Helpful mindsets and beliefs that can help you to overcome low self esteem and abandonment issues.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who grew up with alcoholic parents who were a train wreck as people and had a negative effect on their children’s self esteem. His mom died when he was young and he was raised by other family members. He says he has a low self esteem and abandonment issues. As a result, he was bullied in school.
When it comes to women, he comes off as creepy and stalker-like. Overall, he simply feels like he is not good enough. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
When kids are growing up in a difficult environment, I can’t remember who said this quote, but I think it’s fantastic, “A parent’s job is to fill their child’s bucket of self esteem so full that the world can’t poke enough holes in it to drain it dry.” And so, you can see what happens when somebody grows up in an environment where the parents don’t provide that role to their children and the negative effect it causes. Especially when kids grow up in an environment where it’s just an absolute train wreck.
This particular guy, his parents were both alcoholics. His mother died when he was a little boy, and his father died a few years ago, dropped dead of a heart attack. I guess his father was driving drunk one night and passed out, hit a pole, and his mother went through the windshield and died sometime shortly thereafter. And so, as he says in his email, he got bullied at school as a result because he didn’t think very highly of himself.
At the end of the day, all of us have met people that are needy and insecure and basically act like they don’t measure up and are not worthy. When you go through life believing that about yourself, you’re going to act from that place, and other people are going to tease you and make fun of you coming from that place, as well. So, what do you do if you come from an environment like this? All of us, when we grow up, we’re trying to overcome the insecurities, the fears, the doubts, the limiting beliefs, all of the bad stuff. The parents pass on the good stuff, but they also pass on all of the bad stuff about themselves onto their children.
A lot of times, adulthood really is just trying to find a way to overcome our childhood or our childhood traumas. You can tell this guy is obviously struggling with it. Now he’s 27, and he has a hard time. He says, because he’s gotten into my work, he’s read 3% Man and he recognizes that he’s come off as kind of stalker-ish and creepy around women. Because, if you don’t feel you deserve to have what you want, and I’ve gone over this many times over the years in other videos, if you have a fundamental belief about yourself that you’re not worthy and you’re not deserving of the love you want in life, you typically will chase and pursue women that have no interest in you, because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.
Somebody is not interested, you want them, they don’t want you, you stay engaged. You stay stuck in friendzone, hoping things are going to change. And then the little message that’s running around your head is, “I’m not worthy of being loved.” You’re involved with somebody who doesn’t love you, so it seems totally natural. It feels natural, yet we don’t recognize that that’s how we’re showing up, how it’s affecting us. And so, we always act consistently with how we view ourselves to be, and it doesn’t matter whether the view is accurate or not.
So, what do we do to overcome that, so we can get to a place where we love and accept ourselves and value ourselves and get involved with people who actually reciprocate interest? Because the other thing is, if you don’t feel you’re worthy, you come off as needy. You try too hard, you call too much, you text too much. You constantly communicate you think you’re going to get blown off, or they’re not going to like you once they really get to know you, because that’s your belief about yourself.
Women want a man. They’re attracted to confidence, number one. First and foremost, that’s the most important thing that women find attractive in men. That’s the masculine strength characteristic that’s essential to women. Because if they’re going to bear your children and be a stay-at-home mom, take care of the family and follow your leadership, they’ve got to feel that you’re up to the challenge, that you can handle everything that life throws at you, because they’re going to totally depend on you along with the children. They want to feel safe with you, and when a guy is consciously communicating that he doesn’t feel worthy, a woman’s not going to trust his masculine core. She doesn’t feel safe with him, because he doesn’t believe in himself is what it boils down to.
The reality is, nobody is coming to save you; you have to do that yourself. And if you want to be the head of a household, if you want to be the leader in your relationship, you’ve got to demonstrate competency in doing that. That’s why women typically are attracted to successful guys. Guys that don’t know any better, especially like a lot of the red pill guys, they’re like, “Oh, if you’ve got money then you’re going to get all the women you want.” There are a lot of rich guys that suck with women, but at the end of the day, being successful financially shows that you’re at least competent as a provider.
