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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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Lambert March 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Everything is just an interesting point of view and we aren’t required to buy into any of it. Could it be that simple…..?

Worked for me after 39 years of buying the bullshit…. ah… freedom!

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randy March 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I think the porn issue may also be contributing to this issue many men/women have, how many dudes actually have dicks the size of fking baseball bats? not many I dont think..and who can afford massive basketball implants with all the maintenance they require,,it must be like buying a second house or apartment..

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Sulagna - Love in India March 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

OMG Craig, having been your five-years-and-still-counting reader and follower, I’ve heard about I’m-not-good-enough-itis so many times, but today it somehow actually hit me!
Success, to me, always looked like achievement of my goals, but goals which OTHER PEOPLE WILL TAKE NOTE OF!
I have always been so clear on the goal-setting and following part, but not on the “what does that goal mean to me” part.
Today’s post got me thinking.
Thank you Craig. One more time. :)

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Alimation March 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Craig, quite simply – I love your posts and you do make me laugh! I read the previous one and totally connected with your client…. I know many, many women who do. I am at a stage now where I rarely go out for the fear of ‘not being good enough’! However, today you present another way of thinking that I want to take on and really live. As always Craig, well said and thought provoking, cheers Alimation :)

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Michael Brissie March 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Whilst I have agreed with you on both postings, the issue of age, not just gender, is one that causes much grief. The you are too old mantra particularly with getting a job is difficult to buy out of and not all of us are cut out for self-employment. The irony to me is we think we are inadequate but the majority do not and do not even think about us.

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Nycole March 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Dear sweet Craig,
You are right, time to embrace my perfect imperfections and my ‘enoughness’.

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Anonymous March 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Thanks Craig; Laughed till my eyes watered!! Something so refreshing about your brutal honesty that makes the message stick! Aaahhh back stroking in the sea of emotional crap getting no where fast…suckers… (Me included of course) :-)

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Evan March 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Complete agreement from me.

I do try to be part of the solution eg. By stating that self development is not about success – I’m a self-development blogger.

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Lexi March 27, 2013 at 2:43 am

Want to know how this all happened? And why it is so hard to go against the current of this? Watch The Century of the Self – it’s free on youtube and various other places. Just google it. It is a fascinating account of exactly what the powers that be did in order to hijack our lives. Very revealing, and with knowledge is power……..good wishes to all.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

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Kate M March 27, 2013 at 2:45 am

Still laughing as I type this … honestly, I can’t believe I get this stuff (Craig’s posts) for free! I’m an Aussie who lives in the US and I can tell you no-one here would give away such fabulous self help. Nor would it come close to Craig’s distinctive, candid style (and I doubt you’d find the word ‘penis’ anywhere either:) I loved this post and it’s predecessor. Thanks for all the help Craig, and the laughs.

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Sharon Clark March 27, 2013 at 6:05 am

Once again Craig,you’ve hit the nail on the head! We hear it many times but your delivery of this vital message seems to resonate like no other messenger, you have a way all your own of getting through to us! That’s a gift! Living your purpose & educating us to be conscious of living ours! We all need to practice good self care, love heals! You’ll never really know how much good you’re doing & how many you are awakening with the messages you bring us! But one thing is for sure! You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this space & time doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing! And we are grateful for that! Thank you, always my ultimate messenger! Xx I am more than enough! ….Grasshopper :) xx

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Dom March 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

It’s not the external image I have an esteem problem with, it’s the inside me that nobody except me sees. The one that sits on the sofa instead of playing with my kids, the one that watches TV instead of sorting out the tax bill, the one that never has enough time because I waste the time I have on things that I don’t value and beats myself up about how I could do so much better

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm

But Dom, unless we had a North Korea bomb attack, there is still time. I came back from Sydney to Brisbane today with tons of plans, eat 5 small Easter Eggs and just want to laz around. I normally would feel guilt but I don’t for some reason but anyway, there is still time Dom to change.

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Ria March 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

Yes, I absolutely agree with you. Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

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Trolley Wife March 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

BEST post yet,and they are all great in my view. Written with some quite hilarious language but the message is received loud and clear.

” 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. ”

Bingo, Right on, Nailed it. It is bloody evil. Exceptional thoughts and writing. xx

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Fiona March 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

Wonderful post Craig.

