Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. Thomas Carlyle
Respect yourself if you would have others respect you. Baltasar Gracian
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline: the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. Abraham Heschel
Most of us have friends, co-workers, neighbors, and relatives that we do not respect. It can be difficult to be around them, work with them, or even tolerate them. Some of us feel the same way about ourselves. We may blatantly dislike ourselves or may have more subtle problems of low and inadequate self-esteem.
A healthy sense of “self-esteem” is critical. We have a critical need for being able to think of ourselves as worthy. It is a basic necessity, if we are to function properly as viable and healthy human beings. Along with self-esteem, it is vital we have a basic foundation of self-love. Problems with either too little or too much cause us to have difficulties both with self as well as our relationships. Those having little or no self-esteem, have difficulties liking themselves; perhaps even hating themselves. As a result they are miserable, unhappy, and mal-adjusted. Many teens, prison inmates, and mental health patients have rather severe self-esteem problems. Those committing suicide and perhaps even those who kill others lack self-respect, self-esteem and woefully lack self-love. Without self-esteem we are mentally malnourished and maladjusted.
Self-esteem is often in the news, especially when it concerns kids. Some authorities have gone so far as to eliminating winners and losers in children’s sporting events. The intent is to keep from damaging the self-esteem of the losers. Each of us is “uniquely” unique. We have a one of a kind heredity, upbringing and mental makeup. Having adequate “self-esteem” is so critical to our very being. It is supposed to develop normally and naturally during childhood and adolescence. Too many of us have had problems overcoming self-issues. Too many have issues holding them back. Children definitely need good role models. They need good parenting, teaching and training in many successful living techniques. Adults “who missed out” must realize their needs and address it through their own self-help efforts or through counseling. Low self-esteem is a handicap that can be overcome.
Having self-esteem means accepting, respecting, and even loving the “self”. We can love our self even though we are aware of our shortcomings, weakness, warts, blemishes, and all our faults. Respecting our self for who we are, with all the good and the bad, provides the basic foundation for healthy living. It provides the foundation for personal growth. Having self-esteem is a very basic foundation for finding joy and happiness in life.
Challenge: Is “self-esteem” an issue for you? Is it in proper balance? Do you think too low or too highly of yourself? Self-esteem issues can be addressed. Take the time and evaluate this critical need. Your future happiness is greatly dependent upon these issues. Everything builds on how you feel and what you think about the “self”. Successful living is very dependent upon a proper degree of self-esteem and self-love.
Wisdom: There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. Nathaniel Branden.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentles, goodness, faith…. Galatians 5:22
We were created to have a “right” relationship with God. Without God we will have unhappy lives of continuous difficulty and hardship. Most are well aware of things about themselves that are unlikeable and even detestable. Knowing our faults so well causes us to have a hard time with self-issues. God loves us despite these things. He loves us so much; he died to save us. Knowing his love, gives us the ability to love others as well as ourselves.
Prayer: Help me to continue to grow in love. Help me to have a proper love for myself.