A simple definition of self-esteem is the confidence and satisfaction in oneself as described by our good old friend, the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Self-esteem is the perception that you have of yourself regardless of how you actually are. You can either have high self-esteem or low self-esteem.
What’s fascinating about self-esteem is that it can be totally off. Some people think less of themselves when in reality, they are actually pretty awesome people. There are also some average people who believe that they are the best in everything and tend to overestimate themselves.
I am not here to feed you compliments about how awesome you are. You can do that yourself. Rather, I am here to help you discover your awesomeness through your own lens so that you can actually believe it and let it stick.
After all, most people with low self-esteem don’t believe the compliments they receive.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a pretty decent and realistic evaluation of yourself that you can live with.
People with low self-esteem are somewhat easy to spot. The most obvious way is to listen to the types of words they use and how they react when being compared to. Other ways are to observe their body language but that can be a hit or miss because they could genuinely just be shy people.
Having low self-esteem can really stink. Not only do you feel terrible about yourself but that energy seeps out into our daily lives. What’s worse is that everyone else can see it too.
I’ve had my moments where I really doubted myself and my abilities despite my education and training. When I started to believe that I was inadequate, it would show on the daily, which would eventually convince everyone else that I was inadequate.
This leads me to this point:
If you want others to believe in you, start believing in yourself first.
It’s 100% true that people who are confident in themselves and know their worth are offered opportunities over people with low-self esteem. As mentioned earlier, people can tell. It can be seen by the way you carry and stick up for yourself.
Opportunities in life will keep shutting down if we don’t believe we are capable of doing them. If we don’t believe we can, others won’t either.
Imagine if you did believe in yourself.
When you know your value, self-worth and what you can do, you’ll actually believe that you have a shot at it. You’ll take the chances and accept the challenge. That’s because you know you are competent.
And that, my friend, leads to more opportunities and a great way to discover the world.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone who constantly needs you to reaffirm them. Not only will that drain you but it will cause rifts in your relationship.
People with low self-esteem can end up projecting their insecurities onto their partner. They will constantly question why their partner chose someone like them and have feelings of being unworthy or undeserving.
It’s quite difficult to rely on a partner who can’t rely on himself/herself. That, in turn, will reflect back on the relationship.
When you have high self-esteem, you will feel secure within yourself which will lead to healthier relationships with your friends and family. The way you interpret the giving and receiving of love will come from a healthier perspective rather than a questionable one.
If you really want to have a stronger relationship, unpack your baggage and sort through whatever it is you got going on.
This point hits close to home.
I struggled with pretty mild body image issues when I was younger. I don’t believe I am special because a lot of girls go through this. However, I do believe that I was one of the few who were able to get out of it.
Or at least learned how to manage it.
You can read about this in an upcoming article so stay tuned!
As humans, we are imperfect. And even if we do have features that we love about ourselves, our flaws will usually take up our attention.
What I didn’t like about myself:
I didn’t have the typical Asian look with sleek straight black hair, a petite frame or perfect skin. To this day, my hair is naturally coarse, I have large shoulders, wide feet, and I have acne scars. Despite my flaws, there were people who reminded me of my own beauty yet my brain decided to focus on other things.
What I learned:
High self-esteem recognizes our flaws but is rooted internally rather than solely in the external parts of ourselves. It recognizes our abilities and separates them from the flaws that we perceive to have.
I didn’t like how my shoulders looked but I loved how useful they were in sports.
My feet were so ugly to me but they were powerful enough to help me become a strong swimmer.
My acne severely affected how I perceived myself in public but I love how it reminds me to focus internally from time to time.
Having high self-esteem helps us accept what we look like and to see the beauty in each flaw. It reminds us that we are handsome and beautiful in our own unique ways.
Everyone on this earth has at least one thing that they are good at. The beauty of humanity is that no one person can possess all the desirable traits and rob others of having them. It’s just not possible.
With that being said, take the time to discover what you are good at and acknowledge it. Stop comparing yourself to other people with similar skill sets.
Are they better than you?
Why should their skill affect yours? Why should their greatness overshadow yours?
A part of having a healthy relationship with yourself is knowing your weaknesses. It’ll only do you more harm than good if you sweep the dirt under the rug and call it a day. This is one of the difficult steps to do because it requires you to face the truth.
After facing the truth, it’s best to accept it. Acknowledge it is there so that you can move on to the next step of development.
Now that you’re aware of your weaknesses, it’s time to get to work. This part hurts the most because you are essentially transforming old mindsets. It’s like an artist chiseling a carving block. If the block were alive, it’d be wincing at the pain of being molded into something else.
By strengthening the areas of weakness little by little, your weaknesses become less of a burden to handle. Rather than dreading it, you have made it more tolerable to deal with.
We tend to think that our sole focus should be on developing our weaknesses. After all, our strengths are considered strengths because we’re already good at them. The problem with this mindset is stagnation.
The less we hone and develop our skills, the more we’ll be left behind. This world is always progressing. Knowledge is everywhere and is ready for the taking. What you know now won’t always be enough.
By developing your strengths, you develop your confidence and a better perception of yourself. You are reinforcing what you already know to be the best parts of you.
We all seek validation from our peers, friends and family. These are all important, especially during our developing years. However, as we get older, we start realizing what’s important to us and act on what really matters.
If you are strongly grounded in your values and beliefs, you will seek less validation from the outside. When you know what you stand for, the voices outside won’t matter anymore.
Having a strong sense of self will help you rely less on what other people think of you.
A strong sense of self tells you that you are good enough.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t the only one going through this. Everyone has their days where they question themselves and experience low self-esteem. Because we live in a sinful and broken world, we have to deal with the consequences of sin.
Bad and unfortunate things can happen to us. Our circumstances may stink but that doesn’t mean we should give up. It will always be easy to say discouraging things about ourselves. However, it takes real courage and bravery to boldly claim that you are awesome.
Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
As a kid, I loved climbing around the playground, swimming, and running outdoors with my friends. This energy was eventually channeled into middle school, high