Meet Yourself: A User’s Guide to Building Self-Esteem: Niko Everett at [email protected]

, , 100 Comments


Translator: Aya Aj
Reviewer: Queenie Lee I was 11 years old, and I was rubbing makeup
all over my legs to cover up my freckles because I hated them,
and I thought they were so ugly. I was 15, and I lived with my dad and my stepmom, and I lied about my mom. I lied about her because she was a waitress,
and she lived in a tiny apartment, and because she
was a recovering drug addict. I lied about her because I
was too ashamed to tell the truth. I was 17, and I was down on my knees
on a bathroom floor, and I was forcing myself to throw up
everything that I’d eaten that morning. I was desperate to be thin; I was trying so hard to be perfect. I was 21, and I didn’t even realize
what I was doing, but I was droning on and on
to my friend Julie, telling her about all the people we knew and how great they were,
and how amazing their lives were, and how much I wanted to be like them,
how jealous I was! And my dear friend Julie, she stopped me, and she said, “Niko, you need to meet yourself.” And when she said that to me,
it was like something changed. It was like she held a mirror up for me, and what she was showing me
was so different from what I’d ever seen before. She said, “Niko, you should
be jealous of yourself. You’re gutsy; you’re hard-working;
you’re resilient. If you could meet yourself, you might really like her. But as quickly as she painted
that image of me, it was gone! And I was totally confused because I, I see myself as embarrassing,
unlovable, awkward. But I loved that image that she created, and I wanted it back. So I set out on this journey to find it
and to try to make it stick. So eventually, I landed myself a job, working with young women. My job was to create a program for them
to help them increase their self-esteem, which, of course, was kind of laughable
because I had no self-esteem myself. But I started to wonder, I started to wonder, could we
create our own self-esteem? Could we build it ourselves? And I did a little research, and it turns out that self-esteem, it’s just based on our own
thoughts of ourselves. And I knew that we could
control our own thoughts, so I thought, “Yeah.” Maybe we could actually
start to build our own self-esteem, and I was willing to try. So the first session
I had with these girls, I had no idea what to do. I mean, I’ve never done this before,
so I was totally making it up. So I decided I was going
to have them each say one thing that they were proud of about themselves. We were going to test out this idea of starting to build more positive
thoughts about ourselves. It didn’t go so well. These girls, they couldn’t
say one single thing about themselves that they were proud of. And I understood
because I totally related, I mean, I felt the same way. So … I decided to create an exercise for them, for all of us to do. So the idea was that every time
we had a positive thought about ourselves, we would imagine turning up the volume, like literally turning up
the volume on that thinking, and every time we had a negative
thought about ourselves, we were going to press “delete,” just press “delete” in our brain, let it magically disappear. And it worked! It worked! This idea of kind of
stepping outside of ourselves so that we could see ourselves better. Little by little, we each came up with little things
about ourselves that we liked. But for me, for every little thing
that I came up with that I liked, it was like there were ten things
that I didn’t like – ten things that I felt critical about. So I checked it out with the girls.
They said, yeah, they felt the same way. So, we decided that at the end of each class
that we had together, we would have one of us
stand in the middle, and the rest of us
would stand around the others, and we would each tell the girl
that was standing in the middle one thing that we admired about her, one thing that we really liked. And it was so hard to stand in the middle. It was like we didn’t want to let it in. We wanted to just
keep those compliments out. And so we made up a rule. The rule was that when someone
gave us a compliment, we would simply say, “Thank you.” At the end of every session
that we spent together, we all wrote down one thing
about ourselves that we admired. We forced ourselves
to sort of build this list, to get our thinking going about the things
that were important about ourselves. And I want to read to you
just a couple of things. These were the things
we wrote on the very first day, I kept the list. On the first day I wrote: “I’m proud of my work with these girls,” and the girls wrote: “I’m proud that I stood up for the girl
who was bullying my best friend.” “I think I’m smart.” “I like that I’m different.” “I’m a really fast sprinter.” And “I’m a good artist.” At the end of that year, these girls started to change. It was like they
were walking a little taller. They were kinder to themselves, they were kinder to each other, and I, I started to change too. It was like they showed me
that I could rewrite my story. And I realized, I realized that we weren’t the only ones
struggling with that story; boys were struggling too; teenagers, even adults
were having a tough time coming up with one or two things
to say about themselves that they felt good about. And this negative self-image
that we were holding on to, it was showing up
in our culture in alarming ways. It turns out that teens’ suicide, it’s the third leading cause of death
amongst young people. One out of four girls
says they have sex for the first time to be more liked, to be more popular. And boys and girls alike,
they’re joining gangs, and the number one reason
is not to feel safer, it’s to feel more important. But here is the good news; the good news is that we
can counteract this. The work that I did with those girls and the work I’ve done
for the last 15 years, we’ve come up with ways for us to feel
good about ourselves right now, today, and I want to share
some of those things with you, OK? So, the first thing that we can do
to feel good about ourselves is we can spend time
with people who make us feel good. This is me and Julie
when I very first met her. Find your “Julie” and spend time
with her or him. The second thing is that we can turn up
the volume on our positive thinking. We can build up those thoughts
about ourselves that are good, and we can delete the negative thoughts,
just press “delete.” The third thing. Start to tell the people around you – maybe the people around you today – start to tell them what you see
about them that you like. Help them jumpstart
their own positive thinking. And the last thing is, when you receive a compliment, when we receive compliments,
let’s stand our ground, let’s look them in the eye,
and let’s just say, “Thank you.” Let’s create a new culture: a culture where we all get to grow up
feeling good about ourselves. A culture where we
can rewrite our histories, we can create new stories about ourselves. I will start. I’m 11, and I like these legs because someday they’re going to
help me run marathons. I’m 15, and I’m proud of my mom
for getting herself sober and for making a better life for us. I’m 17, and I know that nobody is perfect. I’m 21, and I think I’m just
as successful as my friends. I’m 37, and now, this is my story. I invite you today. I invite you to do two things with me. First, be “Julie” for someone; invite him/her to meet themselves. Because it might change their lives. And second, I want you to get out a piece of paper, and I want you to write down
ten things about yourself that you admire. The ten things about yourself that if you were someone else,
you might even be jealous of. And I want that to be the beginning
of your story today. I’ll help get you started, OK? So, I just met you a couple hours ago, literally, just a couple hours ago. And I can already say that you are gutsy; you are hardworking; you are unique; you are resilient; you are talented, you are gentle; you are calm; you are all amazing! Thank you. (Applause) (Cheering)