Being successful shows that, no matter what life throws at you, you’re going to keep grinding on, you’re going to keep trying to succeed, you’re going to keep trying to break through those barriers. And that’s what you have to demonstrate over and over. You also have to communicate that you’re going to set and enforce healthy boundaries, and if people violate them, well then, they get the gift of missing you, and sometimes that gift is permanent.
How are you? I have a few questions that need answering. You see, two of the many issues I have about me is the struggle with my past and my abandonment issues.
Well, here’s the harsh reality of life. First off, too bad. Nobody cares about your problems, nobody cares about my problems, and they’re glad that we have them. The fact that people can look at you or me or anybody else and go, “Man, I’m glad I didn’t have that.” You know, my mother was a nut, literally. She was a psychotic schizophrenic. She saw shit that wasn’t there. She had conversations that she believed were rational conversations with disincarnate spirits. She was really super out there. And at the end of the day, nobody cares. But quite frankly, there’s other people that will go, “Oh man, I’m glad I didn’t grow up in a family that was as screwed up as Corey’s was.”
The way I look at it, your wounds can become your gifts and your strengths. And I believe we choose our parents. So, I don’t blame my parents for anything that happened growing up. I believe we choose our parents before we incarnate into this life. Our soul wants to experience certain conditions in life and overcome them, so we become a more well rounded, more balanced soul, if you will. That’s just my belief. I know a lot of people don’t jive with it, but I don’t care. That’s the only thing that seems to make sense to me, that everything happens for a reason. There are no accidents.
So, you if could maybe look at it potentially that way – that you chose your parents, you knew what you were getting into and what you signed up for before you came into this life – now the question is, what can you do to overcome it, to transcend it? Because once you transcend it, like the things I wrote about in “3%, Man” and in “Mastering Yourself,” now you’ve got the pathway. Now, you can serve others and help others that are where you used to be.
So, part of your life’s purpose, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is that you’ve got to overcome this, and you’ve got to get to a place where you have the life and lifestyle you’ve always wanted. And then everybody that’s where you once used to be and is willing to participate in their own rescue, you can help them get through it. And that’s the gift.
I unfortunately lost both of my parents and have been taken in by other family since my parents had been too drunk and passed out to care for me. I’m 27 now and the am the youngest of three children. My mother died sometime after my parents had a horrific accident in 1998 where my father passed out at the wheel, hit a light pole, and sent my mother who was asleep in the passenger’s seat right through the windshield. My father later dropped dead of a heart attack in 2019. All three of their children are Adult Children of Alcoholics. I’ve always struggled with serious self-esteem issues and a major inferiority complex.
Well, if your parents are too drunk and they’re not around, or they neglect and ignore you like my parents did… They just they never hugged us. They never said, “I love you.” They never once said, “We’re proud of you. Good job on that report card.” My dad drank his beer and watched his TV when he came home and mostly ignored us, except when it was time to beat the crap out of us when we did something wrong. He just seemed to be disinterested.
And his father did the same thing. My dad used to tell me growing up, as he was kicking the crap out of me and bouncing me off the walls, “My dad used to bounce me off the walls when I was your age. I said I’d never do that to my child.” Like, “what the fuck do you think you’re doing to me right now?” But I mean, at the end of day, he couldn’t even see it. And what’s interesting is, now every once a while we’ll talk about that and he doesn’t even remember that. He doesn’t remember his dad bouncing him off the walls, and he doesn’t remember saying those things to me as he was bouncing me off the walls, probably because he was too shitfaced to know what was going on.
But at the end of the day, boo-hoo, nobody cares. You know, you’ve got to overcome that in life. The past doesn’t equal the future. I’m not going to look at the past and say that that’s going to totally define my whole entire life. What I grew up in was part of the reason why I decided to get so involved in self-help and trying to figure out how to be successful in life. Because, quite frankly, when I was younger, I just wanted to get the fuck away from my parents. I remember my dad telling me all through growing up, he couldn’t wait until he turned 18 so he could move out, and leave home, and get away from his parents, because he couldn’t stand being there. And I was the same way.
