Posted by News Express | 14 November 2020 | 582 times
All of us are familiar with the children’s fairy tale, “mirror, mirror on the wall….”
If you look hard at yourself on the mirror, what do you see of yourself? I don’t mean your physical appearance, that is whether you are beautiful, handsome or ugly. What I mean is, what does the mirror on your wall reflect back to you of your person, that is who you are? What does the soul of the person that you see looking back at you tells you? In the end, how do you feel? Proud and satisfied, or ashamed and panicky?
I want this to be the premise of our discussion today, because everything in the world is about you and me. It is about us. It is what we make our world that it would be. It is what we put into our world that we would take out. We all are like farmers here on earth; therefore, it is what we sow that we would reap.
The reason why I decided to unearth the mirror on the wall fairytale is because I can say without any fear of contradiction that in this world, only two things are certain and they are death and the mirror. People do crime, escape the lie detector and get away with their crime. But they cannot escape the reflection on a mirror. I have seen somebody who was discharged and acquitted in the law court for a heinous crime but as he went to the convenience, he saw his face on a wall mirror, broke down and began to cry. He knew that the face he saw on the mirror was that of a culprit, a man that was guilty of the crime he was arrested and charged. However, he had succeeded in deceiving both the prosecutors and the judge but he could not deceive the mirror on the wall.
There are a lot of ladies who go the extra mile to look good. They frequent the beauty shops, observe healthy lifestyles, visit the gyms and diet. To onlookers, they look adorable but in their moments of quietness, they are afraid of looking at the mirror because the reality is that it is not how you look on the outside that matters but how you feel in the inside. There is a very big difference between looking great and feeling great. If these ladies look at the mirror, their hearts would sink because all their dirty acts would come to the fore. They would not see their beautiful faces. Rather, what they would see are dirty, unclean and scruffy-looking, miserable souls staring back at them. When they look in the mirror, it would occur to them that beauty is not only how attractive one’s face is but the sum total of who you are. Your character, conduct, carriage, how you talk, how you smile, how you relate to others, and so on. And in all this they would discover that they are lacking.
But as Andre Gide said, “it is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” A lot of people know this truth, and that is why they panic any time they look at the mirror. So, my mission in this discourse is to try to help you to get approval from that mirror on your wall.
It is a fact that a lot of people in the society – the rich, the successful, powerful politicians, top government officials, celebrities – don’t have the approval of the mirrors on their walls.
Upon all the efforts by praise singers and hangers-on to make them believe that they are blessings to humanity, they still cringe and panic whenever they come face to face with the mirrors on their walls, because they tell them who they really are without mincing words. The worst of it is, with all their powers, fame and money, they cannot confront the mirrors neither can they intimidate it.
The reality is that four out of every five people in the world, the mirrors on their walls don’t reflect confidence. Their mirrors don’t reflect positivity. The mirrors on their walls don’t reflect freedom. Rather, their mirrors reflect people who are in chain or trapped by the never-let-go obstacles in their past.
The reason why the feeling lingers is because study has shown that sadness or unpleasant feeling lasts 240 times longer than the other emotions. That is why we remember the bad that people did to us more than the good. The reason, sometimes if you see somebody that you have not seen for a long while, rather than running into his or her arms, you would become hesitant, because something in you would tell you not to be too fast. What is holding you back is the unpleasant emotion that has set off an alarm in your brain and warning you to be careful of the man or woman.
Going by the composition of the muscles in our body, it is obvious that God created human beings to be much happier than sad. In arithmetic form, the ratio of happiness to sadness is three to one; and this is why it takes 43 muscles to frown or get angry but only 17 muscles to smile. But a negative emotion is so strong that most of the time, it compels man to instead of using only 17 muscles to smile, he would stir up as many as 43 muscles just to frown or get angry.
This is no doubt the reason why unhappy people usually look far older than their real ages.The reason is because stirring up 43 face muscles every now and then would naturally be having lots of strain on the face, thereby giving them contorted faces and early wrinkles.
