Self-es.teem - noun - meaning confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self respect".
I am starting with the definition of the word because I need it to resonate with you, with me, with all of us. Who among us has never had self-esteem issues? Which one of us can truly say we haven't at one time or another doubted our worth or abilities? I know I have and it's not usually a one time occurence for many of us; we can struggle on the job, in our relationships, among friends and peers or in general, unfamiliar situations. As a 30 something year old woman, it would be safe to assume that having self-esteem issues is not a concern and that I have supreme confidence in my abilities (which I do) but I still struggle every now and then like I'm sure we all do. With my blogging, I sometimes question if I'm a good enough writer and whether I articulate myself as clearly and as exceptionally as I believe all writers should be able to. I equate my worth as an effective blogger sometimes by how many views or comments my posts get, yet somehow I manage to keep putting out content each week. I question whether the things I write about resonate with anyone or if in fact people care but part of having good self-esteem is to have a positive evaluation of oneself. Positive self-evaluation means not personalizing every occurence in my life to the point where it starts to negatively affect my sensitivities.
Self-esteem comes from facing our fears and being able to learn from our experiences - negative or positive. For me, everything is about energy and what I will give/not give my personal energy to. Low self-esteem leads to depression and could even mean I fall short of my actual potential. Do I really want to give my energy into believing that I am less than who I was created to be? No! I may doubt, struggle and question who I am, what my place in the world is or what my strengths are sometimes but I will never give in to any damaging image of myself. Circumstances may tend to make us believe that because we are not yet at a certain level in our lives, we have failed and are therefore unworthy but this is a lie from the pit of hell. Challenges in life must come to test our will and resolve but don't be moved no matter how bad things may get.
When I lost my brother, I questioned very seriously whether I did all I could to take care of him while he was with me and if I could have done more, maybe not physically but mentally and emotionally because I knew he was hurting and for a long time after he died, I was tormented by this singular thought. My self-esteem took a massive hit and it was all I could do not to succumb to the idea or thought that I hadn't done enough to help my brother; my worth and abilities as an older sister was put into question but by the grace of God, I slowly began to believe that I did do all I could for him. My point is that there may be situations that we go through so incredibly difficult that could completely turn your self-esteem on its head but you simply must power through those times. Your opinions, thoughts and feelings about yourself must stay positive, give more credit to your skills and abilities and less focus to your flaws or weaknesses.
With adulthood should come increased levels of healthy self-esteem despite challenges. Learn to be assertive, avoid negative self talk and take care of yourself. You are all you've got!! If you are struggling with self-esteem issues, know that you are not alone and even the most seemingly confident among us struggle sometimes. We all have what it takes within us to overcome low self esteem and the destructive consequences like depression and self loathing that accompany it. Sending e-hugs and kisses your way.