How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem and Depression – Action Steps
With the explanation of basic differences and action steps to counteract low self-exteem
Nothing is more tragic than seeing a man suffering from low self-esteem. This concise, bullshit-free, and simple-to-understand tutorial will teach you how to overcome low self-esteem and subsequent depression.
When we say ‘bullshit-free’, we are referring to those “mindfulness” craps you are seeing all over the place.
Trust us when we say: you can meditate your ass off and that still won’t overcome low self-esteem. You’ll continue paying $100/hour for useless sessions with your favorite shrink and only become more depressed.
Why shrinks can’t help you beat low self-esteem?
Because the core problem lies in your body chemistry, which, and I’m sorry to be the one who’ll break it to you, you know nothing about.
Why don’t you know jack about it?
Because your shrink would be out of business if he/she would tell you how it works and what mechanisms are responsible for you feeling like shit for the most of the time.
So, think of the following tutorial as the ‘Overcome Low Self-Esteem Bible’. Because it’s exactly that!
But, before everything else, we must explain a common delusion or the fact that most people think how self-esteem and self-confidence are one and the same. They are not.
Self-esteem vs Self-confidence or WHAT IS SELF-ESTEEM
Simply put, self-esteem, as the name suggests, is self-respect. Self-confidence, on the other hand, are all sorts of assertive tendencies.
While it may seem connected, there are some crucial differences, which is why solutions for dealing with low self-esteem can’t be applied for low self-confidence and vice versa. At least not at the beginning phase of the “healing process.”
If you are suffering from low self-confidence, that doesn’t render you asocial. You’re in fact a cheerful person, open for communication and loved by your closest social environment.
And here lies the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence
A person who’s suffering from low self-esteem will never recognize the affection of his closest social environment for him. He will always seek for proves and cues and even when the obvious cue is in front of him, he will doubt the sincerity of it.
A low self-confident person, on the other hand, will never question that affection. It’s just, the problems are seemingly way over his capabilities and failing to tackle them is causing the acute feeling of depression. But that doesn’t make him to feel like shit to the extent low the self-esteemer feels.
Depression is that one thing — one consequence — connecting these two issues and that’s why people are mixing them.
What is low self-esteem?
Unlike the guy who doubts his abilities to solve the problem, you’re quite capable of solving that same problem only you don’t have any desire whatsofreakin’ever to step up, act assertive, and deal with the crap. You’re afraid that the others will mock you since you don’t have any good opinion about yourself and subsequently about your capabilities.
The other guy (the low self-confident dude) doesn’t even think about that option. He is getting struck by lightning because he can’t make up his mind whether he’s capable or not, which will trigger a biological response in his brain and cause the acute feeling of depression.
In the case of low self-esteemers, this shit is an everyday occurrence, whether they are solving problems or not. But in most of the cases, a low self-esteemer shy away from any kind of a challenge, regardless of the fact that he is more than capable of solving it.
Causes of low self-esteem
The roots can always be found in childhood. Once developed, the strong character will never succumb to this issue, meaning that the sufferers are “created” during their early ages.
This means that low self-esteem is a direct result of poor and abusive parenting if any.
In other words, low self-esteem, as the mental issue, is created by:
- Constant putting down of the child
- The inability of the child to express him/herself in the desired way
- Unreasonable punishments
- And similar crap low-confident, narrow-minded and dumbass parents are doing to their children.
You have to understand that by the age of 12, your central belief system or the set of principles upon which you’re living your life is already created. It takes the hard effort to correct the errors and one of those is poor self-respect. Since they’ve been putting you down a lot, your brain never learned how to recognize the fulfilling event or something that has the potential to trigger the firing of one specific neurotransmitter.
The connection between low self-esteem and depression or the “Mirror neurons Effect”
We live in a constant duality between how we see ourselves and how others see us.
Our mirror neurons play a crucial role in our socialization and subsequent quality of life. If you’re unaware of this biological mechanism, here’s the shortest explanation possible:
The underlying role of mirror neurons and their impact on self-esteem levels
When you’re watching your favorite team on TV, you get all excited. When they score, it almost feels like you made that touchdown. It’s the mirror neurons in action.
Same occurs when you are watching some porn action. You’ll get your hard on. Again, mirror neurons.
Mirror neurons allow you to identify with the brand, person, success, tragedy, misery, hype, party, radical ideas, and all the other groups and activities in general. It’s what makes you belong to the group.
