It’s quite amazing how often people tell me that they’re “suffering from low self-esteem” or that they’d really like to build their self-esteem. More often than not, I simply tell them to get a grip, or call me back when they can explain to me what low self-esteem is! “Get real” is the key message if you want to build self esteem – because low self esteem is only a problem for you if you don’t know who you really are!

Your self image is just that – an image or, more correctly, a collection of images, a little like a good old-fashioned family album of snapshots. You learn who you think you are, your faults, failings, strengths and weaknesses, through what psychology calls “snapshot learning”. During your childhood, or formative years, when you were young and impressionable, the events that made you feel or good or bad about yourself were, quite literally, photographed by your visual subconscious mind – they were printed or impressed upon your subconscious. These events, and how you felt about yourself as a consequence, were photographed by your open, child-mind – the kind of mind we all know to be like a sponge that soaks everything up, takes everything in. Thereafter, these visual memories, and all the feelings that go with them, settled into your subconscious mind where they remain to this day as your key reference points for how you behave and view yourself now, as an adult.

In other words, your self image is not real – it is the result of what others did for you or to you during your formative years. And, given that psychological research has proven that the normal adult is predisposed to dwell on the negative rather than the positive, if you believe yourself to be suffering from low self esteem it is nothing more than a trick of a subconscious mind that is obsessed by looking at old photographs – this is where your subconscious mind lives and it’s wreaking havoc in your daily life now, many years later. So, in actual fact, to “build your self esteem” you really are going to have to get real. And the only place that you can get real, get in touch with the real you isn’t fifteen, twenty or thirty years ago – it’s here and now.

Still, you’re going to have to dig deep to find the real you. You’re going to have to get in beyond the resident thoughts that have given you this unreal impression of yourself and your true capabilities, the false perspective that calls your own self esteem into question. But digging deep doesn’t require major self-analysis – it doesn’t require you to pour over the events of a past long gone – after all, these are events, irrelevant to the present, to which you should actually be trying to stop paying attention. You’re going to have to retrain your subconscious mind to be what it was like when you were a child – clear, focused, immersed and engrossed in the goings on of now. You’re going to have to get use to paying attention to the reality of today – the present moment, the here and now where life is lived. If you don’t, you’re missing the only show in town, your life is drifting slowly away. It is in the here and now that you find reality – and it is in the calm of a mind that is no longer obsessed with old snapshots that you will find the real you.

The real you is not the person with the perceived weaknesses or, indeed, even the perceived strengths, that you thought were you. These perceptions, these resident thoughts, won’t go away, you’re going to have to learn to ignore them After all, any thought in your head, no matter how deep, will have no impact on the reality of today if you don’t give it your attention. So, as we already said, you’re going to have to turn your attention, your subconscious attention, to now. The focus required is achieved by coming to your senses – by using the five senses that you used so effortlessly as a child, to, once again, fully experience and appreciate the present moment. This level of sensory experience would be in marked contrast the half-life that you’ve been living, the one that has led you to believe that you had perceived weaknesses, because this reality experience would be completely free from the filter of useless resident thought that has, up to now, given you no more than an incorrect impression of the actual reality of the here and now.

Learn to reacquaint your mind with its innate ability to fully see, feel, hear, smell and taste what is actually going on in just this present moment and you will by-pass your snapshots. In doing so, you will find that the real you has an inner strength that, when it, itself, is applied to the present moment, can achieve anything in which you believe. You come home to yourself, to know the real you, only in the peace and quiet of a calm, clear, focused and present mind.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, Wyeth, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and ex-accountant, he lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. In 2008 he launched Gurdy.Net where is self-help seminars are now online. For more information visit Willie Horton’s Personal Development Website Gurdy.Net