How Do You Know Who You Are?

We have been led to believe that our self esteem depends basically of the positive images others reflects of us to the world…if we are in a situation where a group is having difficulties including us, then the first thought is about our own inadequacy. We look at ourselves for the explanation of any negative reaction of others to our skills or ideas; we look at others when we try to find the reason for our success.

It is really an extraordinary consequence of us humans being raised by other powerful and all-knowing humans, (our parents), where from we got this sense that our self value is always at stake because it depends on other’s valuation of us.

The reality is, when there is team conflict, anyone can be in the receiving end of negative behaviors such as hostility, verbal abuse, and passive aggressive responses. Group behaviors such as ganging up or mobbing are more frequent that we imagine, and they get to be so damaging as to push a person to suicide after a long process of being isolated, ignored and attacked by co-workers.

Even worst individual situations, as being badmouthed or publicly humiliated by a boss or co-worker can be extremely difficult events to process, because they are a direct attack geared to destroy our self esteem.

One frequent question is: how do you keep your self esteem at a healthy level when around you all your network is projecting a very negative image?

Probably you are espousing a different perspective, which nobody wants to hear, and they react by attacking you. Or you disagree with some unethical policy, and everybody else is diminishing your contributions to zero….

Whatever the cause of the estrangement between you and your friends, or your relatives, your self-esteem is bound to suffer. If you accept what others say about you, your worth is zilch, but you somehow belong. If you don’t accept, and get more and more isolated, then where from is a strengthening of your self-esteem coming from?

First, you need to deal with a deep question: how do you get to know WHO you are? Are you the one you believe you are? Or are you the person others imagine that you are?

Being in this critical situation, we usually get to the healthy conclusion that the real source of self-esteem is inside us in appreciating the person we have become…There is no other source of self-esteem, but our own respectful recognition of who we are. Not diminishing it, not inflating it, but accepting the “I know who I am better than anybody else” statement at heart.

Getting to appreciate all we have done to develop ourselves is the most secure source of self-esteem. There is no other one as reliable, so we’d better work hard on developing our own qualities and taking the merit for it. Sooner or later, others will reflect them, and this reflection is sweet, but is not fundamental for our self-esteem. Is only a pleasant distraction, as a piece of candy is…you can accept it as a gift.

Nora Femenia is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Visit her blog and signup free to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more!

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