 

100 Responses

  1. AlphaVegan

    January 19, 2019 4:35 pm

    Ten things that I love about myself
    1. I help a lot of people either by buying them food, drugs or giving them money
    2. I am always kind, positive and loving towards others
    3. I teach people on how to overcome their problems the way I learned how and I did it
    4. I am taking care of my grandparents now when are old and need help
    5. I started expressing my trapped emotions and traumas from the past and I started saying to my family how much I love them every day
    6. I am honest with everyone
    7. I am hard working and I keep my promises
    8. I have overcome many health challenges in my life and in general, I overcome any challenges for my 26 years of age
    9. I've learned how to overcome my social anxiety and depression and I learned how to talk to strangers and how to meet new people and how to be around large groups
    10. I am so proud of my self that I manage to stop working for others and to start building my own business and lifestyle based on helping others achieve the transformation I did and with that I will have enough money to keep helping and creating big charities as well as helping individuals in my town or country who need help. And the best thing is that I do what I love every day and I am achieving my dreams and thus my future and life is infinite and limitless in any way and I am completely independent 🙂

    Reply
  2. Bostan M

    January 22, 2019 4:25 am

    Hi world!! rememeber! you are great just because you are great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjMLIcdvw9o&t=1s

    Reply
  3. Kiran kamesh

    January 31, 2019 5:00 pm

    self-esteem can be an important part of success. Too little self-esteem can leave people feeling defeated or depressed. It can also lead people to make bad choices, fall into destructive relationships, or fail to live up to their full potential. But what about too much self-esteem? Narcissism can certainly be off-putting and can even damage personal relationships.

    Self-esteem levels at the extreme high and low ends of the spectrum can be damaging, so the ideal is to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. As you might imagine, there are different factors that can influence self-esteem. Genetic factors that help shape overall personality can play a role, but it is often our experiences that form the basis for overall self-esteem. Those who consistently receive overly critical or negative assessments from caregivers, family members, and friends, for example, will likely experience problems with low self-esteem. This speaker in this video has a perfect fulcrum that develops balance between the two extremes, so stay positive and stay bright.

    Reply
  4. Spoken word Truth

    January 31, 2019 9:41 pm

    Lose self-doubt in your life and embrace or marry your purpose. Feel free to check out this inspirational YouTube link below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxmDw3a1KWA&t=2s

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

    February 2, 2019 12:53 am

    I’m 35 with low self esteem. I lost myself 9 yrs ago when I entered into an abusive relationship. I’ve been trying to get him out of my life so I can find myself.. 🙁 it’s like a never ending nightmare

    Reply
  6. Mallow Is Not A Tadpole

    February 2, 2019 8:01 pm

    Why not just acknowledge the self-criticisms we have of ourselves as true and either resolving them or forgiving ourselves for them? Trying to block them out with positive thoughts is being fake and deluded and inwardly we all know this, that's why it doesn't work.

