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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, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2]Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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