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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.

More by this author

Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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