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



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)

32 thoughts on “Meet Yourself: A User's Guide to Building Self-Esteem: Niko Everett at [email protected]

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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😊

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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