 long years. Mother always had to have the toilet paper facing outward and the can goods arranged alphabetically. Family vacations were even worse...a time detailed list of when and where we were supposed to be. You ask, what's wrong with that? I'll give you a sample:
7:00AM Wake up, breakfast. Only one cup of coffee because we'll have 2nd cup with Aunt Becky.
7:45AM Arrive at Becky's. Have a cup of coffee and visit for 1 hour.
9:00AM Arrive at dock for ship island. Spend 3 hours on tour. Dine at the fort, but only a light lunch because we'll have lunch with Grandma Ann.
1:30PM Arrive at Grandma Ann's. Have Lunch. Visit for 1 hour.

That's how it went, the entire day planned...I have purposely avoided lists, watches and purses for this reason.

Perfectionism, comparison, jealousy and approval are all symptoms of low self esteem. Seeking validation is a healthy human need, but approval is not the best way to meet it.

I constantly sought approval and in the process lost myself. I couldn't think for myself, forgot how to say no, abandoned my boundaries, risked my integrity and tried to become all things to all people. I killed my relationships, productivity, credibility and personal effectiveness.

I tended to be more cynical, critical and defensive and also had a difficult time adapting to change, taking risks and accepting feedback. If you think you're suffering from low self esteem here is a checklist to find out:

1. You are preoccupied with yourself. You spend a great deal of time thinking about and analyzing yourself.

2. You are often alienated from authority figures in life, like parents or caregivers.

3. You do not smile readily.

4. You feel tired and unmotivated.

5. You isolate yourself from others.

6. You have trouble with relationships.

7. You find eye contact uncomfortable.

8. You avoid risk.

9. You are often described as high maintenance and needy.

10. You create negative experiences.

Self esteem isn't developed overnight especially when you don't have it! You have to work on it, build it and maintain it. The problems that accompanied my low self esteem were being fearful, critical of myself and ill equipped to handle conflict. I developed negative coping strategies and self-destructive behaviors.

I've learned how to develop a strong self-concept and in the next post I'll share 13 actions that I've taken.


Gar said...

J girl. I am alarmed at all that I read here. I had similar issues, but is was nobody's fault but my own.

It took me 30 years to see the error in my ways.

Imagine the fun we would have had on our national honor society trips had we not been so brainwashed.

Recover, you crazy woman, and have fun while you still can!

Come out for the concert early. I will show you Karaoke!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Gar, don't be alarmed...I do realize the error of my ways!

Oh, the brainwashing of my youth are no longer in my current days!

I'll come early and learn the art of Karaoke!

Only if you promise to sing along with me!

Gar said...

Singing along with you would defeat the purpose. You'd be able to deflect the rejection on me and my inability to sing.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I stand corrected...alone it shall be :)