- Dwelling on and building negative thoughts about oneself. During the developmental stages of children, many people were exposed to negative messages, abuses, curses, derogatory remarks or were called very ugly names by parents, peers and their teachers. I don’t know about what was said of you, but there may have been some negative remarks. Back in school in those days, we should to see things like big for nothing, you will never do well, big head, olodo (empty head), armed robber, etc.
These messages which have accumulated over time form deep seated layers of negative influence in the minds of simple folks. Unfortunately, the human mind has a way of playing back these messages from time to time.
When these messages dominate a person’s thought realm, it produces a feeling of worthlessness, inferiority, pity, weakness, anger, delusion, self-exclusion, denial and all forms of negativity, thus leading to low self-esteem
- Inability to forget past failures and experiences. Past successes and failures are sources of self-esteem. Failure during examinations, breakdown of marital relationship and businesses all create bad feelings about oneself. When these feelings control and dominate the thinking process, it reduces one’s up-beat nature thereby exposing the individual to vulnerable self-image.
- Memories that refuse to go away. These include devastating incidents of high impact which work around our minds and constantly reminds us of our inglorious past. These include monumental failures in marriages, career, politics, business or one’s religious obligations.
- The intuitive inner voice. Some persons may not have had any physical experience of misfortune. However, they are always hearing internal voices that spell fearful messages of failure, misfortune, accident, death, termination of appointment and humiliation. Due to these rather negative messages, these people are spellbound and unable to undertake risky ventures and decisions.
- Failure to discover purpose for living. An empty life without a well-defined course is a ready recipe for low self-esteem. A life of purpose is a life of high self-esteem. A sacrificial purposeful living that is focused on achieving a purpose will create better self-image and confidence on the part of the individual and those around them