Release the Brakes on your Self-Esteem: Monday Motivation #25
Low self-esteem is like driving thru life with the hand brake on …
Have you ever pulled out of the driveway and begun to drive, wondering why you can’t seem to get the normal traction and giddy-up your car typically gives. Then …
Beep beep beep
…the car complains that you’ve not fully released the brake?
I’ve done it.
Thankfully we have warning systems like that.
For the record, I also occasionally forget to get gas until the little yellow light pops on and reminds me to take a look at something other than the speedometer (hmm … those other dials matter?).
In life we can make the same mistake.
Keeping the brake on
When we allow ourselves to maintain a low self-esteem, it’s like driving through life with the hand brake still on.
Low self-esteem really holds us back in a number of ways:
- Doubting our chances for success, we often don’t step forward to accept challenges, opportunities, or relationships that would be amazing life experiences for us. We’re so sure that rejection will eventually happen that we pre-empt the painful drop-off after having allowed ourselves to become hopeful – we’d rather accept our shitty outcome before allowing life to teach us that lesson again…we simply cannot even give ourselves the freedom to wonder “what if?”
- Fearing being alone, we sometimes keep struggling through life in broken unhealthy relationships (spousal and/or friendships). The nature of our interactions with these people keep us focused on the relationship’s survival and on caring for the feelings of the other person. When we focus our attention there, we cannot give it to other things that might bring us joy. (What would you be doing today if you weren’t so busy nursing that relationship back to health? And when is it time to accept that the relationship is more ready for hospice than a second honeymoon?)
- We restrain ourselves in even the most non-threatening interactions so that we can blend into our surroundings to keep from drawing attention to ourselves. “Grocery store? Why should I shower and put myself together? House shoes and sweats are fine … every time. “ These actions keep us from being noticed and (in our low-self-esteem way of thinking) protect us from the critical eye of others. But what of the appreciative eye? The kind? The warm? The friendly? They won’t see you either because you’ve become so good at hiding.
This is your warning alarm
Today’s message is simple: this is your alarm system telling you that you need to release the brake.
Examine how you behave and what that might say about your self-talk (and therefore your self-esteem). Are you living authentically? Or fearfully/defensively?
Living arms wide open isn’t easy.
But who’s going for easy?
I want fulfilling. I want joyous.
I want to experience everything that presses me closer and closer to the kind of joy that:
- brings tears to my eyes,
- makes me laugh until I’m breathless,
- melts my heart,
- makes my cheeks ache from smiling too long.
Those things don’t happen, can’t happen, when you have the brakes on.
Today – release the brakes. 🙂
I’d love to hear from you! What are your fears? What holds you back? And how to you quiet the voice of doubt so that you can release the brakes?