Low Self Esteem In Women
By Leo Gura - May 19, 2014 | 22 Comments
A deeper look at why women have more self-esteem issues than men.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org, and in this video I want to talk about low self-esteem in women.
Let’s talk about low self-esteem, especially low self-esteem in women. I have another video I’m going to link down below. It’s called Self Esteem. That’s my fundamental introductory video about what self-esteem is. I go into a lot of depth there about the details of self-esteem.
Here, I’m not going to do that. I’m more interested in the question why do women tend to have more self-esteem issues than men? To me, that was curious. I started looking into that, asking myself questions about why that is. I want to share some of my thought with you, so that you can get more understanding if you’re a woman, about where this is coming from.
Maybe even if you’re a man, and you have women in your life that have this problem, you can also understand where they’re coming from. To get this discussion grounded, we need to talk a little bit about self-esteem. I’m just going to do a recap of the definition of self-esteem.
Self-esteem has two components to it. You’ve got self-efficacy and self-respect. Self-efficacy simply means you have the ability to think and direct your own life. It’s how much power you feel you have over the circumstances in your life. That’s self-efficacy.
Self-respect is believing you have inherent value in yourself, and you have a right to be happy. When you have both of these components working together, than you have high self-esteem. If either one of these components is malfunctioning, or both of them are eroded, then you have low self-esteem.
What I tend to find is that women struggle with self-esteem more than men. This is a generalisation. This doesn’t mean a woman can’t have high self-esteem. This doesn’t mean there aren’t women who have much higher self-esteem than men. It’s certainly the case. Many men have self-esteem issues.
With women, it tends to be more of a problem. For them, not only is a problem on the inside, it tends to manifest itself in a problem on the outside in dysfunctional relationships. This tends to create a certain level of codependency, and it makes you an unassertive doormat. Then, basically, men tend to come and walk all over you.
Why is this happening? How can we get an understanding of why this is happening with women? I think if you look at this definition, self-efficacy and self-respect. The self-efficacy part especially, this is your ability to control and direct life. How is that developed?
The way that’s developed in boys and girls is a little bit different. Let’s take a look at some of the cultural underpinnings here. I think the culture has a lot to do with why this disparity exists. When a boy is growing up in our culture, then he’s told to do what? As parents, they put him into sports and other aggressive activities.
The boy’s told he’s going to have a career and a business, and he needs to make money, he needs to provide for his future family, potentially. The boy is always taught to compete, to fight. That’s a very masculine type of energy, that competitive fighting men do with each other. That’s going on with the boys.
A Girl’s World
With the girls, what’s happening? It’s not quite the same, they don’t have those sorts of pressure put on them. It’s more about being nurturing and loving, and being girly and putting that and investing it into a relationship, a family. Women are more about relationships and families. Not so much about going out there and conquering the world.
Although there are many women that are good at that, and I’m in no way discouraging it or saying anything’s wrong with it. That just tends to be the general trend. What happens if you’re always exerting this masculine energy, and you’re always out there pushing the boundaries of the world? What do you think happens to you?
You encounter challenge. You encounter resistance. If you’ve got this kind of motive to just bust through it, then you learn a lot, and you learn fast. This is how rapid learning happens. You immerse yourself. You throw yourself into a tough situation, and then you have to struggle your way out.
This is how military boot camp works. You take a grunt recruit who knows nothing about the military, has no discipline. You throw him into a couple of weeks of boot camp and all of a sudden, he comes out like a real go getter, a real soldier. Why is this happening? Because he’s put under enormous pressure, and he learns very fast.
The mind is extremely good at learning when it’s under pressure. The human being and the human mind is the opposite when it’s not under pressure. It tends to doze off and be lazy, and tends to backslide. Here’s what’s going on — I think this is what’s happening.
With boys, they’re out there competing all the time, so they develop a very strong sense of self-efficacy, because they’re trying stuff, they’re failing, they’re learning how the world works. They get a real sense of ownership over the world. They feel like they have the world by the balls.
With a woman, it’s not quite so much. Women do that on their own terms. Some women are out there doing masculine type things, and that will build them self-efficacy. A lot of women aren’t doing that. A lot of women are playing second fiddle to somebody else in their life, whether it’s to their family, the man in her relationship.
She’s always playing second fiddle and taking the back seat, and he’s the one driving. When this tends to happen, and it tends to happen for long periods of time, your brain starts to literally start to mush. It starts to atrophy. It’s like muscles. If you don’t use your muscles, they atrophy. That’s what’s happening.
Your self-efficacy erodes. When you’re not out there challenging yourself and doing stuff, if you’re sitting at home, if you’re locked up, if you’re cooped up, if you’re not really out here in the world living on your edge, then you’re really in your comfort zone. That tends to build up very big rut.
As that rut is building, your self-efficacy is eroding. You feel like you can’t really control the world. You feel like you become a victim. That is the underlying thread here. This is what’s going on. I think there are also some physiological differences. This is not just purely cultural conditioning. There’s biological differences.
It’s more natural for a man to go out there and compete. That’s masculine energy. For a woman, being in a relationship and being submissive is also more natural. That’s feminine energy. You can see how that can lead to certain disadvantages. Guys have their own sets of disadvantages they have.
I’m not talking about that here. I’ll have other videos about that. Here, we’re just focusing on women. The disadvantage with being very feminine like that, and being very submissive is that you tend to take the back seat, and you don’t have a lot of control. You feel like you’re a victim.
It stuff isn’t going your way, you just tend to tolerate it. That tends to be your coping strategy. It’s just tolerating and bearing it, and just suffering through it. Whereas a man tends to not put up with that as much.
Part of that is the physiology. Women are more compassionate, more nurturing, and these are amazing qualities, but they also have some disadvantages. There’s also amazing qualities that men have, that also have their own disadvantages. Every strength tends to also have a little weakness behind it. It’s like the two sides of the same coin.
For women, I think it’s especially challenging, because they need to, on the one hand maintain their femininity, that’s important to a woman. A feminine woman feels like her authentic self. That’s important. But at the same time, this femininity can’t just be this passive “do whatever you will with me, I’m going to be a doormat”. It needs to be more like “I’m still on my edge, I’m still doing my things, but in a feminine way”.
As a woman, you have to be active and confident, and out there living your edge, but in a feminine way. Do it in a way that feels natural to you as a woman, not the way a man would. If you do that, then you will build that self-efficacy too. You just need to be constantly pushing yourself and challenging yourself in your own way.
That might be very different than it might be for a man. Maybe for you that’s really working on the family, working on the relationship, doing whatever feminine things you like to do, but still pushing yourself in those areas.
Don’t just become very passive. When you become passive and meek, that’s what starts to make that atrophy process happen. When that’s happening, that leads to all sorts of problems. Most importantly, it’s going to lead to dysfunctional relationships. It’s going to create codependency.
It’s going to create this cycle of bad relationships. It’s also going to make you feel very powerless in your life, and that’s not what we want for you. Here, at Actualized.org, it’s all about self-actualization.
For a woman, self-actualization is equally important as it is for a man, because that’s where those higher feelings and higher values are. As a woman, yours are going to be different than a man’s. That’s alright. You’ve got to make sure you’re always on the edge, always pushing your comfort zone, always growing.
That is what’s the key. This is Leo. This is what I have to say about women and low self-esteem. I’m going to be signing off. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. Like this video if you did. Click the like button so that more people can see it. Throw it up on Facebook. Share it with a friend, so that more people are aware of what’s going on here.
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