    Reply
  7. •Tijana B. Nikolić•

    February 3, 2019 11:57 am

    Im tired of being called betrayer or slut by girls in my school… Im sooo tired of guys telling me to get back in the kitchen and that a girl should nit be a gamer… I hate it… I so much hate it… Im being judged for who i am… I decited to live my life throught roblox cause my friends there understand me… Im glad im not like other people in my school to show off my stomach and butt or to wear way too much make up with 12 years… I just want to be accepted for who i am…

    Reply
  8. dikbjdfh g

    February 6, 2019 11:44 pm

    I want to have good self esteem and truly love myself but I don’t know how to start and I have to heal but I dont know where I should go. And I don’t know how to start convos and meet people when I don’t know anybody. I don’t have anyone to talk to in my classes. And I just can’t make myself to talk them and I don’t know why bc they they don’t seem that rude. But i just can’t try to talk to them. It’s like im going to try but then I just don’t.

    Reply
  9. Shrestha Sharma

    February 13, 2019 11:20 pm

    Ten things I love about myself:
    1) I like to try new things and not be afraid of hurting myself in the process.

    2) I am strong. No matter the amount of tragedies of sad things that can happen in my life, I will not give up. I will get back up again.

    3) I like my strong but untoned thighs. They’re strong too and when they’re toned they’ll prove themselves on the field.

    4) I like my broad shoulders. They’re strong and powerful and give my body a beautiful athletic shape.

    5) I like that I can forget. I can forget bad things that I can’t change and look forward to newer things.

    6) I like that I find biology interesting so much so that I believe I can make a career out of it.

    7) I like that I studied enough to be where I am today, even though I could have done more, I am proud that I’ve done this much at least. I am still here. In second year of Adelaide university studying bachelors of biomedical science. That didn’t come out of thin air.

    8) I like that my parents still consider me as their daughter. So forgiving and loving and only wanting my best. I’m proud to be their daughter.

    9) I’m grateful and proud to have such strong kind and caring friends who only want to see me happy and successful. I like that in their friend.

    10) I like that I’m trying not to tread on past mistakes. And learning to like myself s little more than before. I am important. I don’t need others to tell me if I’m important. I’m important nonetheless.

    Reply
  10. Ron Weasley

    February 24, 2019 12:27 am

    I used to love my nose. I always got compliments of it and I thought It was my only good feature, now I hate it, I find it ugly and I wish I could change it. All the little things I used to like started becoming awful, I just wanted to change them. But the only thing that I loved was my personality, which, all the people I love, hate. So I feel bad, because I love them, and the only thing they criticize is the only thing I love about myself, and it’s so sad, because I don’t want to hate how I am, but If nobody loves me for how I think why should I love it? They always taught me, that I was the wrong one, if everyone thinks the same, then it’s the truth (I don’t believe in this, but let’s give it the benefit of the doubt) So if everyone’s hate it, it must be because I do have an ugly mind, and I shouldn’t be proud of it.

    Reply
  11. Kayla Martinez

    March 6, 2019 12:04 am

    this is video is so inspring i watching this made me try to see the positive things about me bc i have really bad self estem when i tell people this they dont belive me bc supposidly when they first met me they say that i was on of the most confident bubly person ever

    Reply
  12. Kayla Martinez

    March 6, 2019 12:12 am

    thxx so much for this video it helped me alot my self estem isvthe most i struggle with

    things i love about myself

    1. i stick up for others when they get bullied
    2.im nice and kind to others when no one else is
    3. i help others out when they need it
    4. i cheer people out and give them a shoulder to cry on when they need it
    5. i try my best to continue and not give up
    6.i dont let anybody mis treat anybody
    7. im a great friend to others
    8. i keep my promises
    9. i talk to someobody or sit with them when they are alone
    10.i try to boast people confidence and let them know they are loved and not alone and try to give them advice when they need it
    11. i give people a hug when they need it even if i dont know them
    12. i try to talk and meet new people

    Reply
  13. Kenyce

    March 9, 2019 3:33 pm

    Self esteem ugh I was fatty till 10th grade and 0 self confidence. I'm a lot stronger right now physically, mentally and spiritually. This is still a issue because sometimes I don't like the way people treat

    Reply
  14. Robert Keenan

    March 12, 2019 10:04 pm

    JESUS CHRIST proved He is ALIVE, & the only way to have new life here and in Heaven. Look up and confess with your mouth "God I believe Jesus is Lord, please forgive me and make me new, and baptize me with the Holy Spirit". Your Life will change in miraculous ways, and the Bible will come alive to YOU!

