Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to Liberate Yourself From Low Self-Esteem

by Nick Notas
Every man seeks the answer to the eternal question:
“How do I become confident?”
And for most, they’re asking the wrong question. They should be saying:
“How do I love myself more?”
Before you think I’m spouting some new age fluff, hear me out.
Confidence is not something you instantly acquire. It’s not a simple on and off switch or a few lines you can memorize. It’s not about getting laid, acting “alpha”, or anything external. It is an internal belief about yourself that must be cultivated over time. That begins with your self-esteem.
Wikipedia defines self-esteem as:
“A term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth.” (Source)
In other words, do you love who you are? Do you trust in yourself? Do you prioritize your needs? Do you invest in yourself regularly? Do you respect your opinions? Are you congruent with your values and principles?
When faced with various situations in life that challenge the above, there are two paths you can take. One leads you to a life of fulfillment, the other leads to endless suffering. 

Fear and avoidance: the path to misery

Men with low self-esteem often choose the wrong path. They don’t realize how much damage they’re doing by perpetuating a cycle of frustration and unhappiness.
  1. You choose not to love yourself. You subdue your needs, wants, and desires. You hide or lie about your opinions. You avoid pushing your comfort zone out of fear. You always act how you think other people will want rather than what you want.
  2. You receive internal destructive feedback. You feel like a failure for not trying and beat yourself up about it. You’re ashamed of yourself. You feel weak and powerless. You make excuses. You’re always left wondering what could have happened and over-analyzing.
  3. You subconsciously reinforce that you aren’t worthy and lower your self-esteem. You build beliefs that no one will like the real you. You think you are not worthy of being loved. You keep burying your core and lose the sense of who you are. You fail to trust in your abilities. You’re convinced that you will never get what you want. You re-affirm that you’re a failure who can never change.
The cycle keeps repeating and gaining power over you. You are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Vulnerability and action: the path to freedom

By taking the right path, you build self-esteem and liberate yourself.
  1. You choose to love yourself. You go after your needs, wants, and desires. You speak your mind freely. You challenge your comfort zone even though you’re terrified. You are considerate of others but act congruent to yourself and your wants. You present the real you at all times.
  2. You prevent internal destructive feedback. You prove to yourself you are stronger for trying regardless of the outcome. You’re proud of being honest with yourself. You feel empowered. You can accept the reality of what happened (good or bad) and grow from it.
  3. You subconsciously reinforce that you are worthy and raise your self-esteem. You attribute the connections you make with people to the real you. You know that you are worthy of being loved. You find a sense of identity. You establish trust with who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re capable of.

Recognizing poor choices and getting on the right path 

To break the negative cycle you need to be aware of which path you’re taking every day. I’ve found that keeping a log is the best way to hold yourself accountable and start changing your habits.
Note every time you are being fake and self-sabotaging. Write down how you could have been true and self-loving instead. Use some of the common situations below as examples to apply in your life.
You see a girl you want to approach.
Wrong path: You don’t approach because you’re too afraid of getting rejected, sounding stupid, or bothering her. You get down on yourself because you never talk to women. You start thinking about how you’ll always be alone. You go home depressed and apathetic to trying again.
Right path: You start moving your legs before your brain has a chance to talk you out of it. You introduce yourself to her with your stomach in knots. Regardless of how it went, you feel amazing afterwards that you finally did it. You proved that you are resilient enough and it didn’t destroy you. You gain more motivation and confidence to do it again.
You are interested in this girl you know.
Wrong path: You want more than friendship but don’t flirt or initiate physical contact. You’re worried that she’ll think you’re a creep and tell you off. You make excuses that it’s not the right time or place. The longer you wait around, the more frustrated and resentful you become about the whole thing. You believe that she is everything and you are nothing.
Right path: You show your intentions to her because that’s how you truly feel. You feel courageous for putting everything out in the open. If she doesn’t return interest, you can be relieved to know she isn’t compatible with you. You can then move on to find someone who is. This reinforces that you value yourself and your time.
You want to build an interesting lifestyle and make friends.
Wrong path: You don’t go to local events or meet-ups because you might not “fit in”. You’re worried about being judged. You get lonely and think about how you don’t have many friends. You convince yourself that there must be something wrong with you. You continue the cycle of staying in because no one will want you around.
Right path: You go out because you want to try something fun and challenging. You remind yourself to relax and that you don’t have anything to prove. Instead, you focus on getting to know people that interest you. This puts you in a mindset of choice and abundance. You now look forward to going out because you can be yourself around people that actually matter.
For more ways to practice heading down the right path, see my post on being more assertive and getting what you want.
Recognize your natural inclination to take the path of misery. Remind yourself how going down this route is doing more harm than good. It may feel like the easy way out, but it’s destroying your self-esteem in the long run.
Every subsequent time you choose the path of self-love, you will build trust in yourself. By repeatedly making choices that are in tune with your core, you create a habit of prioritizing your happiness. Your success is then based on whether you were genuine rather than external results. This is how you achieve outcome independence and high self-esteem.
Only when you love, respect, and approve of yourself unconditionally can you become a confident man.

