When and where will I find my self esteem?
Are they really worth it? Do you need everyone to like you? Do you really need to understand why they hurt you once again?
Even at 31, you struggle to answer these questions as you should. How many times have we mulled over these same questions, because you’ve not put yourself first and your self esteem is non existent. We need to keep this self esteem quest ongoing for the sake of Flynn - your son. What would you say to him if he turned to you one day and said: “Mum, I’m not really bothered if those people hurt me repeatedly. I’ll be fine and I’ll just suck it up.” or, “I see loving oneself as being arrogant or self centred.” You’d be outraged and say right, let’s sort this outttttt son (said in your best cockney accent).
But what stops you from bathing in your many achievements so you can build that self esteem? What stops you from feeling good when someone says well done? We’re awash with stories of self love, kindness and compassion in the media. It all seems so simple. But you can’t do it; even after 14 years of therapy.
So let’s trace this back. When you were a wee nipper, you witnessed too much too soon. You thought that all adults argued. You thought that Dad didn’t love you as he worked so much and shouted an awful lot too. But he was your idol in the weirdest of ways. You saw your first female influence - your Mum, do little for herself and everything for everyone else. And this combined to make both your norm and ideal for future relationships and how you looked after yourself.
So how did you feel as a child growing up? Well, you always wanted and tried to control the situation to make it better. But you couldn’t. And so you became an expert in daydreaming and creating the perfect scenario - a vision. And as the arguments intensified at home, so did your imagination.
Fast forward to now and as a mum, entrepreneur and partner, you tend to visualise the outcome you want and go after it. This has made you wonderful at your day job; devising strategies that aren’t yet reality, but this misleads you and others in your personal life and sets you up for disappointment. It makes you want to control things. And when you can’t, you blame yourself. That same childhood trait that’s never left. And every time your confidence is knocked, so too is your self esteem.
The reality however, is you can’t control everything in order to reduce the risk of failure and alleviate your fear. And that’s what control really means - especially now as a parent.
So I think the universal lack of self esteem that impacts men and woman all over the world, is down to an inability to control - whether that’s past, in the now or in the future. And we’re talking about people wanting to mitigate fear and not fail at things, kinda control. Not the control freak status that is banded around.
And for you Lauren, you simply have to grow older and learn. Because for all the therapy and mantras in the world, only you can learn to live without as much control. You’ll never drop it completely; but you’ll learn to be free when you should be. The moments that don’t have rules, don’t try to create them. The moments that seem simple and peaceful, let them be just that. And that self esteem will build too, because you will have moments of happy where you’re not fighting all the time.
And if you ever need motivation, look at your son. The boy who currently doesn’t have these ways. He will develop his own ‘things’, but if you can give him the power of freedom, then I think you’ve done well.