(MY SELF-ESTEEM IS MY ADVANTAGE)
“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves”.
Have you ever imagined what life would look like if people didn’t have low self esteem? Self esteem is one of the psychological disorders affecting people in most countries. Research shows that 4 out of every 5 people have low self esteem; from these 4, almost 89% of them opt out of important activities such as – engaging with friends and family or participating in activities outside of the house, when they don’t feel good about the way they look. 68% feel that they don’t measure up in some way regarding their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends. 28% of teenage African- American girls admit to speaking badly about themselves, while 99% Nigerian women in the 21st century suffer from low self esteem.
WHAT IS SELF ESTEEM?
This is the picture we have of our self inside; the confidence in your slf worth and values. This picture is formed from how others see the individual, how the individual see themselves, and how the individual perceives others see them or not. These three types of picture may or may not be an accurate representation of the person; but things like poor education or lack of it, poor appearance, personal health; family background etc can reduce the level of confidence the person has in himself or herself. This mental illness tends to beguile our mind to believe a wrong picture of who we are.
Few years ago, the greatest problem I had as a young boy was low self esteem. During this period, I always felt a war raging within me because I never accepted myself. I couldn’t figure out the root cause of this hard feeling early enough until I started reading articles and talking to older people around me to help trace the cause. I was able to trace it down to the trajectory of my childhood experience – I didn’t grow up with my parents. I was raised in an environment where every man is for himself; we were ten boys and were all fighting for territory. Asides physical abuse, words are the most potent instrument with which we use to suppress one another. It was an environment devoid of love and care. Our guardian believed that once we had eaten, everything was fine; preferential treatment was given to some of us at the expense of others. Restlessness and aggression became my second nature. I didn’t think people wanted to associate with me, this later progressed into the loneliness lifestyle.
There is a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child”; but we also need to understand that not all villages are healthy for the growth of a child. The accumulation of experiences a child has while growing up determines his/her flexibility to respond to situations and life’s challenges.
At every stage of our lives, irrespective of what challenges we may have faced; you must silence that critical voice inside your head that makes you second-guess and underestimate your abilities to get things done. Confront those destructive voices, don’t run from them; engage them in inner dialogue; challenge them to give their reasons; patiently answer and refute their suggestions. Don’t hide from yourself and don’t be at war with who you are.
Research has shown that that high self esteem is one of the best predictors of personal happiness. Its indispensable to healthy personal development and serves as a pillar for survival. We may need a good deal of reflection and self examination to appreciate how our deepest view of ourselves show up in the ten thousands choices that determines our outcome in life. Positive self esteem has to do with resilience and experiencing the joy of being who you really are, not in being better than someone else. Self esteem is like a parachute (life support) that enhances and defends us in times of difficulties. People with high self esteem are able to pick themselves up even when they go through challenges.
Determine today to build your self esteem, learn to have a positive mindset about yourself as someone who is valuable and of great worth.
Written by SEYI SOYEMI