Check out more awesome articles by Nick at The Dating Specialist 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

3 Steps to Overcome the Past That’s Holding You Back

Article by Nick Notas
Your past does not have to dictate your future.
If it did I’d still be an overweight, insecure, needy guy who couldn’t maintain a healthy relationship. But instead I celebrated my 3-year anniversary yesterday with an amazing woman, in the greatest shape of my life, and happier than I’ve ever been.
However, it deeply saddens me to encounter so many people who can’t break free of the chains of yesterday. Their actions, choices, and beliefs about themselves are governed by experiences that occurred 5, 10, or even 20 years ago. And it prevents them from growing into the best version of themselves.
These negative experiences have poisoned their core. Many guys have shared with me their stories and the resulting limiting beliefs:
“I’ve been friend zoned or rejected by every girl I’ve ever liked. I’m an unattractive, inexperienced loser that no one will ever want.”
“My dad was a womanizer who constantly cheated on my mom. I’m afraid that I’ll become the same kind of guy and hurt the women I care about.”
“The only girl I loved left me for who I thought was my best friend. I can’t trust any women anymore, they’re all selfish sluts.”
“I was the fat kid (weird kid, skinny kid, etc) everyone made fun of growing up. Deep down I can never change that.”
I know you’ve had a difficult past. You’ve had some negative experiences that impacted your life greatly. You’re scarred from people who mistreated you or broke your trust. Your previous failures have made you afraid to try again. But holding onto your demons forever is not a solution. Instead:

Analyze and challenge your limiting beliefs

I want you think about a negative belief you have about yourself. Let’s use the “I’m unattractive and no one will ever want me” example.
Drop your ego and honestly confront yourself with the following questions:
  • Why do I believe this to be true? Have I looked at it from an outside perspective? Could I be overlooking other factors?
  • Why am I still holding onto it?
  • Is it hurting or hindering my life?
Many guys would say “Yes, it’s true Nick. I’ve never been with or had a girl sexually attracted to me. How can you see it any other way?”
So then you start to break it down…
“Well, I never actually showed my intentions with those girls. I was too afraid. I never flirted or touched them. I hung around pretending to be a friend rather than being forward or meeting other girls. I didn’t dress well or look my best. I also don’t approach girls regularly so my sample size is tiny.”
Why you’re holding onto it…
“I can’t let go because it’s embarrassing to admit I blew my chances. It hurts my pride to acknowledge that they just might not have been into me. I’m afraid of moving on because that would force me to invest more in myself and be vulnerable with someone new again.”
And how it’s hindering your life…
“I’m not romantically connecting with great women which leaves me frustrated and resentful. Because of that, I’m unmotivated, apathetic, and unhappy.”
Once you start deconstructing your limiting beliefs you’ll see how useless and destructive they are. Only then will you be ready to accept why it’s so important to overcome them.

Make peace with your past

What happened was terrible and I’m sorry you had to go through that. But there comes a point when you have to say “It happened and at the time it made me feel X, Y, and Z. I don’t have the power to change the past but I will learn from it and change my future.”
If a lack of closure is preventing you from making peace: go get your closure. This may mean facing someone or something in uncomfortable situations.
Unfortunately, you may not get that closure or it may not even be possible. Accept the reality that there won’t be a neat little box and it’s your job to resolve your own feelings. It takes immense courage but you’ll be a stronger person for it.

Disprove and replace with fresh, healthy beliefs

No one else, including me, can ever convince you that your limiting beliefs are temporary. You have to do it yourself. That’ll only happen when you see those beliefs shattered through real-world experiences that, in turn, create new, positive beliefs.
Start with the one belief you analyzed. Write down a list of ways you are going to constructively challenge it in practice:
  • I’m going to introduce myself to a new woman every week.
  • I will read up on fashion, start dressing well, and look my best for social situations.
  • I’m going to start showing my interest to girls I want to be with.
  • I will not wait around for someone who is not returning interest in me.
If you want this to succeed, you need to put in the time and effort to apply these consistently. But be patient with your progress — you’re trying to break beliefs that you’ve internalized for a long time.
Soon enough, the cracks in that belief will be revealed. You’ll meet a new girl and get her number. You’ll have your first kiss. You’ll start noticing girls flirt with you. With each new piece of evidence you will further destroy the validity of that belief.
Finally, you’ll realize that it was all in your mind the whole time. It was your acceptance of those beliefs that made them true.
Let go of who you were or who you think you are and embrace who you’re supposed to become.

Check out more awesome articles by Nick at The Dating Specialist >>

Monday, 28 January 2013

A little bit of motivation to get you by

Friday, 25 January 2013

How to completely get over someone

Assuming you were in a fairly fulfilling relationship that lasted more than just a few months (otherwise you wouldn’t care about getting over them), you need to lose the assumption that you will be able to completely get over them. You never will. The time that you spent with them contributed to who you are today and you should never be ashamed of that.
What you will do is learn to live with the idea that what you had was great while it lasted but now it is time to move on. Like a day at Disneyland, it was fun and you wish you didn’t have to leave but the reality is, you were not able to stay. So you walk out those gates with a smile on your face and the knowledge that one day, you’ll return again. It may not be the same place, but you know what you are looking for and you won’t settle for anything less.
Yes it will hurt and you will want that to end. It will. But, as cheesy as it sounds, the pain is the proof that what you had was worth it. If it didn’t hurt, the relationship would not have been good enough. It’s the price we pay.
So, remember the good times and smile. Reflect on the bad and think of what you’ll do different next time. Then take a walk and get some sun. Read some poetry or write some of your own (even if it’s shitty, who cares?! It’s just for you). When the thoughts come back embrace them, cry and start the process over. Every time you do this the pain will lessen until you realise that, while you will not get over them, you will be ok. You’ll realise that you are strong, important and worth it.