That acceptance is conditioned by validation of your expressions!
This means that you simply have to be accepted on account of your basic character and your deeds (responses) by the group in order for the serotonin neurotransmitter to fire at optimal levels.
When that voids — when your expressions are not validated — the brain will not fire the serotonin and you’ll feel depressed.
If this continues over the long stretch of time, suicidal thoughts are inevitable. In some extreme cases, it leads to the point of no return.
A quiet and meek person, who has never done anything to hurt anyone, was suddenly discovered hanging from the chandelier. People are simply stunned by that shit. In reality, they are, at least partially, the cause of the suicide because that same person was never accepted in a group.
In other words, a simple ‘Hi’, said to a complete stranger who obviously doesn’t look good (mentally), will, in fact, save his life! Because the chances are that he is going shopping for the rope!
It’s clear now why some kids are joining cults, right? They are just looking for the group that will accept them. Skinheads, occult groups, punk, alternative ways of life, and similar are nothing but the desperate effort to feel accepted. Same applies to drug and alcohol abuse because both are making things go away – they allow person certain short-term escape from reality.
This is the period of life when low self-esteem forms
Now, when we go back in a childhood full of rejections, punishments, and total absence of any kind of validation of the child’s expression, you may guess how that shit affects the child’s brain and central belief system. Child’s brain simply lacks benchmark that will allow firing optimal levels of serotonin – the confidence hormone (chemical/neurotransmitter).
As such, the child is growing up, thinking low about self (low self-esteem/self-respect) because no matter what he or she did in past, nothing managed to satisfy two key figures in child’s life – mother and father!
Yes, if you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you can thank your folks for that shit.
It’s their fault regardless of what you may think or what others are suggesting.
The most likely scenario is that your father killed every little atom of that famous childish enthusiasm in you by a stream of illogical punishments and shit like ‘You can’t do anything right’, or ‘You’re useless/worthless’, ‘I pity the day your mother brought you to this world’ and all sorts of similar crap.
Thus, the conclusion: the only way to overcome low self-esteem issue is to set up the benchmark for your brain, which will then enable the constant firing of life-important chemical SEROTONIN!
The logical question appears…
How the hell can you do that?
Overcoming low self-esteem
No, don’t pay a visit to your old man. Knocking his artificial teeth won’t solve much. There’s a much simpler way of overcoming low self-esteem.
First, start thinking — really focusing — about mechanisms that make possible for you to live and operate with efficiency. We are talking about the reward/defense system or the set of chemicals (neurotransmitters) used by your brain to make you go with ease.
There are 5 of them:
In the case of a low self-esteemer, serotonin shows the lowest level of activity. Subsequently — which is the main problem — all the others, except cortisol, are not firing in an optimal way.
For instance, the only way for the dopamine to fire without drug/substance abuse is to achieve something, no matter how insignificant it may seem. You cross one thing from your TO-DO list and you’ll feel it. You’ll feel its effect if you’re hungry and you’re approaching the food stand on the corner. With every step of the way, the dopamine effect will increase until you take that first bite of delicious hot-dog. That’s the moment when serotonin will start firing also. You will feel proud of yourself because you just solve one of the biggest problems known to your brain – food!
It’s that simple. It’s who we are. Only, our advanced thinking capabilities are distracting us from these everyday victories which, to make things even more ironical, matter the most!
Now you know why the bulk of solutions covering the low self-esteem problem focus on “little things.” There’s a biological logic behind that claim only most are not aware where that logic is. Fixed that shit, didn’t we?
But how about we try something more audacious?
After all, it’s hard to expect that low self-esteem problem can be solved with the simple, yet tasty cheeseburger, right? We are humans and as such, we are expecting more complicated solutions. Although, the fact remains that crossing things on your TO-DO lists or being able to cook the food for yourself is essentially quite enough to reset the system and restart the serotonin activation – whether you believe it or not. You just need to focus on the chemical effect of your actions, that’s all.
What’s the biggest concern of every person that suffers from low self-esteem?
Do they love me? Do they appreciate me? Do they think I’m handsome? Do they think I’m capable of solving that problem?
Do you see the fucked up pattern of thinking?
Not once “DO I”!!!
A low self-esteemer thinks so low about self that he doesn’t even consider the option of thinking about self in any significant (read: positive) way.