I just didn’t want to be around my parents or my family, for that matter, because they were all a bunch of cold, emotionless zombies. They were always fighting and disagreeing and yelling and screaming at each other. But at the end of the day, I was able to do that successfully. And all of those wounds that happened in childhood, they became my strengths.
Everything depends on the meanings that you give it. And so, you can look at your childhood and say, “Oh, what a tragedy, it’s horrible. I’m scarred for life,” or you can say, “You know what? I’m stronger and I’m a better man than my father will ever be. I’m going to get my shit together and I’m going to be a great human being. And maybe someday my parents will look down on me from the big clouds in the sky and smile and say, ‘Hey, my kid turned alright. Despite all the fuck-ups from us, the kid turned out alright.'” So, it’s like, you want to succeed, not because of your parents, you succeed in spite of your parents – that you’re stronger than what happened to you in your childhood.
I was bullied in school for being different because of not knowing how to act, and I always scared girls away by creepy, stalkerish behavior. I’m always haunted by things that happened in my traumatic childhood that I feel caused some sort of PTSD in me.
Well, I think therapy can be really helpful if you get a good therapist. Any of you that are in therapy, whether it’s marriage or couples counseling, or you’re seeing a psychologist or a therapist, if you don’t like them, if you don’t feel they’re helping you, if you think they suck or they’re rude, fucking fire them and find somebody that you do love and do feel better going to talk to. I’ve talked to so many people over the years that stay engaged with just incompetent mental health professionals and they suck.
Some of the mental health professionals, when you talk to them, they’ll tell you the reason they got into it is because they are fucked up and they’re trying to figure themselves out. And quite frankly, not all of them have done a good job of that, to be honest with you. So, if you’re going to get a therapist, find somebody you love, and you admire, and you respect, and they do a kickass job, because there’s a lot of shitty ones out there. Just because they’ve got a license to do that kind of stuff doesn’t mean they’re competent or good at it.
With abandonment issues, some of the feelings I contend with are not being good enough for someone, feeling like women will want to run when they hear of my traumatic childhood and my own mistakes, and fearful that women might forget me if they don’t text me back within a couple of days.
So, the other thing is, you’re attached. When we want reality to be other than it is, we’re going to suffer. And you have to learn to let go. Dating is like tennis; you hit the ball over the net, meaning you text somebody or you call somebody, and you’ve got to wait for them to get back to you. And if they don’t get back to you, then, hey, the game is over. Go play with somebody else.
You’re looking for reciprocation. And most people, including friends that you’re going to make, are just not going to reciprocate at the level that you need them to be. And because of the self esteem issues, you’re going to tend to stay engaged with people who treat you like shit, because that matches how you feel about yourself and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Normal, good people who are good for you, good to your soul, are going to deal with you from a place of integrity. When they say something, they’re going to actually follow through with it. They’re not going to tell you they’re going to do something and then just totally do the opposite a few days later. So, I always look at what people do, not what they say. And if women aren’t texting you back, that’s okay.
Dating, approaching women, all of that really is just a compatibility test. Do they like me enough and do I like them enough to continue spending time together? And if the answer is no, then you have to turn and burn, if you will. You’ve got to walk away and move on to the next, because you’ve got to get through the nos, just like in sales, in order to get to the yeses. And the overwhelming majority, almost 99.99% of the people that you’re going to meet are not the right people for you. You’ve got to find your tribe. You’ve got to find the people, like I said, that are good to you, good for you, good for your soul, and most people are not.
It seems I wake up most mornings feeling very depressed, despite me having recently started a great new job after leaving my last one of six years that wore me down to where I had to finally leave.
Well, you stayed in that job way too long, and shame on you for staying in that job way too long. When your internal enthusiasm is gone, like I talk about in “Mastering Yourself,” it’s time to start looking for the exits and find the next step in the staircase of success, not just another mediocre job. You want to find something better. You’ve got a better job so, on some level, you’re feeling better about yourself or in your life overall.
