When we have low self-esteem or low confidence, it is because we have forgotten who we really are.
A newborn baby girl has a dirty diaper at 3 in the morning. She is uncomfortable, so she cries her loudest until someone comes to help her to feel comfortable again. She isn’t wondering whether or not she is worthy of someone getting up at 3am to come and take care of her, she intrinsically knows she’s worth it and it doesn’t occur to her to question it.
If you think about it, babies get cooed at and tickled and fawned over by people and they just soak it up. They don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. They stare right back. They don’t wonder why these insidious people are looking at them and what they really want. Babies just lap it up! Why? Because nothing has ever happened that has told them they don’t deserve the admiration and attention.
However, as time goes on, we begin experiencing the difficulties of growing up and figuring out this thing called Life. We started out as a beautiful, innocent, confident creature and then at some point, we were exposed to people and behaviors that left us feeling diminished, disheartened and scared. Maybe it came from our parents, or a sibling, a teacher, friends or a bully at school, but for most of us, someone at some point planted our first seeds of self-doubt and unworthiness, which led to most of us having to contend with that negative voice in our heads that says things like, “You’re never going to make it,” or “You’re an idiot,” or “How could you say something so stupid?” or “You suck,” etcetera. And speaking to ourselves this way can become a habit, which leads to many of us feeling bad about ourselves in some way.
Most parents don’t wake up in the morning wanting to screw up their kids, but nonetheless, when we are not given the proper love and attention we need growing up, we are more likely to become adults with anxiety or depression, addiction problems or even suicidal feelings, according to Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.
So, what are we supposed to do to feel better, you may be wondering? We can’t go back to the way we were as babies, obviously.
Actually, that is not altogether true. Much in the same way that trauma can be stored in the body, our minds and bodies have also stored what it is to be confident and have high self-esteem. Deep within our subconscious, we remember how to feel good about ourselves. It’s actually in our original coding, therefore, what we believed about ourselves as babies is still true. Our worthiness has remained in tact, whether we realize it or not.
What you believed about yourself as a baby is still true. Your worthiness has remained the same, whether you realize it or not.
Pull up a picture in your mind of yourself as a baby: innocent, beautiful and confident. In reality, you are absolutely the same gorgeous soul you were when you were born, before you had the harsh life experiences that caused you to question your significance in this world.
So, the next time you start talking to yourself with that hurtful and discouraging voice, have compassion for yourself and remember who you are. Just because that voice says something, doesn’t make it true. It comes from beliefs you picked up along the way when you were growing up. It's ok that you are aren’t perfect. Who you are, flaws and all, is your strength. Decide to have a compassionate inner voice. Reverse anything discouraging that it says to you. Be kind to yourself.
We are all born with an innate sense of self-worth and confidence. Don’t forget who you are.
Think like a baby.