Here’s the deal, sport. Fuck the others! At least for a month. How about that?
It’s you who matters most now. Screw the mirror neurons. They are put in action only most recently. Before that specific evolutional “advantage” we were these hedonistic type of creatures who were thinking only about self-benefits. With the activation of mirror neurons, we started thinking and working for the benefits of the group because it allowed higher survival odds.
Now it’s time to block that social instinct and go back to origins where only you matter!
How do you do that?
By building something that can be put to use with your own hands!
It can be anything as long as you’re: A) using your hands, and B) natural materials. It can be a weapon, a shelter, some kind of appliance or anything else that will make you feel good about yourself once you finish it.
Arguably the best choice is the system used to tackle the low self-confidence issue and that’s building the highly efficient self-bow from wood! Do try to build and fire one. Preferably in the live target (animal) to re-activate those primitive, hunter’s instincts.
The purpose of this exercise is to re-activate serotonin firing by starting from the center of the problem and that would be you.
Yep, it’s you and your fucked up chemical balance that has to be fixed before anything else.
As you’re progressing with the making of, you’ll start feeling an increased dopamine effect. At the finish line, serotonin will kick in also. Just like with that hot-dog.
But here’s the catch: you have to SHARE your achievement with someone and that someone has to show his/her appreciation and admiring. In other words, that person has to feel the serotonin effect triggered by the action of the mirror neurons. Something similar that happens to normal parents when their child graduates. They share the feeling, making each other proud!
Choose whomever you want. If the thing you’ve built is truly efficient and usable, that person’s brain will activate serotonin firing, without any doubt. Because it’s who we are! Whether we’ll show it or not.
Observe the pupils and you’ll see quick widening!! That’s serotonin effect.
And here’s the interesting fact. Did you know that ‘envy’ is triggered by the same serotonin-share mechanism?
Person’s mirror neurons get activated and the brain starts firing serotonin when I show my new BMW X-6 to him. Only, his deviant, lazy mind automatically puts on a defense, releasing norepinephrine to guard his central belief system, which, I’m sorry to say, is totally screwed. And it’s screwed because the lazy ass will come up with all sorts of excuses and justifications just to prevent moving his butt into the action and step out from the illusion of the comfort zone. It’s easier for him to resent my success and assign it to pure luck or criminal activities. That way, he can go to sleep, assured that he’s doing everything he can to put the food on the table, only he’s not lucky enough.
But in that small fragment of time, when his brain picked up the signal from my cocky behavior and an obvious image of success, he, in fact, shared my proudness. It lasted for only a quantum of time, but it’s there nevertheless. If only he could block the resentment, he would drive the same vehicle – loan free!
Moving on to the final stages of the low self-esteem solution…
Once you start feeling the dopamine and serotonin effects, it’s time to fire the last missing neurotransmitter; the one that enables a close relationship with another person or the group for that matter.
By the way, you’ll also learn how to overcome low self-esteem in relationships now! How neat is that?
OK, now we have to figure out the way to fire the oxytocin or the trust chemical; something you and your mother got overwhelmed with the moment she gave birth to you and took you in her arms.
Now, a portion of the population (gender-irrelevant) have some kind of oxytocin resistance, which can explain why some mothers show no strong attachment to their kids. If your mother failed to develop that famous connection with you, that crippled you in a worse possible way – you became suspicious about other people’s true intentions since the one who was supposed to love you unconditionally, failed in doing so.
Oxytocin is, as we already said, the trust chemical.
It’s a special type of neurotransmitter that connects us with other people. A man and a woman form a specific type of connection (love) when critical levels of oxytocin are reached. A mother and a child form a lifetime connection because their bodies get overwhelmed with oxy the moment the child is born and mother picks the child in her arms for the first time (no other event causes the release and exchange of such high levels of oxytocin!)
That being said, it’s clear why you’re failing to establish a profound connection with your social circle – there’s no oxytocin exchange! You’re blocking it!
So we need to fix it! Once and for all!
How we’re gonna do that?
Well…there’s no easy way to say this so here it is: if you ever want to get out of the hell of low self-esteem, you have to mingle more without questioning other people’s affection for you!
In other words, you must allow yourself to feel the oxytocin effect. Let the people in, as they say.
Can you end up disappointed? Sure. Life is a rollercoaster of successes and disappointments. Nobody is immune to that natural life cycle. It’s just that people who are suffering from low self-esteem tend to experience every little disappointment as something devastating.
