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Science Experiments & Self Esteem

Old 02-04-2014, 04:30 AM
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Science Experiments & Self Esteem

So a few weeks ago I claimed to have understood what I'm supposed to be doing; that I need to humble myself and see the big picture and basically focus on MY issues. Okay, in theory, I get it. This weekend I decided to put my money where my mouth is and perform a science experiment on myself to test out how much I really do 'get it.'

I decided to downgrade myself from my very luxurious SUV to a no bells and whistles Prius. The Prius is very safe, very reliable, good cargo space, oh, and its super affordable, so no more car payment either. It's a responsible, mature decision and I told myself that if I'm really a badass, then I'll be a badass in my fancy SUV or in a Prius. A car is just a way to transport myself, my kids and our stuff. It says nothing about me or my worth in the world.

Fast forward to the present, I'm now a Prius owner and I feel like a loser everytime I drive my little car. But I don't project my crap on other people, its JUST me. I don't look at other people in their little Priuses and think "you're lame, not good enough" and I don't look at people in fancy SUVs and think that they're better than...I just feel that way about myself.

In conclusion, I'm not sure if I'm actually humbling myself when it's becoming clear that I have pretty low self esteem. How the hell do you build self esteem? Because I have definitely been relying on material things to make myself feel good, and that's not healthy.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
How the hell do you build self esteem?
Simple: by doing something esteemable.

If you are driving the Prius because it is affordable with no payments, then you have achieved a financial goal, even if it is not the car you ultimately want. If you want an SUV, that is fine, but it is not the vehicle that builds your self-esteem; it is the ability to meet your goals while living according to your principles (affordable).

The action to build self-esteem is to either save money or get a higher paying job (both goals in themselves) in order to afford an SUV according to your principles.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:32 AM
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I love my Prius! Wait until you hit the gas station a few times. When you realize how much you're saving on gas you might change your tune. I've never been one to care much about what I have and what people think about it. I grew up around people like that but my dad is the type who dresses like a homeless man and drives a beat-up old pickup even though he's got plenty in the bank, so I learned from an early age that appearances aren't all that important.

We are all insecure in our own ways. I compare myself to others who I think are more successful in different ways. At least you have the self-awareness to realize what's going on with you and take steps to change it.

HUGS!
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:37 AM
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I try to be grateful for what I have (a working vehicle), and not measure my worth by the dollar value of my things. Since my divorce started I've been learning to live simply and clear out a lot of this physical and emotional clutter. More "clearing of the debris" I guess. The only people who care what brand new car you drive are YOU and all the awful folks playing the "keeping up with the Joneses" games.

A gentle suggestion is that you might have internalized some of your mom's narcissistic values -- "what will people think of me/us/my stuff?!" I definitely did, and it's something I struggle with a lot. My mom was very focused on appearing normal and successful and moral, by her definition, and some of her backwards-ass lessons are branded deep on me.

A great lesson I learned here on SR is "what other people think of me is none of my business." And more realistically, in my experience, other people don't really think much about me at all.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:41 AM
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Dunno if that is "science."

. . . hmmm . . . .

Sounds more like "marketing."

I will stop with the Biz School digs. At least for now.

But really -- straighten me out on the Bling-Bling?

Is that not a little . . . mmm . . . ghetto?

==============

Your mission, Stung, should you decide to accept it . . .

First Fun Stuff >>>

This one says you may be smarter than the average bear . . . .

Profile of Hybrid Drivers - HybridCars.com


--------------

And this one says Priuts and BMW are the biggest jerks . . .

(check out the short video on this -- has priusy v. a marketing guy with a big diesel truck )

Study: Prius, BMW drivers the biggest jerks on the road | OregonLive.com

-------

But HERE is the GOOD Stuff.

Wash the Marketing Garbage Outta Yur Brains . . .

(long, but Well Worth It. My kids love this)

Story of Stuff | Story Of Stuff
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammer View Post

And this one says Priuts and BMW are the biggest jerks . . .

(check out the short video on this -- has priusy v. a marketing guy with a big diesel truck )

Study: Prius, BMW drivers the biggest jerks on the road | OregonLive.com

-------

But HERE is the GOOD Stuff.

Wash the Marketing Garbage Outta Yur Brains . . .

(long, but Well Worth It. My kids love this)

Story of Stuff | Story Of Stuff
Haha, my friend and I have a running joke about what a-holes BMW drivers are. But it comes with a caveat--if I had a car that nice and that fast I'd drive like a jerk too!
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:37 AM
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Stung----I can literally "see" your growth!!!!


dandylion
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:21 AM
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Just like you are not concerned with what others drive, they are not concerned with what you drive. Most people don't judge others based on stuff. The people who do judge based on stuff tend to be superficial and have their own sets of issues. I like the two following sayings:

-All that glitters is not gold.
-Big buckle, no cow.

