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7 Steps to Low Self-Esteem

By By Roger Elliott

A friendly alien, recently landed from Mars, comes up to you and says, "I have been hearing a lot about this condition you humans call 'low self esteem'. Tell me, what is 'low self esteem', and how do you get it?" You, thinking yourself a bit of an expert on the subject of low self esteem, are about to correct the poor creature - after all, low self esteem isn't something you would actually want to get, is it? But then you start thinking... "Hmmm... Well, if you really wanted to set about creating low self esteem from scratch, I guess this is what you would do," you say. The alien listens attentively...

  1. Blame yourself for everything that goes wrong, even those things you just hear about going wrong. Make sure you react emotionally, with lots of anxiety.

  2. Make sweeping negative statements about yourself. Things like "I'm stupid", "I always do that wrong", "Why is my life such a mess?", "I'll only ruin it, so there's no point even trying". Make sure you never challenge these statements.

  3. Whatever you do, avoid connecting these problems with your thinking styles. It is especially important to steer clear of making a step-by-step plan for improving your thinking styles or learning new thinking skills. That kind of thing can seriously impair your ability to maintain lasting low self esteem.

  4. Blindly accept any and every negative or abusive comment made about you by other people. Don't pay any regard to their motivations, or their own warped view of life, or to any facts that contradict their statements about you.

  5. Don't go hunting about to identify any self-defeating patterns you have established in your life, or make any concrete plans to alter them.

  6. Forget about your achievements. Alternatively (and this is just as good!), write them off as 'nothing much'. You can avoid getting any emotional satisfaction from achievements by using statements such as "Anyone could have done that".

  7. Identify your basic needs so that you can make sure you do not do anything which risks getting them met. This will make creating low self esteem even easier.
"Well, thank you" says the alien, looking somewhat doubtful. "I must say that the human race has great perseverance. That all sounds like a lot of hard work to me!"
Roger Elliott runs courses and a website dedicated to building self confidence. You can freely subscribe to his introductory Self Confidence Course.
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