How to Build Self-Esteem

Written by
Michael Wells

How to Build Self-Esteem

When You're an Introvert

Written by
Michael Wells

How to Build Self-Esteem

When You're an Introvert

Written by
Michael Wells
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QUESTION
"What is the best advice to give to an extreme introvert that has a low self esteem?"

The best and simplest advice I have is...

“Impress yourself.”

People with low self-esteem often develop that perspective because they believe their worth is measured by other people. If other people like them, they have value, and if other people don’t, then they are worthless.

This is an unwinnable mindset.

It’s impossible to control what other people think, and whether they “like” you. Worse, if that’s your goal, you’ll be deathly afraid of rejection, and unable to even approach the possibility of building relationships.

This mindset will lead you down a path of social anxiety, introversion, and isolation.

In Japan, the term hikikomori popularly describes people who lack friends, isolate themselves, and avoid socializing.

Why Impressing Yourself Changes Everything

Instead of trying to impress others and win their approval, the change here is to try to impress yourself, and win your own approval.

Sounds kind of weird, eh?

However this makes more sense when you consider the idea that you as a person have more than one "mind" in your head, and they watch each other.

Without this, the concept of self-esteem cannot exist.

Here’s an example…

  • You’ve been working out hard, and want abs. You’re so close.
  • Another part of your mind, completely separate, decides it craves pizza.
  • It’s late night, your willpower is weak, you break down and binge-eat $50 of Domino’s pizza.
  • The next morning, how do you feel about yourself?

What you’re seeing here is different parts of your mind in action, competing with each other. They’re even forming opinions and generating emotions like disgust, or pride. These “voices” together form your identity.

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, three distinct parts are observed. The "id" represents your basic, undirected desires, which I identify with the reptile brain. The "super-ego" plays a critical and moralizing role. It is the primary source of your sense of identity, and directed future goals. It represents your rational mind, also known as your executive function. The "ego" mediates between the two. I identify the ego with the mammalian brain.

How to Impress Yourself

The underlying mechanic is simple.

When you pursue things that are valued by you ( rather than others ), there is an inner sense of self-respect, and self-esteem that develops - eventually becoming self-love.

This progression happens in exactly the same way as if you were watching someone else develop their identity, and become someone who you admire and respect.

You ware always watching yourself.

Ultimately your brain will decide that it doesn’t matter what other people think, because you have your own self-esteem and self-approval.

And this is a big part of self-confidence as well.

At this point, things like the fear of rejection just fade away.

As a bonus… other people will like you much more when you too, when you like yourself. Good self-esteem, self-confidence, having “a life,” those are winning qualities in your social world too.

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First published on 
June 19, 2021
. Last updated on 
June 20, 2021

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    Addendum

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