Self-esteem is like monopoly money. No matter how much of it you get, it is still useless in the real world. Let’s stop saying that high self-esteem is a good thing. Or that self-esteem needs to be built.
With Monopoly money, you can buy fake hotels and fake properties…and boast about it to the other players. But at the end of the day, the game gets folded up and put away. It’s not reality.
It is the same with self-esteem. It does not have real-life tangible value and in fact, causes a lot of suffering. High self-esteem is a reaction to low self-esteem and vice versa; they always come together. So if you don’t want low self-esteem, you also have to discard high self-esteem. Esteeming is the art of writing fairy tales. You can spin reality into any kind of story to make yourself feel uplifted and happy or miserable and depressed. But why tell stories in the first place?
Imagine a life where you don’t need to explain and justify yourself in an attempt to get approval or agreement. We all want to be successful, to be at the top of our game, to produce results consistent with our mission in life, and to have the relationships we desire. Well, you don’t need self-esteem for this. The less time you spend evaluating yourself, the more time you have to focus on what needs attention. Think about the last time you were in a flow-state, truly satisfied, or at ease. How much time did you spend evaluating how good or bad you were? ZERO.
To being free from esteeming