• Shelly

3 ways to Increase Self-Esteem


Have you ever watched a movie that spoke volumes to you? Me too! I recently watched a movie called Alpha, and saw lots of great messages, but I want to specifically discuss 3 ways to help you increase self-esteem. You can find more info about the movie here.


The Backdrop

Here's the back story: There's a tribe of hunters, and each season they prepare to go out to hunt a heard of Bison they called "great beasts." It's what sustains them - food, clothing, shelter, etc. Prior to "the hunt," there's the preparation. Keda, the son of the tribal leader, is dealing with some major #insecurities. He's not sure he is good enough to take over. You see, when they go out for the hunt, it's dangerous. One hunt, one wrong move, can make the difference between life and death. That's a lot of #pressure - #internal and #external.


High Expectations

Keda has to manage his Father and the tribe's high expectations. After all, he's next in line to lead the pack. He needs to be perfect, have keen eyesight and strategies. He needs to show no fear - only strength. He needs to be skilled, no flaws, no mistakes - the expert hunter and leader. The tribe members questioned whether Keda had it in him to be a #leader - not by words, but by their looks and body language. He could feel their questioning eyes burning through his heart. He didn't feel strong, yet his father constantly reminded him, "Life is for the strong, it is earned not given."


Sometimes body language speaks louder than words, ya know what I mean?


Identity Crisis

Keda had two problems: First, he had a tender heart. He was loving, kind, and thoughtful. The thought of taking an animal's life terrified him. This was a major #conflict. How would the tribe eat? How would they build their homes and make clothes without performing this act? It was part of the culture, but he was different. He felt pressured. Second, he really didn't believe he could do it. I imagine he had some pretty sour conversations about his ability, or inability. You ever been there? He couldn't see beyond the #fear.


Low Self Esteem and Fear - the Power Combo

Low self esteem and fear. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. They feed off each other like the scum at the bottom of the ocean. Yea, they are like bottom feeders. They gobble up everything - the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the movie, at the very moment when it mattered, when the opportunity presented itself for Keda to break out and show the tribe what he was made of - he froze. He shut down, consumed by fear and terror.


To his demise, Keda was scooped up by the bison, thrown over the cliff, and left for dead...a real cliff hanger!


"Sometimes you have to find your self when you are by yourself" - Shelly Bates


This is the ah ha moment. There were several things Keda did that helped to change his #perspective and present identity of not being good enough, and having low #confidence, but I'm going to give you top 3 tips.


Tip #1: Increase self confidence by doing something or helping someone else


Keda was alone. When a pack of wolves attacked him, he was forced to make a #choice - to live, or to die. He chose to live, and in doing so he injured one of the wolves. Because of who he was, it pained him to see the injured wolf, and he began to care for it. He nursed the wound, hunted for food, and fed the wolf until he gained his strength back. During this time his focus was not on his insecurities and what he couldn't do. Instead, he helped someone, in this case, the wolf, who was in worse condition. Helping someone else can be a healthy way for you to see your inner strengths. Maybe you realize it's not that bad; or, maybe you realize it is bad, but you've made it this far, you can keep going. Perhaps you realize you are stronger than you are!


Tip #2: Pay attention to those pesky thoughts that want to keep you in that #negative rut


Cogito, ergo sum (René Descartes). What the heck does this mean? "I think therfore I am." Remember when I said body language speaks louder than words? Well, Keda never really said "I can't do it," "I'm not a leader," "I'm not good enough," "I am weak," "I am afraid, no, terrified," but his body language and actions did. You see, your thoughts are powerful. So strong, that what you think in your head and tell yourself in that gray matter, you may eventually begin to act out because you believe it to be true.


Tip #3: Challenge those pesky thoughts by rehearsing #positive thoughts, memories, or words of #affirmation that can increase #self #esteem.


Keda needed to get back home. Not only did he have to find his way by himself (of course his trusty side-kick, the wolf, whom he named "Alpha" was with him), but he also had to make it home before the harsh winter. As Keda braved the elements, there were times when he was weak #emotionally, #physically, and #mentally, but he managed to remember the things his father told him, like "prove you can lead, find your strength," Alpha’, the leader of the wolf-pack, must take care of his pack above all else," and one of my favorites, "...he is stronger than he knows he is."


When you rehearse positive thoughts and affirmations, it can change a lot of things.


Spoiler alert...spoiler alert...spoiler alert.


Just kidding. I don't want to give it away for you. I learned a lot watching this movie. There are lots of things that we can do to increase confidence and self esteem. Like Keda, it takes work, persistence, and help, but it can be done.


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If you are struggling with low self esteem and would like help contact me at:  469-409-1212 or email at shelly@butterflyeffectccc.com

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    Butterfly Effect Counseling & Consultation Center

    Shelly Bates, M.A., LPC

    EMDR Trained

    Brainspotting (BSP) Practitioner

    Mindfulness Coach

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    Suite 206-C

    Richardson, Texas 75080

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