Are We Really So Broken?

What Self Esteem?

So it appears that Monday’s post resonated with many. Thanks for your considerable input. It also appears that my client (referred to in the post) is not the only person suffering from a chronic and debilitating case of something known clinically as I’m-not-good-enough-itis. Colloquially, we know it as “I’m shit and unlovable”. You may have contracted it at some stage? In fact, it’s likely that my client is just one member of a very large club. Anecdotal evidence (okay, feedback on the post) suggests that many of us spend a great deal of our lives backstroking in a sea of psychological and emotional crap.

None of us need that garbage.

Life’s hard enough without strapping an emotional and psychological anchor around our already-tired shoulders every morning. What an unnecessary waste of good energy. And talent. And time. Sadly, it seems that some of us believe the bullshit. The ‘this is what you need to earn, own, have and look like before you’ll be good enough’ bullshit.

For years, the media, marketing, retail and entertainment industries (and assorted other people in our respective worlds) have been programming you and I to buy into the unhealthy and misery-inducing paradigm that our worth, desirability, power and happiness as individuals will somehow relate back to all things external. The underlying message being that, on our own we are not enough.

We need something else to er, complete us.

These messages are not always overt but they are always there. The attractiveness of our face (male or female). The letters that come after our name. Our body-fat percentage. Our salary. The size of our arse, breasts, waist, nose and dare I say, penis (more on that in a moment). The whiteness of our teeth. The full-ness of our lips. The cut and style of our hair. The car we drive. Our clothes. The labels on those clothes. Our shoes. The phone we own. The house we live in. The suburb we live in. The way people perceive us. Or, as some people call it these days; our ‘personal brand’.

Good grief.

Now ladies… speaking of penises, if you don’t think that size has an affect on a bloke’s confidence, self-esteem or overall psychological state, then you really haven’t been paying attention. Having said that, the majority of men will never sit down with their buddy and have this conversation:

“Hey Brian, I just wanted to let you know that I’m feeling a little self-conscious and emotionally fragile right now because I’ve just started seeing a new girl and, as you know, I’m a little inadequate in the cock department. As a result, I’m really worried about how she might respond and to be honest, I’m feeling pretty insecure.”

Nope, not gonna happen.

And if it did (somehow), Brian would give his friend shit for about twenty years. (Don’t ask, that’s another post).

So, we blokes might not always articulate our thoughts, feelings or fears particularly well (or often) and we might not be as emotionally evolved as you women, but trust me when I tell you that below the testosterone, the role-playing, the ego and the alpha-male-ness, most of us blokes are just as overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy (about many things) as the avalanche of women who responded to Monday’s post. And some of us, a little more.

Penis enlargement anyone?

Good grief.

As with the last post, I’m well aware that today’s message will not instantly ‘fix’ anything or anyone but nonetheless, I do think it’s an important conversation that needs to be had, explored and developed. My goal today is little more than to open a door, share a few thoughts and stimulate some intelligent conversation from you, my very clever readers. As Edmund Burke famously put it, “all that’s necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing” and today, I’m suggesting that this epidemic of poor self-esteem comes from an evil, self-serving and destructive place.

As a collective of conscious beings, I believe it’s time for us to challenge the unhealthy messages that masquerade as information, advice and marketing. For the most part, it’s commercial shit driven by people with agendas who are very interested in your loyalty, compliance and money and totally disinterested in your personal welfare.  

It’s time for us to acknowledge the unhealthy thinking, the debilitating pressure and the unrealistic expectations that we place on each other and on ourselves. To tell a new story to our kids. And to ourselves. To look past the body and to see the person. To celebrate our inner beauty and to let go of the anxiety associated with all things external. To stop looking for meaning, purpose, acceptance and validation where we’ll never find it. To challenge the paradigm that says ‘self-esteem works from the outside in’ and I’ll be good enough when…

And finally, to step out of misery and into emotional freedom and joy. 

Will you be part of the solution? :)

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