Being the best has become, in this society we live in, one of almost everyone’s most important goals. From a young age, or assess our commitment in various areas by giving us grades, without even taking into account the pleasure that we may possibly feel while performing such or such a task.
It is quite normal that this approval of others leads him / her to feel in harmony with him / herself; Who does not like that one recognizes his merits, or that one values him / her for his successes?
On the contrary, the one who does not work and does not make any effort where everyone should be good or very good ends up attracting the contempt of his colleagues, his teachers and even his parents; those parents who reprimand or impose punishments on their child: “if you are not the best, you can never become a worthy person”.
When we manage to be the best, normally, we are overcome by a feeling of fullness. Being number one makes us gain self-esteem, because as we said earlier, being at the highest generates admiration from others, as well as other positive external consequences that we highly value. Too much, even, very often.
These positive external consequences are fame, success, money… Just as many things to which our society places an inordinate value, and for which we tend to fight tooth and nail and whatever the cost.
In this sense arises the trap of self-esteem. When we talk about self-esteem, we are referring to self-esteem, in other words, to the love that we have for ourselves, for our being. Often, we associate this love for ourselves with certain outward characteristics, and that is why we create a dependent self-esteem.
We love and admire each other if we are beautiful, tall, thin, cultivated, that we have a job, that we are in a relationship … in short, if we are the best in everything we do. Otherwise, we hate each other, we censor ourselves, and we walk away if we don’t have it all.
Being the best, the hardest working, the most beautiful, the nicest, the first in the class, etc. It has no value in itself and is much less useful than one might think; indeed, many people mistakenly think that being the best is the most important and precious thing in the world.
You don’t gain self-esteem by being better than another person, or by being happy about it. If this were the case, we would not know so many cases of people who are successful, who are famous, who have money, who are attractive … and who have confided to be very unhappy and whose lives ended too soon and tragically.
How many famous sportsmen have ended up in the drug world because they could no longer bear the demands – whether they be those imposed on themselves or those imposed by their coaches – to which they saw themselves subjected? How many actors, singers or artists have died too soon, victims of their own abuse?
Wanting to be the best, as we have seen, is no good other than administering good doses of anxiety to yourself. The cultivation of effort, of being “a worthy woman / man” or of making a living in sweat and tears will only succeed in creating a multitude of unhappy people. Spirits who want to reach this supposed self-imposed goal which they should not necessarily reach since they are not obliged to, and that will not make them in any way happier.
Ultimately, our happiness and self-esteem depend on external conditions and do not become cemented within us. Therefore, if one wants to successfully break away from this irrational idea, one can start practicing unconditional acceptance. Acceptance and self-esteem are similar, but they are indeed two different concepts.
Healthy acceptance does not depend on whether you are better or worse, the prettiest or the ugliest, the smarter or the dumber. Acceptance is about appreciating yourself, loving yourself, taking care of yourself and no matter who you are, how you are or what you have achieved. Let us simply love each other because we are precious people, and have been since we were born.
Nothing external can bring more or less value to a human being, because people do not measure themselves quantitatively. There is no one rule that could measure anyone’s worth, because all the valuations we do, whether they are about ourselves or about others, are the product of culture: something social, but not real.
We invite you to think about the following: imagine that you are the least gifted in a particular area – the least strong in your work, in your class, the one / the one who flirt least in your group of friends – and that despite everything, you feel very happy and in total harmony with yourself. Is it really possible? Because if you are able to imagine yourself somewhere, then you can begin to move towards that place. Go ahead, and embark on this path of wonderful discoveries!