I have many friends with loads of money who drive humble cars, just because it isn't important to them. What is important is living within your means without debt and being able to do things you enjoy, such as travel or work somewhere you might be paid less but enjoy the work. Quality, not quantity.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
In conclusion, I'm not sure if I'm actually humbling myself when it's becoming clear that I have pretty low self esteem. How the hell do you build self esteem? Because I have definitely been relying on material things to make myself feel good, and that's not healthy.
I think Florence makes a great point about your mom's influence in this area of your life.

Otherwise, I guess *for me* material things are external & don't represent who I am inside so I just have never felt the attachment to them that others do. I like nice things, don't get me wrong, but I really only care about money/things insofar as having enough to NOT have stress about it. I don't need hundreds of millions, but I don't want the stress of debt, kwim?

I think I would start by trying to identify how my internal wiring becomes linked to external things - what makes you feel this way? I always have to examine those things in real time - meaning, when I'm thinking "I feel like such a loser" that is the time for that self-reflection..... sometimes I trace back over my steps or thoughts in those last moments leading up to the "Loser" reference & can see where my mental train went off the tracks. I have the best clarity on the situation when I am in the moment rather than trying to reflect on it later.

I think healthy self-esteem is a reflection of a balance of humility & confidence/ego.... when either/or gets too heavily weighted for too long it creates a chain reaction in our behaviors as well as our mindset.

As far as this part:

So a few weeks ago I claimed to have understood what I'm supposed to be doing
You still understand, it's just not a straight path that you can walk, pass a checkpoint and consider it done. A LOT of this kind of recovery is kind of circular - you sometimes come back to the same points because you had a different type of awareness about a situation. That's not the same as beating yourself against the same lesson over & over & never getting past it. You are doing great!
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:38 AM
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My understanding is that you need to share your gifts with those around you. If you can sing, then sing them a song. If you are a carpenter, then build them a house. Selfless acts. Volunteer. Maybe try and focus more on spirituality and the seeking of such. No self seeking but more so for others and things larger than us individually. I'm sure you are familiar with all this is it's just spitting it out of books as well as what a lot of people will tell you. Know this, your not alone. I'm right there alongside you trying to figure out the exact same thing you are. I like your experiment. I've been thinking a lot about things like that too. My latest solution and I'm not kidding was looking into the Amish community in Sarasota Florida. My thinking was along the lines of what you expressed. I wondered if getting rid of everything I have and simply working within a community etc. would change something. Years ago I had thought about trying to become a Tibetan monk to hopefully achieve the same outcome. Wish I could help more. I look forward to us figuring this out in time. All the best.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:34 AM
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Big buckle, no cow.
I'm stealing that one.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:46 AM
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Scott - LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!! Oh man, your imagination is way better than mine! Spirituality is next up on my adventures in self improvement.

FireSprite - I always forget that it's not a straight path, thanks for the reminder.

MissFixIt - Big Buckle, No Cow is one I've never heard before and I'm a walking example that not all things that glitter are golden.

Hammer - Don't be such a hater all the time. It is scientific in that I had a hypothesis, performed an experiment and then came to a conclusion based upon my findings. And did you just call my Prius ghetto? BTW, the video of the Prius chick vs the truck guy (and his trashy wife) was just bizarre. I would have thought that the guy had a leg to stand on if his wife wasn't equally as off putting as the Prius chick.

Florence - I hadn't thought of it as being something that was ingrained in me, but you're probably right (especially since your crap is so similar to my crap.) Except my mom was more along the lines of continually telling me that I was a failure. It's probably less of me emulating her and more about me trying to prove her wrong. Fancy car = success.

ReaderBaby - I haven't had to fill mine up yet and it's taken us to the beach twice already. It's not a bad little car by any means, it's just missing all of the snobby stuff that I'm used to. Well that and it's missing a little bit of zip. The last time I bought a car (I've been getting AH's hand me downs for about the last 7 years) I bought a VW Jetta and that thing was so sporty and fun to drive! The Prius is economical but not much fun to drive…I think I might be upgrading to one of the sportier ones…even if that does kind of defeat the purpose of my exercise.

Jazzfish - Thank you so much for that! Now I'm going to set a goal for myself and meet it and preferably a goal that has nothing to do with money.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
Hammer - Don't be such a hater all the time.
Just the way God made me, sister. You gotta love God, right? Am I right?

yeah, well.


And did you just call my Prius ghetto?
Naw, calling the bling-bling SUV ghetto.

Congrats to you.

Prius can't be ghetto because anybody with a brain (like you) will snatch that up before it ever sees the hood.