The Revenge Body star, Khloe Kardashian, captured it succinctly when she declared thus: “My life won’t be consumed with hate. I have chosen to occupy my life with positivity. Everyday, I choose to find the good in my day. To choose this daily doesn’t mean I don`t have bad days, but my good days are so much better than my bad ones. We all are human and make mistakes, myself included. Hate is heavy, and I am tired of carrying all that weight around.”
American Rap artiste Kanye West also alluded to that when he said: “Memories are like movies in our minds and I like watching the happy ones.”
Feeling low about oneself is one of the characteristics of people that dwell in their past. They are always very critical of themselves. There is always this feeling of “why me?”
To be honest, this feeling of self defeatism is natural. Whoever tells you that it is not is a liar.
The steps towards getting yourself out of this state of mental backwardness, or thinking negative of yourself is to work on your self-esteem. It is the impression that you have of yourself that would determine how you relate to others. The Scriptures say ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself. The love must begin from you. You must love yourself first before you can love your neighbour. If you don’t know how to love yourself, there is no way you would know how to love your neighbour because you cannot give what you don’t have.
At times, some people feel that nobody likes them. They see everybody as their enemy. They always have the feeling that the whole world is against them. But the reality is that most of the time, this feeling comes from the inside of them. They have poor estimation of themselves, and as such feel that every other person out there would be thinking the same way about them. And for that reason, it should be them against the world.
It is this feeling that at times leads to extremism, radicalism and terrorism. The feeling of un-wantedness -They hate our race. They hate our religion. They hate who we are. They hate what we represent. They hate me, therefore, I would hate and also hurt them.” This is the thinking of people with low self-esteem syndrome.
But people with confidence neither hate nor hurt. They have the power of argument. They take their grievances to the roundtable. Hating and hurting are never act of bravery; rather they are the by-product of insecurity, that is people suffering from low self-esteem or inferiority complex. They don’t have argument. They lack logic and clear thought. They even hate roundtables, because they know they would be lost there. So, they see hurt rather than logic as their only way of expression.
But what they don’t know is that everybody is busy minding his or her business, fully occupied with his or her own problem to the extent that he or she has no time to look at what the next person is doing or thinking.
Another very unfortunate thing is that low self-esteem makes the victims instead of going for the best, they would settle for the average, or even the least because their minds usually tell them that they are not good enough for the best.
Let me illustrate what I mean for the sake of clarity. The Sun newspaper used to publish in its Saturday edition, a column on relationship with the caption, “Men looking for women and women looking for men.” If you go through the section on women looking for men, you would see the kind of men that women who had gone through failed relationships, broken marriages and divorce want. They always ask for divorcees and widowers. After going through the publications for some time and seeing the same request, I had wondered aloud, “Is something wrong with these women? You are a half woman and you are looking for a half man, what do you want to achieve?” A lot of people don’t know that relationship is not like arithmetic where half plus half is equal to one.
In relationships, half plus half does not equal one; rather it remains half because two broken hearts can never equal one whole heart. A broken-hearted woman looking for a broken-hearted man for comfort or to make her whole can never be whole because no man can give what he does not have. To be whole, she has to first of all get rid of the guilt or shame of the failed relationship and then would have the courage and confidence to look for a whole man that would help to make her whole. However, that is what low self-esteem does to its victims. Rather than send their victims to the best, it sends them to the worst so, that they would be writhing in their past guilt and shame and would never come out of it because none can help the other.
•Culled from one of my books, entitled: Look Forward and Lean Less on Your Past
Next week we will continue with the steps to boost your self esteem.
ABOUT THE COLUMNIST
Peter Anosike is a well-known journalist and development economist.
His book, Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money (Lessons on How to Make Money from One of the World’s Richest Men), was rated as one of the best development books in the world by Wall Street Journal and FORBES. The book has been adopted as a workbook for grooming entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Anosike’s other of his books include, How To Be The Best You Can Be and Look Forward and Lean Less On Your Past – all trending in Smashwords along with Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money and How To Be The Best You Can Be. You can follow him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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