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We Are Living in a Generation Where People Confuse Fame With Self-Esteem

We Are Living in a Generation Where People Confuse Fame With Self-Esteem

Self-renowned fame is becoming more and more common in today’s culture due to the influx of social media, and the “fame” that it inspires. Many employers require that you have a certain level of “following” in order to qualify for various positions, because of the traffic that you will bring to the company. It pays to be admired; but seeking this level of prestige can be detrimental to your self-esteem.

How, do you ask? How could you possibly have low self-esteem if you are adored by your peers? Well the fact of the matter is that there are two types of self-esteem. The genuine, empowering self-love that is inspired from within yourself; and the superficial self-esteem that is generated by external sources such as fame, riches and popularity. We calculate our self-worth by the level of prestige that we are able to achieve.

There are a few distinct characteristics that determine true self-esteem, versus fake self-esteem.

How we portray ourselves in public.

True self-esteem: People who are true to themselves don’t feel the need to show off or show face. They’re not afraid to admit their faults and if nothing else, they know how to embrace them. They understand that they are perfectly imperfect, and that’s okay. Others can feel free to judge through their own imperfect eyes.

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Fake self-esteem: Imperfection is a sign of weakness, and is completely unacceptable. They will go to great lengths to portray the image of flawlessness, and will often flaunt their fame and wealth. They will put others down for not having what they have, and will make sure that others recognize that they possess the best of the best.

Making time for the things that matter.

True self-esteem: Regardless of how busy you are, you will always find the time for the people and things that matter to you most. My father used to always say to me, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” And it’s true. The busiest people will always manage to schedule time for the important things.

Fake self-esteem: They can’t be bothered. They are too busy “chasing paper” and hanging with the elite. They will disregard the people who were always there for them, because they no longer fit into their prestigious lifestyle. Their old friends and family are expected to understand that they are simply too busy for them because they have more important matters to attend to.

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Understanding others.

True self-esteem: They take the time to understand others; their motives, intentions, and underlying aspects that inspire their actions. They don’t assume to know anyone’s situation, and are always sure to ask before making a judgment.

Fake self-esteem: They assume that they know anyone’s situation without actually taking the time to ask or understand them. Anyone who is less fortunate than them just hasn’t tried hard enough, and deserve whatever difficulties have come their way.

How we handle issues.

True self-esteem: When faced with problems, they challenge them head-on, admitting fault when need be in order to find a solution.

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Fake self-esteem: They will avoid and downplay problems, employing coping mechanisms such as denial to brush aside issues and never really deal with them. Out of sight, out of mind. Who said that? I can’t hear you.

Staying true to ourselves.

True self-esteem: They have come to terms with and have accepted themselves, imperfections and all. They don’t allow adversity to alter their sense of self, and stick to their guns when put to the test. They have a strong belief system that they always adhere to, cause at the end of the day they know they have to face themselves.

Fake self-esteem: These people will very easily abandon their morals, because their moral compass is extremely fragile to begin with. They will sacrifice their values in order to achieve the fame or riches that they desire.

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Today’s vision of success has become morbidly skewed.

So who set the standard for what it means to be successful? In our society, success is not tangible unless we have something to show for it. A nice car, big house, or designer apparel or accessories. And now there is a new factor thrown into the mix. A following. If you don’t have a large following, then you must not be successful, because no one is paying attention to what you are doing.

It is sadly common for people to degrade themselves in order to achieve the fame and success that they so desire. Women are posting incredibly risqué photos on the internet just to attract attention and rack up their likes and following count. While I’m not hating. If you got it, and you’re comfortable flaunting it, do your thing. But some people are pushing themselves way outside of their comfort zone and abandoning their morals to achieve these stats; losing themselves in the process.

It’s time to start being real.

In order to get back in touch with our true selves and shake this “fake self-esteem”, we need to distance ourselves for this need for social media fame.

  • When we stop putting ourselves out there for recognition, the need for feedback depletes itself.
  • Learn to live in the moment. Don’t calculate your day around your social media posts, basing your actions on what kind of reaction you think that you are going to get from your followers.
  • Stop living through a screen. Take a look at the world around you. Speak to the people around you. Have a real, genuine conversation that will lead to a real, genuine experience.

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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