María Jesús Álava Reyes has just published “Lo mejor de tu vida eres tú” (Ed. La esfera de los libros), a book in which she guides the reader, through real situations and concrete guidelines, to strengthen confidence in their emotions and face the lack of self-esteem.
The education of children, adolescence, lack of self-esteem in love, in social relationships, at work … Life situations that accompany us and for which we offer a list of errors to avoid.
“Either we trust ourselves or suffering will be our company”, underlines the director of the Álava Reyes Psychology Centre and expert in business, clinical and educational psychology.
Self-confidence and self-esteem are the two keys to her book
There are people who may have a relative confidence in themselves or an overconfidence in others and that makes them dependent, but despite relying on values or qualities their self-esteem can be low. It is the person who does not value himself, who does not know how to love himself and who can be a doll in the hands of others. The person with a lack of self-esteem has not managed to get his thoughts belong to him and that, nowadays, is an essential requirement if we want to have a healthy life on an emotional level.
You affirm that our mind is our worst enemy
Yeah, because we’ve never been taught how it works and how we can handle it. Those thoughts that we have, and that sometimes we are not even aware of, reflect how we interpret life and are orders that we give to our brain and that go totally against us. Instead of giving us strength and security, it is just the opposite.
External elements also condition our self-esteem.
Especially when we are children because we are vulnerable and depend on the valuation of others. The baby is not born wise but is born with a lot of willpower. We basically learn from our environment and we see how it values us, how it loves us, how it trusts us… And it is normal that at that moment in life we depend so much, because we don’t have a good emotional balance, the problem is that there are many adults who are still emotionally vulnerable as if they were children and depend on the valuation that surrounds them and that makes them slaves.
But we all, at some point, doubt ourselves, don’t we?
Of course! It’s very normal and logical and at any time in our life. But the important thing is that when we are lazy for any reason, for example a health problem or tiredness that makes us vulnerable, remember that it is at those times when we most need to get the best we have inside, to overcome it and prevent our emotions from escaping. Because when we are lazy we are manipulable. Psychologists see daily how easy it is to manipulate children, adolescents and adults by people or circumstances of their environment.
Ensures that we are always in time to improve our self-esteem
The level of self-demand as we age increases. And we can be our worst judges. And people become an archetype and believe that they should already have security, emotional balance, know how to succeed… but this is not something that comes to us suddenly but we have to work. Many times we have to relearn. If we want to improve in adulthood, to improve our lack of self-esteem and confidence, we have to know ourselves in depth through reflection and not through what others think. And once you know yourself, you must self-develop and relearn the crucial foundations of our happiness. And for that you have to be self-motivated every day, being a person who depends on external motivation is not free and has a point of weakness. You have to be self-motivated in order to re-delude yourself.
He points out in his book that it is key for the child that his environment creates in him.
The baby is born believing in itself. In those early years we are very emotionally dependent and are the basis of a future safe or unsafe person. We must promote safety in early childhood, but sometimes we are so irresponsible that we do not realize the influence so harmful or so positive that we can exert. When adolescence arrives, we enter into confrontation with our children instead of realizing that we are at the most fruitful stage that human beings can have and that it is good to lay the foundations for being a free person. Teenagers put us to the test every day, but parents can’t think that they can’t do anything and that it gets out of hand.
He says, “To be happy in love we have to believe in ourselves in love.”
Within us we have love and lack of love, but if you do not believe in yourself in love is going to be the most enslaved in your life. There are people who spend their lives begging for love because they have not lived the love within themselves. To love you have to know how to love and know what you have to ask and the limits you have to endure. There are those who renounce love but for fear, for a bad experience … may also be the most wonderful experience in the world but you must know very well how to face it and believe in you in love, if it will not become your main suffering.
Is male violence a reflection of an extreme lack of self-esteem?
A violent, aggressive person…is deeply insecure. The intransigence and inflexibility that reaches these extremes of violence reflects an insecure person, always immature and with enormous emotional instability. And it is the fruit of that deficient education that we have had and that we have not laid the foundations of a mature adult with good social relations, of coexistence… The macho violence is the failure of education and it is unfortunately in crescendo and that which is supposed that we have prepared more to the new generations so that they defend their rights and have a minimum level of exigency, so that they do not admit vexatious attitudes. One of the greatest forms of violence begins precisely through social networks.
Is there a greater lack of self-esteem in women or men?
There are studies that show that women today, in general, are more unhappy than men and that it is more difficult for us to forgive ourselves. The level of self-demand in women is infinite in all areas of their lives, it is a deformation that influences us at the level of self-esteem, in low self-esteem. For women the vital area is the affectivity with your partner, with your children, with your friends… They are so important areas that any difficulty makes us dent.
Men, in general, tend to have the highest self-esteem because they demand less and forgive each other more. It is true that they are more vulnerable and much of their self-esteem depends on professional success. To feel good, the man needs to be successful in the workplace, if not automatically feel weak. It is also true that the man is quite emotionally dependent in the sense that he needs to feel loved and valued and this makes him very susceptible to manipulation. In adolescence there is not so much difference, both girls and boys are vulnerable, and but adult men have it easier to have high self-esteem, because if you demand ten things instead of a hundred it is easier, while the self-demand of women makes us drag a dissatisfaction that is almost permanent.
What are we doing wrong in this society with respect to models with a lack of self-esteem?
A child looks with eyes of admiration at his grandfather because he knows that he is the one who has more knowledge and it is true, it is the one who has more experience. At work, for example, we have killed the experienced, the older ones. Eternal youth is something else we are doing wrong, aesthetic retouching in young people. And also aggressiveness, something that is now considered a value. Healthy ambition is confused with aggressiveness, with imposing oneself on others. We are leaving the essential and this makes us less and less wise and more vulnerable, more manipulable and unhappy.