Different definitions exist for what amounts to self-esteem. I like the one given by the Cambridge Dictionary. “Self Esteem is the belief and confidence in your own ability and value”.
This in effect means a person with a healthy self-esteem is one who not only values themselves but also believes they have something of value to offer the world.
The second step in the seven steps offered by Joel Osteen in his book Your Best Life Now is Develop a Healthy Self Image. He cautions us to ” always keep in mind that we are children of the most high and that we were created for great things.” Further that “we should keep dreaming, when one dream dies we should dream another one. When one door closes God will always open up a bigger and better door for us.”
With this in mind, below are my two cents on how I believe we can always ensure that our self esteem remains healthy.
1. Focus on who God says we are
If there is anything I have learnt in the almost four decades I have spent on this earth it is that the world’s definition of what is success is skewed. There are many things that the world has us believe we ought to have or be in order to feel successful. However when you choose to focus on what God says you are it is encouraging and enough. We are told that “we are children of the most high and are created in his image”. The next time someone asks you who do you think you are? just focus on this reassurance and you will have the right answer for them.
2. Avoid or get out of the comparison trap
The quickest way to dent your self-esteem is to put yourself and someone else on a pedestal and begin making comparisons. Each of us has a specific purpose to fulfill here on earth. When you grasp this fact you realise we each have a precise race to run. Just because something is working out for someone else does not mean that when you copy and paste it will work out for you too. In life there will always be people who are ahead of you no matter what you do. I find what works for me is to run my race and either encourage or rejoice with others as they run or accomplish their own races.
Recently I read somewhere that some people live a second hand experience . This happens when you live your life based on experiences and behavior that are driven by beliefs, expectations and demands which arise from other people and not your own inner awareness. When you get out of the comparison trap you begin to live an authentic and liberating life that is fulfilled and all this contributes to you having a healthy self esteem.
This week, the assignment is for you to have an audit of yourself and determine the state of your self esteem. Are you confident in your value and abilities or do you live a life of comparison where you do things just to get the approval of others instead of aiming at pleasing the one who created you.