Low self esteem is a common issue in this day and age.
We are all made to believe that we should be intelligent, beautiful, popular, perfect.
It’s a painful lie brought about by the day and age in which we live; a day full of celebrities, billionaires on TV, “Reality” TV shows that are in truth nothing like reality, glam and glitz that don’t exist… let’s face it; it’s rubbish. And it’s rubbish that affects us all.
Amongst the illusions of perfect lives it’s a wonder any of us know what the truth is. And yet there is one piece of truth I like to believe we do all know. That piece of truth is that we should be true to ourselves and that we should love ourselves.
At times, we forget this truth. Some of us forget for much of our lives. Yet this truth glimmers out of the oil of life eternally and is always there then you look. It is never too late to take hold of this truth and remember that we are beautiful and that we should feel good about who we truly are, not who we are told to be. And that’s what self esteem is all about, is it not? It’s about believing and loving the true you through all the pressure and doubt of the modern day.
You are unique. You are the only you there shall ever be, and, whether you believe in god, nature, destiny or whatever else, the fact of the matter is that you were put on this earth for a reason and that you will be happy when you find this reason, when you believe in this reason, and when each day of your life is fuelled by the fire of love for your true inner self. So, how do we reconnect with our inner truth and learn to love our true selves? (Article continues. . . )
The science of using movie for confidence
Recently, I had a surprise revelation about movies that had never occurred to me in my many years of acting, writing or studying self improvement and self help. That revelation is the fact that the construction of a story is very similar to the construction of a thought habit. I shall briefly explain both here.
A mental habit is a process of thoughts that result in an action. For instance, imagine you are going to go out for a drive. When you think about this scenario, your mind will create a series of what I shall call “acts” that lead up to you driving a car.
For instance, as I am sat here upstairs on my laptop, if I think about driving, the following acts occur to me: Going downstairs, Collecting the keys, Turning the key in the ignition. Or, to give another example, if I think of going for a run, I get the following acts: Putting shoes on, opening door, running.
Just go ahead and think about doing an activity and notice the different acts that occur to your mind.
Movies = Mental Habits
Now, compare this idea of acts to a movie. Let’s take Star Wars as an example. Star Wars is written in 3 acts. Act 1: Luke leaves Tattoine. Act 2: They flee the deathstar with Leia. Act 3: They blow up the Deathstar.
The structure of storytelling is very similar to the structure of habitual thought. Each involves a few logical transitional steps that lead to a conclusion.
This is potentially great news as it means that by watching movies we are essentially building thought processes in our own minds. Just as our negative feelings about ourselves are thought processes, so are movies.
To test this, remember your favorite movies. When you do this, you are likely to see the “acts” that lead up to the conclusion. Now think about a personal objective in your life and notice the similarities in these two thought processes.
Because our negative thoughts about ourselves are also habitual thought processes, they are ripe to be addressed and corrected by watching movies that build positive thought processes. For instance, Star Wars, as discussed above, is a great movie for building a positive thought pattern.
If we assume that we are living in the shoes of Luke Skywalker when we watch Star Wars, then this is the journey we go through:
1) We follow our hearts (we leave Tattoine (home))
2) We learn about our inner strength (that we are able to control The Force)
3) As the person we were meant to be, we save the day and become a hero (blow up the deathstar and save the princess).
So, this patter becomes: Self discovery; Self realisation ; Success. And this is just one example of a movie building a positive thought sequence. The more positive thought sequences we build, the more positive we shall be. Hence, if we regularly watch movies that provide a logical thought pattern of confidence building, we will train our minds to build positive thought patterns and in doing so we will gradually build our self esteem.
You need to read this book: Positive Psychology At The Movies
The proof that movies can be used for therapy was provided a few years ago by Ryan Niemec and Danny Wedding. These guys are two positive psychologists who wrote an entire book on using movies for mental health. The book is called Positive Psychology at the Movies. It’s a truly amazing book that changed the way I think about movies and entertainment in general.
This book is awesome because:
- It shows how movies change our minds
- It tells you which movies to watch
- It basically turns movies into a tool for personal mastery
The top 10 movies for self confidence
Forest Gump is a great movie to watch when you need a confidence boost. The story of how Forest Gump lives an amazing life despite his disadvantages. It’s so inspiring. And if you ever feel like you can’t achieve something, Forest Gump will prove you wrong.
One of the best feel-good movies, Forest Gump is pure gold.
The story of how a little lost farm boy, Luke Skywalker, grows up to be the most powerful Jedi and the savior of the galaxy. Star Wars teaches us that we can achieve amazing things no matter where we are right now. One of the best movies for confidence (and Force Awakens is an equally good movie for confidence).
The Lion King
The Lion King teaches us that even when we feel that we have let everyone down, there is still good in us and we can still do great things.
When Simba loses his father Mufasa he blames himself and feels very lowly about himself. But with the help of friends he pulls together and finds his confidence once again.
Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings is one of the best movies for confidence. And not just because a bunch of halflings end up saving the world. The whole trilogy is packed full of reassuring messages. Like Sam’s speech:
Harry Potter feels the way a lot of us feel: he’s an outcast (an orphan) who feels like he doesn’t belong. Then he goes on a magical journey and discovers himself. It’s a story that reflects life for many of us, as we go from feeling alone and outcast to finding our place in the world.
“It’s the super bark!”
Bolt is one of the most underrated Disney movies. It’s brilliant. One of their best.
In Bolt, all three of the main characters (Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino) learn about themselves and discover their true strength. It’s one of the best movies for confidence.
Hands up who feels like they don’t have enough and aren’t good enough? Yeah. I know. I’ve felt that way too. And so did Aladdin. But Aladdin went on to become a Prince and to save the kingdom from the evil Jafar. A great life lesson for us all.
The Pursuit Of Happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness is a masterpiece. It’s the story of Chris Gardner, a man who was facing poverty and struggling to support his family. Then he made one brave decision that completely turned his whole life around.
Rocky is basically the number one feel good movie for any sports lover. And when Rocky cheers, “Adrian…!!!” at the end, when he’s won the belt, we all feel… just chipper 🙂
BFG is a great movie for anyone who is feeling a little lonely. It’s a classic tale of an orphan girl who finds her best friend: the Big Friendly Giant. The new version of this movie is excellent (IMO–some people gave negative reviews but I personally loved it).
Isn’t it amazing how movies built confidence while we’re just sitting there?
What movie have you watched that made you feel amazing? Tell me about it in a comment below.