Fact: 85% of Us Suffer From Low Self-Esteem
Several studies indicate that 85% of Americans suffer from low self-esteem. That’s a huge problem. Unless you are part of the top 15% of self-actualized individuals living in a perpetual state of bliss, enlightenment, or Nirvana, there is a high probability that you, like me, suffer from occasional bouts of low self-worth or have your confidence shaken from time to time. Our confidence and self-esteem problems will not go away on their own. To successfully combat our low self-esteem, we have to not only get honest about what our problems are but may need counsel to guide us through the gnarled mess in our minds.
A Simple Science-Based and Empirically-Tested Solution for Improving our Self-Esteem
While there are many solutions for overcoming low self-esteem, one is closer than you think. Both the problem and solution can be found in one word—belief. According to Stephen Campbell and other neuroscientists, the inner critics in our heads lack discernment between fact or fiction. The brain, according to Campbell, “…believes EVERYTHING we tell it, without question, no arguments.”
This is important to understand because it validates the tired cliché, “Garbage in. Garbage out.”
Unfortunately, many of our beliefs are false. They are lies we’ve held for years, perhaps initiated by criticism from parents, bosses, teachers, or other life influences. Because our brains don’t know what to believe, the critical voices are reinforced by our negative self-talk, especially in areas related to our self-esteem and self-confidence.
This is not healthy. To the extent that we give them power over our lives, the critics in our minds are toxic.
I explore this further in the chapter about belief in my upcoming release of Ten Seconds of Boldness, The Essential Guide to Solving Problems and Building Self-Confidence.
For now, here’s some great news:
You can change if you somehow find enough courage to do so.
You may be thinking, That’s great. Tell me something I don’t already know.
How do I find courage? Good question, but a better question we must ask ourselves is why?
What does that mean and how is it related to self-confidence? It means everything.
It’s no secret that when we not only change the way we think but what we choose to believe, our world changes. Our perspective shifts as we replace outdated beliefs about ourselves with new ones.
And, according to neuroscience, everything we believe is tied to patterns we have created in our minds, to what we chose to believe.
Neuroscience expert Steven Campbell explains further:
One of the most exciting discoveries in the neurosciences is how our brain is continually creating patterns, based on what we learn during the day. It creates these patterns at night when we are asleep. And the number of patterns it creates is beyond imagination.
The latest research estimates that our brain has about eighty-three billion neurons, and each of these neurons are connected to an average of 10,000 neurons. That’s not a multiple; that’s a power! In other words, the connections, which determine the number of patterns the human brain can carry is eighty-three billion times eighty-three million, 10,000 times. It is no wonder that the scientific community agrees that the human brain is the most complex organism in the universe.
While the brain is incredibly complex, when it comes to learning new things, simple is always better. The problem, as Stephen points out, is that our brain never sleeps; it doesn’t know what is helpful or detrimental to your self-esteem. As a result, the thoughts and feelings we have throughout the day, good or bad, are on a perpetual quest to connect to similar thoughts, beliefs, or feelings in our brain. This further reinforces existing beliefs, good or bad, thereby creating patterns that will continue until challenged.
In my case, low self-esteem and self-confidence have manifested themselves in a myriad of negative thought patterns, beliefs, or emotions in my life. Here are a few examples, which are variations of thinking and behavior rooted in fear:
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Making a Mistake
- Fear of Being Wrong
- Fear of the Unknown
- Fear of Rejection
- Fear of Abandonment
- Fear of Public Speaking
- Fear of Confrontation
- Fear of Success
- Fear of Death
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
If you relate to any of these fears, I encourage you to read Ten Seconds of Boldness. It could be the missing link to moving you from where you are to where you want to be.
Learn more at shawnlangwell.com