In other words – they are over exaggerating with every small thing, which causes them to fall even deeper in a state of depression and that shit creates a closed circle of inner hell.
Since it all starts with the feeling of low self-respect; that mental shadow is being transferred to your closest social environment.
People’s mirror neurons can “sense” that something is wrong with your perception of self-worth and you are being automatically “marked” as “misfit.” You just don’t blend into your environment as such since people are having a hard time believing in you. They can’t believe in you because you don’t believe in you. Getting the irony?
You see, we admire strong and confident people. Even though we may resent their cockiness, achievements, and success, we admire them nevertheless. Thus, we tend to connect/identify with them.
On the other side of that, we’ll never successfully connect with the people with low self-respect because they are of no value for the progress of the group/species. And that’s the key problem with low self-esteem.
It has to change immediately. You are a natural born killer and Mother Nature equipped you with some of the most efficient tools and weapons to make it through the life. You are just not using them, that’s all.
That’s about to change the moment you start feeling good about yourself. Ergo, start building things that will A) impress you, and B) impress your environment.
How do you know that they will be indeed impressed?
Remember the role of mirror neurons? What you feel, others are feeling also. Feel like shit, and others will experience you the same way. Feel like the champ, and you’ll rise in other people’s eyes.
So, start with dopamine.
In other words, think about something that thrills you. Something that triggers the PASSION that forces you to anticipate the moment you can start practicing your passion. It’s the thing that lifts you out of the bed in the early morning.
That will trigger an adequate amount of dopamine.
If it’s something complicated, even better. Create the sequence of micro-goals or TO-DO list and as you cross one thing from it or achieve one micro-goal, you’ll increase the dopamine levels.
As you’re closing the finish line, you’ll become overwhelmed with dopamine.
But be careful. Dopamine is a highly addictive substance and you need oxytocin as the counter-measure. Oxytocin inhibits the addictive effect of dopamine and creates the balanced body chemistry. That’s why socialization is so important!!
When you finally finish whatever that is that you’re pushing through, you’ll feel the immediate release of serotonin – the leadership chemical.
Focus on your emotions and body chemistry. That’s the most important part of the entire process.
And now comes the oxytocin.
Showcase your achievement and ABSORB the excitement of your social circle. Accept the handshake because through that simple physical contact we are, in fact, exchanging the oxytocin and establishing the trust in other people. That’s why we “shake on it” to seal the deal.
This is the critical part and something you’ve been failing in from your earliest age. No shrink will be able to help you until you open yourself to your closest social environment.
That’s how you overcome low self-esteem and depression.
You allow people in, no matter the consequences. It’s a risk but it’s the essential one without any doubt. Fail to take it, and you’ll put the bullet in your head sooner or later.
Now why would you allow something like that to happen when you can:
- Hell, you can even think!
Imagine all those poor people incapable of doing these basic operations. What do you think how they feel about your “psychological” problem? Shit, try to cry your ass off to someone in a wheelchair. See how he or she will respond to that. Then you’ll learn to appreciate the God-given gift of functioning as the normal and healthy human being.
It’s just the chemicals, that’s all. You, me, and everybody else are nothing more than a walking chemical compound with freakin’ mirror neurons. That’s all to it. So you can either enjoy the unlikely benefit of existence or continue crying in a dark corner of your room. It’s your choice.
Just imagine what are the odds that you’re now reading these words…all those galaxies…everything that could have happened in the past that would eliminate every possibility of your birth and subsequent existence and yet, against all odds, here you are, alive and perfectly capable of reading and thinking. How great is that?
Understand this: only one thing is absolute and that is death. Everything else is relative. So don’t beat yourself with irrelevant everyday predicaments. Breathe and enjoy life with your full lungs.
One more thing. Once, in the past, you were the fastest and most determined among more than 2 million contestants! If you could win then, against all odds, you can win in anything! If in doubt, read Elon Musk’s bio and see how someone completely crushed and devastated can rise to the throne of the World! Learn from his example if you don’t believe what you’ve just read.
Allow one more suggestion, please.
Since this is the really overwhelming amount of information to absorb, we advise that you bookmark this page. That way, you can go over the tutorial several times until your brain absorbs the most important fragments, assembling the new and useful memory blocks. In other words, your brain will start upgrading your fucked up matrix and revive you.