    Reply
  15. Free Flow

    April 5, 2019 4:51 pm

    Self esteem has nothing to do with thoughts. It has all to do with letting go of all that you think about yourself, letting go of your story.

    Reply
  16. Christina

    April 7, 2019 10:06 pm

    i thought that video would make me love myself more .. pointless video , someone reply me with good video for low self esteem

    Reply
  17. Ada Turay

    April 11, 2019 2:32 pm

    I am brave and courageous
    I am intelligent
    I am beautiful
    I am unique
    I persevere
    I am strong
    I am optimistic
    I compassionate
    I am attentive to details
    I am caring
    I’m the best.

    Reply
  18. Branson Liimo

    April 13, 2019 11:40 am

    I was having a rough time myself.
    Feeling as though I'm not good enough. Perhaps not the most attractive/goodlooking person.
    But watching this just helped me realise that I'm not alone. Many times we feel we're alone but like all human beings, it's just the imperfection in us trying to come out louder than the good we have.
    So let's spread positivity. There's so much awesomeness we have that it beats logic to focus on the negative.

    Reply
  19. Lily Hate

    April 17, 2019 11:43 pm

    Oh dear, there are countries starve to death compare to people who are wasting food to have perfect body shape.

    Reply
  20. IIXandraWickII

    April 30, 2019 1:14 am

    If someone made a complete copy of myself, I feel like wed hate each other. I dont know if thats because of low self esteem or because I work better with opposites…maybe both.

    Reply
  21. Bostan M

    April 30, 2019 5:09 am

    Thank you for this video! Here is another video that has one great practical task https://youtu.be/sjMLIcdvw9o

    Reply
  22. Norma Estrada

    May 4, 2019 9:50 am

    I kinda already knew these techniques but it’s good to see how many views it has

    Reply
  23. Rafi Ullah

    May 4, 2019 8:51 pm

    Well I watched this video now but sometimes I randomly message my friends and tell them that I love them to make them fell special.

    Reply
  24. Joshua Andrews

    May 8, 2019 12:03 am

    To build a genuine healthy self esteem you have to do the unthinkable and down right painful life changing family and friend rejecting process of ego demolition.

    Reply
  25. H E

    May 15, 2019 11:31 pm

    You brought me to tears! You are an amazing person. You motivated me to be a better person and I want to say thank you

    Reply
  26. Bryce Harper

    May 23, 2019 9:20 am

    This is one of my old accounts when I was 15 I went on this account and I came to one of my old playlists and I remember hearing this and I specifically remember starting to say thank you to compliments instead of just blowing them off and I’m pretty sure it changed my life it’s not perfect yet but when I look back it’s way better than it could be I’m 18 now about to be 19 and I just know if I wouldn’t have found this video I probably would still be suffering like I used to thank you

    Reply
  27. Uwineza Andersonne

    May 31, 2019 10:31 pm

    My best friend is called Julie also😙😙😙shes one of the best thing that has ever happened to me…..

    Reply
  28. Lillie Anne

    June 8, 2019 8:34 pm

    Lately, I have been struggling with self esteem majorly. I have begun this spiraling habit of constantly telling myself how ugly I am, how annoying I am, how nobody wants to be my friend, about how pitiful I am, about how ungraceful and awkward and unlikeable and unfeminine and unattractive I am whenever anyone neglects me. Two days ago, two of my friends got in a conversation about music, something I know nothing about, and I started spiraling. I have social anxiety that has been escalating quickly. I am so happy there are others like me. I know I need to solve this problem.

    Reply
  29. Lonnie

    June 14, 2019 7:23 am

    Things I like about myself
    1, I’m funny
    2, I have pretty eyes
    3, I can’t think of anything else so yay

    Reply
  30. anokhee_ n

    June 14, 2019 7:57 pm

    Why didn't i find this video earlier. This is awesome.
    The things I like about my self are:
    I am a happy person
    No matter what situation is i know how to smile
    I am a positive
    I have a growth mindset
    I always want to improve my self
    I never make anybody deel bad about themeselves
    I am loyal and honest
    I prefer to be in touch with the people who care about me
    I am very emotional that makes me sympathetic about things
    I never tell things to make them big in fake sense.
    And I'm proud of having these things in me😊

    Reply
  31. Zee A

    June 19, 2019 10:13 am

    Great talk thanks for sharing. This year 2019 I have started admiring and focusing on myself more and I am seeing results. Previously I admired and wished I was like others now I love myself. Try it love your life and see the amazing results.

