How Your Self-Esteem Affects You
By Tiffany Nicole, LEI Editor
How Does Your Esteem Affect You?
Self-esteem is something every human being under the sun will struggle with at some point in our lives. It is the crucial part of learning to love and accept ourselves for who we are on the inside and the outside. So what is self-esteem really? According to Dictionary.com, self-esteem is the "sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity. A confidence and satisfaction in oneself." www.Dictionary.com
There are many different psychological theories out there that discuss when and how our esteem is developed and what affects it. Such things would be family relationships, childhood friendships, pressures in society, etc. Low self-esteem is not only something that can develop within young children, but it can also manifest itself in adulthood. So what do you see when you look in the mirror?
I know for me growing up, I struggled a lot with my self-esteem, my image and who I was as a person. Growing up I was the only girl, middle child and was surrounded by boys all the time. I loved to be outside roughing it up with my brothers and the neighborhood boys. But eventually I wanted those boys to like me and that's when I realized I was just their "little sis" or "homegirl." Slowly I began to separate myself from them and spent lots of time in my room, playing in my hair, playing with make-up, clothes trying to change from that tomboy to the girly girl. It took some me time, but eventually I got there.Eventually over time, I struggled with my esteem not only on the outside but the inside. I wanted to know why am I here? What is the reason for my existence? I realized that no one can truly understand who they are until they understand why they are here, purpose. I found my purpose in God. I realized the closer I got to God, the more I understood why I was created and who I really am. I am a child of the King.
Though it has been a long road, I finally feel like I am coming into my own. I love myself and am truly happy in my own skin. We all travel through this journey called life, but we don't necessarily go through life's trials for ourselves, but for someone else. I know now that my struggle with my self-esteem and self-worth was not for me, but for the many young girls who I mentor and look up to me. I am by no means perfect, and you will not ever hear or see me portray myself as such. I still have insecurities and personal struggles that I deal with, but because I know who I am in God, I know that with Him I can conquer any mountain that arises even the ones I create for myself.
I believe it's a true statement, "you cannot truly love someone, until you love yourself." God commands that "we love our neighbors as ourselves," (Matthew 22:39) but if we do not truly love ourselves, how can we love our neighbor? Bottom line is, the only way to build positive self-esteem is to accept the things you cannot change, and to embrace YOU. Do not let anyone define you because of your material possessions, marital status, parental status, financial status, even your spiritual status. Instead let God define you, live a life of humility, and know that God wants to take what the devil meant for evil, and turn it around for your good." (1 Samuel 17:51) I am a living testimony of that scripture, as each day I see the hand of God unfolding His will for my life and revealing to me the reason for my struggles. You can too, just accept Jesus Christ into your heart, and I guarantee you will never be the same. Love. Embrace. Inspire.