It took the unconditional love of someone outside my family (my husband) to make me realise that I don’t need to hide the ‘real’ me for fear of not being acceptable. Still a work in progress, but getting there.

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Jane March 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Just found this amazing resource thanks to a friend of mine. Wish I had found you earlier.

Jane

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Mia March 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Select your media wisely.Try to stick to media that doesn’t make you feel crap about yourself. Avoid magazines or television shows that say you need to change what you look like in order to be attractive.

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Diana March 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Craig,
Some women are quite horrible to each other. Take the aggressive pro breast feeding mob. They go for the jugular and take no prisoners. Or take the “OMG your Sooo skinny “mob. Literally witnessed both with side comments to boot eg someone shove a burger down her throat. After a rather slender friend walked past one day . ( no longer friends with toxic comment girl)
Deflect .
Deflect the comments ,the negative.your energy your self, is worth more. Do not give your energy to toxic ppl. That’s what I do anyway and it seems to work.
Kind of. Sometimes!! ;)
Surround yourself with great ppl ,Mr Craig or Yoda as I refer him do I…..
Thank you intelligent Craig followers you open my ears to new thoughts constantly!!

Cheers
D

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Diana March 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Ps love that you call “it” cock !!
So 80′s of you!!

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chebbieanne March 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Maybe our lack of self esteem is not the fault of advertising but the result of our own behaviour? Maybe we have become shallow, vain and introspective because that is what we want to be. We have nothing better to think about but comparing ourselves to air brushed idealised images of the beautiful people? Can you really expect to feel good about yourself when your world centres around getting a better face, body or job than others just to prove you can? Now I have no doubt that a very large penis is handy if you are a donkey, or massive muscles could be useful if you are a manual labourer, or maybe a flawless face is required for a model to earn a living but for the majority of the population these things are a massive self indulgence that benefit no one. Maybe our society might be a bit healthier if we focus on what we can do to change the world around us rather than worry about the trivia.

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

I think it’s both. The issue to me is we worry too much about what others think, not all of us, but now and then we get the thing we aspire too and then we wonder why we went out of our way to get it. Being seen a certain way is too powerful look at the obsession with reputation companies have for example.

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chebbieanne March 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

The problem with worrying about what other people think is twofold.
Firstly in my experience other people actually don’t think all that much at all. If they do think about you it centres around a comparative analysis – namely does he have better stuff than me and depending on the answer that person rates you on their personal value scale not yours.
Secondly and more importantly you need to decide what you rate as important and acquire those things that you value and therefore appreciate because you want them. Achieving some one else’s dream is rarely very satisfying and usually short lived.
The purpose of Companies is to make money so they have to compete for market share which is why they attempt to develop a reputation that they think will appeal to the masses. They try to personify their image so we think their products are better – they are not necessarily better but that is irrelevant. Public image implies nothing more than clever use of behavioural psychology.
Worrying about what others may or may not think about you rarely achieves anything more than misery. :)

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Exactly, spot on.

It is to me, just my view, a learnt behaviour to do that which for me only starting going when I reached 45, which is sad, I don’t think it was a waste of life, but I do know it was powerful.

Well-said you reply thank you.

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Me March 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

I seem to have been suffering from the ” I can be all things to all ppl all the time” grandeous notion. Can u imagine my shock now I’ve discovered – that’s bullshit too!

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Yes and guess what, one can actually end up being hated and people have contempt for you if you please, which is ironic. I’d choose now the being hated for someone I am rather than who I am not.

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Vin. March 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I,m in the minority, How is your cock Craig?

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Craig March 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm

So inappropriate Vincent. ;)

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Vin's Friend March 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

A small issue?

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Craig March 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Who’s been talking? :(

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Vin. March 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Not me, your my only friend.

Vin's Friend March 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Awww just joking guys sheesh, no kissing and telling here

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

Any chance of blog postings not discussing human anatomy or human waste :) at least the next few?

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Mel March 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

I ended reading this post by standing up from my computer and yelling “I’M IN, I WILL JOIN THE REVOLUTION” Family looked at me like they usually do “There goes Mum again” lol. That’s the effect this post had on me though. I wanted to take up a banner and start marching through the streets saying “We have had enough and we are enough!”

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Michael Brissie March 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Feel free to march – but after Easter as the Easter Eggs have made us lazy ;) .

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