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 somewhat 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 crucial. We have a critical need for being able to think of ourselves as worthy. This is a basic necessity to be able to function properly as viable and healthy human beings. Along with self-esteem, it is vital to have a basic foundation of self-love. Problems with either too little or too much of either causes us difficulties both with our 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 exemplify rather severe self-esteem problems. Those committing suicide and those who kill others have severe issues with self-respect, self-esteem and self-love. Without proper self-esteem and other self-needs we are mentally malnourished and maladjusted.
Self-esteem is often in the news, especially when concerning kids. Some authorities have eliminating winners and losers in children’s sports; intending to keep the self-esteem of the losers from being damaged. Each of us is “uniquely” unique with our own one of a kind heredity, upbringing and mental makeup. Having adequate “self-esteem” is so critical to our very well-being. We should develop normally and naturally during childhood and adolescence. Too many have had problems with this and must overcome various self-issues. These issues hold us back. All children definitely need good role models. They need good parenting, teaching and training in many successful living techniques. Adults “who miss out” must realize their inadequacies and address them through their own self-help efforts, counseling or other means. Low self-esteem is a handicap that can be overcome.
Having self-esteem means accepting, respecting, and loving the “self”. We can love and respect 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 good and bad, provides the basic foundation for healthy living. It also provides the foundation for personal growth. Having self-esteem is a very basic necessity for finding any joy and happiness in this 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 your needs, if any. 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 having 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 our issues. He loves us so much; he died to save us. Knowing his love, gives us the ability to love ourselves as well as others.
Prayer: Help me to continue to grow in love. Help me to have a proper love for myself.