Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Self-esteem is fairly simple to define, yet complicated to apply. It is essentially the manner that we consider ourselves. It is an assessment of our worth. Sadly, many people relinquish undue leverage to just one aspect of their lives when evaluating their value and allow external entities to adversely influence what should be generated internally.
We typically give one or two glaring aspects of ourselves too much weight when considering how we esteem ourselves. To illustrate, think of how many people attribute a sense of worth based on their outward appearance. Physical characteristics tend to carry heavy precedence over how we think of ourselves. If you believe you are physically inadequate or that you don’t measure up to some arbitrary standard of beauty, you may use that as justification to regard yourself as less. Less what? Less deserving, less desirable, less valuable, less worthy. Whether you are short or tall, full-figured or thin, have long or short hair, it doesn’t deem you to be less anything. You matter. You have worth. Your value is not solely tied to one aspect of who you are. Your physical traits are merely a part of you and they aren’t even the most valuable part.
The way you look doesn’t reveal anything about how kind, loving, or generous you are. It doesn’t reveal whether or not you are a good listener, friend, or caregiver. It says nothing about your sense of humor, tolerance, or compassion. Your physical attributes cannot be the totality of your source of self-esteem just as none of your personality traits can cancel out the others. You are a complete person and how you view yourself should be based on a complete picture. Don’t lessen how much you esteem yourself by dismissing or minimizing all of the amazing qualities that define you.
Equally damaging as it is to consider your worth solely on the way you look—or any other single characteristic—it is detrimental for you to give someone or something else the power to dictate how you value yourself. Maybe someone made comments that confirmed your own insecurities. Maybe your family has jokingly teased you for years about something that has made you caused you to become self-conscious. Maybe you were mistreated or abused. Either of these scenarios can lead you to carry a low sense of self-worth. However, you are capable of a mental alteration. If you find yourself replaying hurtful statements made by others, try replacing those hurtful statements with the truth, not their truth. If painful memories have you convinced that you are worthless, consider the possibility that you survived for a purpose. People with a purpose aren’t worthless, and if you are still living, you have purpose.
The value you place on your life will influence your decision-making and eventually determine the course of your life. It’s entirely too important for you to base your assessment of yourself on one aspect of your life. When considering your worth, consider your life in it’s entirety—not just your physical traits, a major regret, or even a series of bad choices. Your life adds up to more. You are more. Your self-esteem is too pivotal to be left in the hands of others or to be surrendered to your past. Give yourself the consideration you deserve. You are so worth it.