What would you rate your self-esteem at on a scale of 1 to 10? A "zero" would basically be suicidal.
Self-esteem can fluctuate. Right now i'd put mine at 8 or 9, because i'm thinking about all the projects i want to work on and having a hard time making progress, and self-esteem seems to be tied to feelings of success and accomplishment of goals. There are basically three different types of people in the world:
1) Low Self-Esteem (LSE)
2) 'Average' People
3) High Self-Esteem (HSE)
Remember those two questions from the beginning? Well, "Where am i now?" tells us your Actual Self. "Where do i want to be?" tells us your Ideal Self. The difference between your Actual Self and your Ideal Self is your self-esteem. i.e. if you feel like you're a piece of shit (Actual) and you want to be a piece of platinum (Ideal), you'd clearly be LSE.
Here's a nice picture to illustrate this: The person on the top is LSE, middle person = 'Average', bottom person = HSE. The scale from 0 to 10 is their self-esteem, "5" on the scale is average - right in the middle.
What's funny is that the 'Average' person you'll meet in this world actually thinks they're a little below average. In other words, the self-esteem of the average person is actually, BARELY, a little low - people tend to be think pretty poorly of themselves.
Now, there is something that gets in EVERYONE'S way and stops them from reaching their full potential. It's a three-letter word that represents everything BAD in social dynamics:
I've realized that people will essentially do EVERYTHING in their power to protect their ego. In fact, they've even done psychological research which shows that people engage in "ego protection." Yes, my dear friend, you do it too. Virtually every time you get defensive, guess what you're defending? Your ego.
But why does the ego even exist? What is its purpose? What *IS* an ego anyway? I'll tell you.
The ego is basically the FRONT we put up, it's what we want others to see when they look at us. The ego is our public face. So it's your ego that makes you brag about stuff, that makes you get into arguments because you don't want to lose or be wrong, that makes you ignore people's criticism because if you listen to what they say it means there's something wrong with you.
Essentially, your ego is there to protect your fragile feelings and your self-esteem. It looks like this:
See that? To the outside world, many times the typical LSE person will seem normal because they put up the FRONT that they're normal. Likewise, the 'Average' person you meet in this world always seems to have SOMEthing good going for them... hence their ego is above average. The HSE person can often come off as cocky if their ego gets out of hand, because they can actually back up most of the smack they talk.
Now, we've all heard people say things like "you're afraid of success" and it doesn't make any sense. I mean who the hell is afraid of success?! I love success! If anything i'm afraid of failure.
Well, they got it half-right. Ever competed against someone and then you beat them and they say "you only won because i wasn't really trying" ? We all have. In fact, many of us are guilty of saying that same thing - we only lost 'cuz we weren't trying. That right there my friends is our EGO rearing its ugly head.
We're afraid because if we really try, and STILL lose, then our ego is CRUSHED.
And our ego really, really doesn't want to die. So what are we to do? Our egos are holding us back, keeping us from really trying... There's only one option
DESTROY THE EGO
It's a 2-step process:
1) Make your primary goals ACTION oriented, not OUTCOME oriented.
Egos are concerned with failure, but if your goals are to take action rather than to achieve outcomes, it's a lot harder to fail. So my goals are to TRY HARD (action), rather than to gain something (outcome). Don't try to lose 20 pounds, instead try to go to the gym and work hard 3-4 days a week.
2) Make your secondary goals LEARNING oriented rather than COMPETITION oriented.
Egos are concerned with comparing themselves to others, and COMPETING to feel better than others. That's why you want to win arguments, brag, etc. Rather than trying to win (compete), instead I focus on learning the most I can (learn), especially from other people. Don't try to get in better shape than your super-fit friend. Instead, ask them how they got in such excellent condition. How much better do i get at things when i learn what my would-be 'competitors' would do to win?
I used to be a LSE person. Then i managed to take action and transform myself into an 'average' person. Now, thru consistency of action and learning, i can proudly say i'm HSE.
Destroy your ego, take action, and watch your world turn on its head. One day you'll look up from all the actions you've been taking and realize you've come farther than you ever thought possible.