Self-esteem, it's a term we're all too familiar with. I used to hate this term because it inevitably reminded me of my lack thereof. Honestly, I think every human being on this earth struggles with healthy self-esteem. We always desire what we lack, externally, and internally. I think as women we're conditioned to believe that if you're attractive, or have wealth, you don't struggle with self-esteem. Um..that's a negative. Self-esteem is not just external, but also, and even MORE so internal.
I remember as an adolescent feeling so inadequate in school because I felt I wasn't as smart as the other students. I'd shrink in the seat when the teacher would scan the room for an answer to a question because I thought my answer would be wrong, even when I knew the right answer! Even now, as an adult when I'm asked to do something at work or teach a lesson at church, I shrink myself. I think to myself, you're not smart enough. Why do I still hold myself to the standards I had as an adolescent? Will I ever grow my self-esteem?
Well, let me tell you, sister. You will NEVER grow into your self-esteem if don't build your self-esteem. It took a long time for me to even recognize my own talent. I didn't think I was a good enough dancer. I didn't think I was a good enough singer. I didn't think I was a good enough writer. I didn't think I was good enough (fill in the blank).
Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, writes about the difference between healthy self-esteem and toxic self-esteem. He writes that healthy self-esteem is "based on how we feel about the things we CAN control in our lives. While toxic self-esteem is derived from external, uncontrollable things in your life". So, I ask you, which type of self-esteem are you building?
An even bigger question, how do we build healthy self-esteem?
I think the key to building healthy self-esteem is realizing that you're different internally and externally from any other human being. You have to realize this and embrace it. In society, we believe the hype. We start to think there's a standard we're all held too in our work environment, social environment, and even with our families. WRONG. We, individually, create the standard. It's OUR standard. You control how you feel about yourself, no one else in the world has that power over you.
I believe once we realize and embrace ourselves individually, we are ready to build that self-esteem and eventually, grow it. Growth is a powerful thing. You never stop growing. Why would you want to? I'm still working on building my self-esteem. Do you struggle with healthy self-esteem? Are you building toxic or healthy self-esteem? Comment below.