    Reply
  32. Daniel McGuffin

    June 20, 2019 6:21 am

    Is this video made especially for women? 'cause i did not understand the whole message

    Reply
  33. Alana

    June 23, 2019 8:31 am

    Thank you for being another light who became committed to yourself in results leaving a rippling affect on someone else. Cheers to paying it forward. To the light that comes across this, cheers to where it takes you. How it may be one of the factors that takes you to a different space.

    Reply
  34. Dino N99

    June 25, 2019 8:45 pm

    I have been fat-shamed for as long as i can remember, it constantly makes me think that no matter what i do, i will never be respected truly. I live in an Asian country, and like many others it has this beauty standard of being super thin and having pale skin, i am nothing like that and continuously get shit on by so many people, it makes me hate myself

    Reply
  35. Deyvid Engel Ramos Arevalo

    July 1, 2019 12:11 pm

    It worked to me thank you very much, I want to share a small video that will help you http://tinyurl.com/y28543zh

    Reply
  36. Rose blood

    July 18, 2019 9:32 am

    10 things i like about my self:
    1am hard working
    2i'm fun and trying to make people happy and give them support
    3-i think about my problem amd see where did i went wrong or did i went wrong or no
    4- i tough my self english ( arabic my native language)
    5- i'm smiling person and ilike that just u look at me iwill smile or if i look at you xD
    6 – always dreaming about having bff in reality
    7 ilike my sound and my singing and reading books UwU

    8 ilke how i look cuz we not perfect
    9im trying to be there for the people iknow and iwant to be julie for someone cuz i want to help them get through it

    10 ilike my art xD and trying to be strong ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ and i want people to be happy and wish for you all the best

    and here 10 things i don't like about me but i move on fast and be happy again and i'm trying to change and if u have any advice pls tell me :
    1 i lose my confidence quick
    2 Negative opinions or swearing effects on me and i think i have weak personality cuz of that

    3 i like people that don't like me and get hurt but i know that they hate me…

    4-i cry so fast i mean that

    5- sometimes i just want to hide and just look to the ground but idid nothing to be embarrassed

    6i'm afraid to mess everything up
    7afraid get close to people cuz i know iget hurt but tho i want to get close
    8- if i went wrong every one stared to judfe me and it effects and ibe sceard to do something again
    9 sometimes i just be so afraid from people but i'm not shy
    10 i give excuses to not do any thing or Delay it
    im not saying im not happy with my life but this things iwant to change and iwill if you have advice pls tell me💗

    Reply
  37. 4yuvv t5ibr5

    July 22, 2019 11:29 pm

    I’ll try to add to this list everyday:

    I’m smart
    I’m sometimes confident
    I’m sometimes pretty
    I’m sometimes fun to be around
    I’m proud that I’m trying to be more confident
    I’m proud of what I will become in the future (hopefully a doctor)
    I’m proud of myself for always trying to not let my ego control me
    I’m proud of having such an amazing mom
    I’m proud of having such a hardworking mom
    I’m proud of having such a loving brother
    I’m proud of trying to become happier
    I’m proud of my taste in music
    I’m proud that sometimes I don’t care about what people think of me
    I’m proud of myself for being so kind
    I’m proud of myself for always being on the lookout for bad things I’m doing in my life
    I’m proud of myself for always caring about people and trying to make people happy
    I’m proud of myself for always being there for my mom

    Reply
  38. Peppermint Cookie

    July 25, 2019 3:15 pm

    As a 17-year-old, I have been struggling with socializing with classmates at school and being made fun of because of my mistakes. Even my attraction to both male and female, some would make fun of that as well. One of the boys would pretend to have feelings for me and sweet-talk me because almost everybody in my class knew that I had a boyfriend. I stood up to one of them for annoying me about the breakup and he just sat down and said nothing to me. It was cruel for them to treat me like that. I am afraid of being rejected by my classmates because of how weird I am and different to them. Some so called "friends" would pretend to be nice to you, but when you turn their backs on them, their "other side" will come out and either gossip me to others and treat me bad. When I was 16, I suffered from depression and thoughts of suicide; the psychiatrist gave me my medication and I felt better last January of this year and have stopped taking my medications.

    Reply

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