You also should be working out and taking care of your body, because the best anti-depressant is cardio and weight training. Nothing makes you feel better after a good workout. Doing the workout and thinking about going to do the workout, I’m never, ever excited about that, but I always love how I feel afterward. That’s why I’ve done it my whole life, and that’s why at 52 I look pretty damned good out of everybody I grew up with and went to school with.
Almost 100% of everybody I grew up with, they look like shit now. They’ve just totally let themselves go and they don’t care. They’re content to let their bodies just fall apart, and they don’t give a fuck. It sucks. It makes me sad for them as their friend, because I know I’m going to lose them a lot sooner than what would have normally happened if they had taken care of themselves. But hey, you still love people as they are and where they are.
And the thing for you is like, what Dale Carnegie said was so true, “Inaction breeds fear and doubt. Taking action breeds confidence and courage.” When you feel like shit, the best medicine for that is to lose yourself in something productive that’s going to help improve yourself, improve your life, grow your reserve of knowledge, develop your gifts, your skills, your talents, – whether it’s working out, reading a book, studying something, trying to apply for a better job or find a better job, or find a better place to live, or go do some kind of social activity that you love and enjoy, so you can meet other like-minded people.
How can those who suffer from abandonment issues turn things around to stop worrying if someone we might be in a relationship with will leave us for someone better or not want us because of what happened in our pasts?
Well, like I talked about in “3%, Man,” you have to have enough good successes and successful experiences over many months and years to rewrite the programming, if you will. And so, if you’re not good with other people, I highly encourage you to take some kind of job where you have to do customer service. Maybe you can get a part time job on the weekends tending bar or waiting tables, because you’re going to deal with a lot of people. You deal with drunk people, you deal with happy people. You deal with people in a good mood, you deal with friendly people, you deal with assholes. You deal with all kinds of people. And it forces you to develop your people skills, because the more people like you when you’re waiting tables or tending bar, the bigger the tips are going to be and the more money you’re going to make. And plus, it’s a great social activity to develop your social skills.
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” you should read that 10 to 15 times as well and actually apply what’s in there. Being a great person who is very friendly that people love really is about being a great listener, asking really good questions, the kind of questions other people would enjoy answering. That will help you tremendously. If you want to have great friends, be a great friend. Be a great friend to all people, and people that really value and appreciate you, they’ll stand out from all of the others.
At the end of the day, most women aren’t going to want you. You’re going to get rejected most of the time. Most people are not going to want to be your friend or spend time around you. You have to understand that that’s just the way the world works, and that’s okay. Because all you’re looking for is a match, energetic matches. And you’ve got to interact with enough people in order for that to happen.
I was having lunch with one of my dearest, best friends in the whole world last week, and we get together usually at least once or twice a week and hang out for lunch, or whatever, talk about life, and I’ve known him for close to 20 years now. In the last two decades of my life, he’s the best new friend that I’ve made, if you will, in 20 years. And that’s one dude over two decades that I really jive with on a level that I don’t jive with with most people. And so, people like that are very hard to come by. And I met him just in the process of enjoying my life and doing a fun social activity. We met, we clicked, and he always made the effort to stay in touch, just like my closest friends that I grew up with did. And that’s why almost 20 years later we’re still great friends.
So, you’ve got to get out there and participate in the world and understand that great people, just like when it comes to women, you get maybe one to three of those unicorns per decade. Now, if you consider you date for two to three years with each one, maybe you get one, maybe you get two. I’m not talking about they all come at once. It’s like, you meet one, you click, maybe you date for two to four years, or whatever it happens to be. Then you’re single for a few years. I mean, that’s just part of the process. That’s the reality. Great people that you jive with almost never come along. But you’ve got to keep grinding through it, keep refining and improving yourself.
It’s a horrible feeling when you know that nobody wants you.
It’s not that nobody wants you. It’s just that very few people want you. And that’s harsh. It’s like, get over it. Nobody cares. Like I said, in the last two decades, I got one really amazing friend that I’ve met that I just jive with on a level that very few friends have. And you don’t really get to see that because you’re young, you’re 27. But, you know, you get to be 52 and you go through enough decades of your life, you start to see patterns, and then you appreciate it more, especially as you get older. That’s why I can share these things with you, because I’ve gone through it before. You’ve got to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
You said before that the past does not equal the future. So, how can we get go over being abandoned by our parents and primarily our fathers, (as what happened to me because he never was around and didn’t really care).
