How is Reality TV Affecting Our Self-Esteem?

When I was thinking about what to write for this article on self -esteem what showed up wasn’t just a question of whether you have low or high self-esteem. The subject of unrealistic self-esteem just kept showing up everywhere I looked. It made me ask myself a few questions.

TV is full of reality shows and even if you say you never watch any of them, for the most part, they get very high ratings-even the bad ones. Is this affecting how people look at themselves?

Are people sitting in their living rooms comparing themselves to the people who are singing or dancing or losing weight or modeling or cooking or decorating and now even telling the truth is a reality show!

Why is it that some people with so much going for them don’t recognize it and have low self-esteem while others think they have much more on the ball than they really do? I’m sure you can identify people you know that fit in each of these categories. On reality TV it’s not just in areas where they are competing on talent, it’s also shows where they try to outsmart each other like Survivor and Big Brother.

How do these perceptions aid your self-esteem in some areas and make it even lower in others? Where does an unrealistic view of yourself really come from,
especially if we are talking about a particular talent?

I find talents such as ability to play sports or do something creative like singing, painting or acting to be very interesting. People considered experts in the field and millions of people in the general public judge these activities every day.

Of course, sometimes they are wrong. But what makes somebody keep going when they’ve been told repeatedly they aren’t good at something? Remember Sanjaya on
American Idol last year? Or how about William Hung?Hey, who says you can’t make money following your passion?

I’ve had my own personal experiences with being in denial about my abilities.

I grew up believing I wasn’t good at sports; I thought I wasn’t coordinated. The first time I was told I had a natural ability to play golf it was by a boyfriend that I assumed had an ulterior motive. The second time was by a golf pro that I rationalized wanted to sell me more lessons.

I always had an explanation to discount what they were saying. I didn’t think, “Hey, how about that! I can be good at golf.”

Why not? Even though I now believe I do have the ability, I still feel pressured and uncomfortable when I go out and play. I’m always sure that no matter who I play with, they will be much better than I am and I will be holding them up. Consequently, I don’t play much and it’s not really fun, yet.

I say yet because I am determined not to let this episode of unrealistically low self-esteem go on forever. I refuse to let it control me to the point that I never play golf again. I will overcome this and learn to play confidently and comfortably so I can have an enjoyable day on the golf course.

Anybody want to play with me?

Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can change about how I view myself and my talents that will realistically increase my self-esteem?”

So how have you experienced this in your life? Have you let it keep you down? If not, how did you overcome it? I would love to have you share your opinions and personal insights here on my blog.

One thought on “How is Reality TV Affecting Our Self-Esteem?”

  1. Lynn,

    On your question “What’s the one thing I can change about how I view myself and my talents that will realistically increase my self-esteem?”

    I believe that the best thing one can do is to accept himself / herself as they are.

    To understand deep inside, that each one on this planet is unique and different and to start appreciating yourself for your own uniqueness.

    And once you do this, once you start loving yourself for what you are – the opinions of others stop mattering so much. And you can go and play golf as you can for enjoyment it brings you. And then you do not need to compare yourself so much to anyone else, be it in a reality show or on the golf course.

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