Imagine a young woman, who looks attractive and stylish and has a youthfulness about her that radiates out of her.
But, for that young woman, she doesn't feel it. When she looks in the mirror, she sees an ugly nose, fat cheeks, hair that doesn't sit right and a body that is too fat. She thinks she looks disgusting and works really hard to feel good enough to leave the comfort of her home and face the day. (We will take a closer look at why this happens for her in the next post).
Whenever something happens to her during the day that will contribute to this belief she has that she is disgusting and unlovable, she latches onto it right away and feels worse about herself which reinforces this belief. But, whenever something happens that doesn't contribute or trigger this belief, she tosses it out and forgets it ever happened.
Want an example?
She runs into a friend while walking along the sidewalk. The friend says, "You look great today!" Because this doesn't fit with her belief about herself, she doesn't believe it. Let me reiterate, she doesn't believe it and therefore it can't be the friend's true feelings. So, she tosses it out right away and doesn't think about it again.
Ok, let's say she runs into this same friend and the friend says, "You look tired today" or it could be something much more subtle - the friend looking at her hair or nose or a part of the young woman's body that she feels sensitive about. She immediately assumes that this friend is looking at her and thinking that her hair looks bad or her nose is ugly. And, this feeling is so strong and fits with her belief so much that she ends up adding it to her core self and feels like her belief must be true because her friend validated the feeling.
So, in summary, any positive coments are thrown away and forgotten and any negative comments are taken in and added to the core beliefs.
This type of thing happens all day long. She is unconsciously allowing herself to maintain this poor level of self-esteem.
In the next post, I will talk about where this comes from.