What is self-esteem?
I was reluctant to write on the topic for the fear of sounding bland or saying the same things about it that people have already said.
It’s a simple word, a simple concept–one that’s easy for people to understand. Self-esteem is the way that a person feels about himself. If one has low self-esteem it’s safe to say that he doesn’t feel good about himself and vice versa.
A lot of us tend to characterize self-esteem in terms of body image (focusing on the external) while failing to realize the implications on the internal.
If you didn’t know, self-esteem is an internal matter and it’s usually geared towards our capabilities or what we feel is “special” about ourselves or the lack thereof (which can refer to outer appearances as well). But for now, I’m going to focus on the internal using myself as an example.
Living With Low Self-Esteem
I felt that I would be the more suitable choice as I’ve experienced first hand what it was like to live with low self-esteem.
I walked around for several years of my life with this taunting, nagging feeling that no matter what I did, I was never enough. I could look all around me at various individuals and pinpoint something that was special or unique about them, but I could not do this very same thing for myself.
What makes me special? I would often say to myself. What makes me unique? But often times I failed to come up with an answer.
I was very quiet (and still am to some degree), which I thought made me a very boring person (well, at least that’s what I believed others thought of me). I did not have the most outgoing personality. I wasn’t the smartest (but I wasn’t dumb either). I didn’t have any special gift or talent that I felt made me stand out. I was just me.
Over the years I looked for other things to which I could identify with that would “say” something about me. I looked to my degree, my status in life, my job title…any and everything that I thought would add value to me as a person.
It wasn’t too long ago that I gave up on this idea. I sat and thought to myself, if I didn’t have any of these things in life, who would I be?
It was in that very moment an assurance sat deep in the pit of my stomach. A child of God, that’s who you would be. A cliché term that I heard a bunch of Christians and “proclaimed” believers throw around and use loosely. I had heard it used so many times before to the point that it didn’t hold any real significance.
But the more I sat and meditated on those words, the more they began to have meaning for me. A child of God. God. I’m a child of His. The greatest name in all the earth. The Creator of all life and all things…I’m a child of His?
Who Made You?
I thought about what it would look like for Him to actually sit down and create me. I imagined Him placing all sorts of unique traits and characteristics on the inside of me and working diligently at it until it was perfect. Viola…a masterpiece! Then, He said, “I’m going to place you right here.” I imagined where He sat me down. He took consideration of all my family and friends, all of my circumstances, all the places that I would go and said, “Do what only you can do.” And that gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me a sense of peace knowing that I was made to be influential. I was made to add to someone’s life in only a way that I know how. (Wow.)
And so were you.
It’s not about your accomplishments or your achievements in life. Your status or your stature. The position that you hold on your job. It’s about you…the internal you–the joy you add to someone else’s life that makes them stand back and marvel at the creator.
So I ask you on today, “Who do you think you are?”