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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 May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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