BTW, the video of the Prius chick vs the truck guy (and his trashy wife) was just bizarre. I would have thought that the guy had a leg to stand on if his wife wasn't equally as off putting as the Prius chick.
Just thought it was funny.

West Coast politics are funny because we in fly-over land do not have to live with them. However, fly-over land politics are NOT funny because we do have to live with them.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:05 AM
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Oh yeah, I agree that west coast politics are very liberal. Funny thing is that I always consider myself conservative…until I travel somewhere else in the country like Wisconsin or Florida. Then it slaps me in the face how liberal I really am. This is definitely Prius country out here. Maybe I can find a Prius gang to drive around with.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:19 PM
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I so rarely quote books/movies...but I love the little pep talk from The Help..."You is kind. You is smart. You is important." And you are.

You build your self esteem by taking care of your needs - by allowing yourself to be the first priority in your world. A well taken care of mom is able to take good care of her babies, right? You revel in your successes - making sound financial decisions are HUGE successes!! You challenge yourself to try something you previously thought you couldn't do. You try new things. You keep doing the next right thing - whatever that may be.

Last summer, I literally had a list of things on my bathroom mirror that made me feel good when I did them. Everyday, I marked which one(s) I had done that day. It was awesome to add something new that I found and to see my page fill up with all the good I was doing for myself. I took on a lot of new challenges around my house - I fixed my clothes dryer, did painting projects, replaced a fence post, etc. Stuff that I never would have touched before. I learned new things - about myself as well as things that I could accomplish. It all helped. I feel better, stronger today. I am working on making sure all my needs are met and that my goals are accomplished. While 2013 was a crap year for my marriage, it was a great year for me...it was tough but I feel like it was totally worth what I have been through.

Like FS said in another post, none of this is a straight path...a few steps forward, maybe a step or two back, etc. It does get easier as you go along. All the positive steps start to build on each other. Hope that helps some!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:52 PM
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Not to minimize all the excellent and very true advice about about self-esteem, but here is an excerpt from a 2012 article.

Maybe some of these people want to be in your Prius gang"!

"The richest Americans can have any car that gets their engines going -- a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Porsche -- you name it. But in California, one percenters choose the humble Toyota Prius more than any other car on the market.
Automotive website TrueCar recently surveyed the 10 wealthiest U.S. zip codes to see what kinds of cars the have-it-all's buy. There were predictable preferences -- BMW, Mercedes, Lexus. But in three of the 10 zip codes, Prius is either the first or second choice. And all three of those places are in the Golden State.

The rich in San Francisco Bay Area cities Ross and Atherton, along with LA's Century City, have a hankering for the hybrid-powered Prius, according to TrueCar. Its average sale price of $29,525 is a drop in the bucket for a millionaire.

"They're not buying it because it's cheap," Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar, told The Huffington Post. "They're buying it because it symbolizes a certain lifestyle and gets a message out. Plus, it's extremely practical for stop-and-go traffic, parking and gas mileage."

Celebs You Wouldn’t Guess Drive A Prius:
Cameron Diaz
Sarah Jessica Parker
Kate Bosworth
Gwyneth Paltrow
Miley Cyrus (OK…. Questionable as to if this is a good thing)
Leonardo Dicaprio
Jessica Alba
Claudia Schiffer
Owen Wilson
Orlando Bloom
Emily Blunt
Julia Roberts
Dustn Hoffman
Bradley Cooper
Natalie Portman
Kate Hudson
Kirsten Dunst
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:05 PM
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You have no car payment now and that's excellent. The best feeling in the world is financial freedom - to know that in (almost) any circumstance that you would be ok.

I would drive a Pinto to have that - or drive nothing. Kudos to you - never know you may end up loving that car just give it a little time.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:15 PM
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I just feel that way about myself.

Feelings aren't facts. I bet you'd be a badass in a Gremlin. I just spent fifty bucks filling up my rusted out minivan, so I'm a tiny bit jellie of your awesome fuel economy right now. Keep rockin' that Prius.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:47 PM
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CarryOn - I quoted that book to ReaderBaby about a month-ish ago. Same line too. Maybe I'll re-read it. The self help books on my reading list are not enjoyable to read in my downtime.

CoolChick - The Miley Cyrus note made me LOL!! I see a ton of other Prius drivers everywhere here, they really are very popular and much easier to park than my SUV was. I haven't tested it out in SF yet though. And mine was MUCH less than the $30k brand new, fully loaded sticker price. Rule number one: NEVER buy new.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:52 PM
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And the rich and Eco conscious here drive the super sexy Tesla cars. When I'm an old retired millionaire and my kids are in college I'm buying one of those for myself!
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