Well, quite frankly, if your father was alive, he probably didn’t feel like he was worthy enough as a father to be a great dad for you. And he knew you were better off with your family members than him. I mean, he was a drunk. And the reason he was drinking and he was addicted was because he had a lot of pain that he wasn’t experiencing. You know, imagine living with the pain of being the person that ended the mother of your children’s life. You’re not going to feel very worthy. He did the best that he could.
It doesn’t help you to stay pissed off or looking at what happened and feeling in fear. He wasn’t in your life because he wasn’t up to the challenge. He knew he wasn’t up to the challenge. He knew you were better off with your other family members, because if you’d have been hanging out with him more, you would have been a lot worse. So, he actually did you a favor.
My mother and father not being in my life as I grew up no doubt had an adverse effect on my self-image and my self-worth. What advice would you give me to help me stop letting fear of abandonment take hold in my heart, so I can let go of being afraid of people leaving? Please advise. And thank you for all you do. I’d be honored if you would respond to this.
Well, the reality is that everybody is going to leave you. And especially the older you get, the more you’re going to notice that. It’s like, man, I lost so many close friends that I grew up with that have just died tragically, suddenly. I had friends that were murdered. A lot of them died in car accidents. Some of them had weird illnesses. Several of them have died of OD’ing on painkillers. People get weird illnesses that come out of the blue, cancer. Life takes everybody. It’s just some people stick around longer than others. So, be grateful for as long as they’re in your life.
And even you, we all turn to dust. Even your kids, and your kids’ kids, and your grandma. Everything turns to dust. That house you built, I mean, at some point in time, it’s going to get knocked down, torn down, and there’ll be trees there, or there’ll be something else built there. Everything and everyone turns to dust. It’s just life. So, I mean, get over it. Nobody cares. It’s going to happen to all of us.
So, the only thing you can do is find a way to enjoy your life. That’s the best gift you can give yourself and your parents. I mean, the reality is all parents want for their kids to be happier, more successful, and have a better, easier life than they did. And you overcoming all of these things, you know, if your parents were still alive, they would appreciate that you didn’t end up like they did. That’s the best gift to yourself and to them.
At the end of the day, any time you’re feeling like shit, you’re feeling full of fear, go get busy doing something productive. Read a good book that’s going to grow your reserve of knowledge. Go to the gym, go for a run. Go do some kind of social activity that’s fun, that’s enjoyable, something you love doing. Call somebody you haven’t talked to in a while and tell them you appreciate their friendship. Or maybe one of these family members that took care of you, just call them and say, “I love you,” and “Thank you for taking care of me, because my parents were such fuck-ups, and I appreciate you were there for me when nobody else was.”
Any time you feel like shit, the best thing you can do is focus on and ask the question, “What do I need to get done today before I go to bed tonight in order to be the most productive that I can be, even though I feel like shit?” Because, at the end of the day, trying to not feel like shit, you just have to embrace the suck sometimes, because life ain’t all sunshine and roses. Sometimes you wake up and it’s just a shitty day, things just don’t go well. That’s life. We all have problems. I think it was Andy Andrews who said, “We are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis.” That’s pretty much life, man, so you’ve got to learn to deal with it.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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“Our beliefs and the meanings that we give to the circumstances of our lives determine what we are and aren’t willing to do to shape and change our destiny for the better. If we believe we are unworthy, we won’t attempt to take any serious or sustained positive action towards what we want in life. If we choose to be optimistic, then we know that our lives are a reflection of what we are willing to do to help ourselves reach our full potential. Success is a long process, and the rewards typically come after decades of effort. The best plan is to take action towards what you want to have and become. Notice what’s working and what’s not working to continually change, improve and refine your approach, and lose yourself in the process of creating your ideal life. Accept the reality that you are always a work in progress and will never be finished creating your reality until your life is over. Life requires your participation and best effort.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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