I remember watching Dragon Ball Z and Sailor moon growing up. Both shows had entire story lines written for the sole purpose of the “aha” moment. Like the moment Darien finds out Sabrina is Sailor Moon, or the moment the world finds out that Goku is a super Saiyan. And every season those around the main characters kept discovering that the main character, who they already know is awesome, is hiding even more awesome abilities. The Super-Super Saiyan with a monkey tail, WHAAAAAA!!? Growing up, most of our fantasies consisted of others finding out that we were secret ninjas, unknown princesses or that we had acquired some sort of super-power. The fantasy did not lie in the secret abilities themselves, but in having others discover them. The dream of us one day showing the world how amazing we are continues into adulthood.
To know that there is an indescribable power inside us is to have high self-esteem. The trick is that in the real world you must work hard to reach that aha moment, when your full potential is so powerful that you can no longer hide it. That is the aha moment! It is having your unlimited potential bursting at the seams. There are also those on screen that see the amazing powers of the main characters and recognize it as such. However, rather than unlocking their own potential, they search their entire lives to replicate the same aha moment the protagonist has. This inadvertently turns them into the evil-doers of the show and like all villains, they have a back-story. In villain back stories, you often realize that they do not know that they are evil, because they live in the illusion that they are someone else. The illusion that they think they are someone other than who they truly are is what makes the villains both evil and innocent at the same time.
In the real world, the “evil” ones are not so obvious. They don’t try to blow up the world or hold your family hostage. All they do is suck out energy and keep face while their low self-esteem just makes you feel eerily uncomfortable. They try very hard to show that they too are amazing, but are missing that inner secret potential that those with high self-esteem have. We all have this potential, but the act of wanting to show it more than perfecting it robs them of it. We all have our dirty secrets, but why can’t we have beautiful, amazing secrets too? Low self-esteem lies in wanting the aha moment more than anything in the world, while not realizing that before that moment comes, all super powers must remain a personal secret. It is knowing you are more amazing than others think that gives you confidence. When you put on a show to appear to be more interesting than you are, that is when your sense of self deteriorates. The difference between a villain and a protagonist is that the protagonist is motivated by their potential while the villain is motivated by the aha moment. When exercising your full potential, the aha moment not only comes naturally, but is inevitable.
This is why social media causes low self-esteem. It is not because we see others happy or feel FOMO (fear of missing out). It is because social media prioritizes the aha moments over the the story line. Who are we without a story line? It is so easy to get attention for merely doing something now that most of us skip the part where we become great at something. Undeserving aha moments are the cause of low self-esteem. The fact that most of us can’t do anything mildly interesting without bragging about it is deteriorating our relationships with ourselves. It is like those over-sharing couples on social media. In trying to show how great they are as a couple, they inadvertently show us how insecure they feel about their relationship. Don’t be an obnoxious couple in the relationship you have with yourself. Have more than what you show, not the other way around.