[Today is the last part in a three day series about self-esteem. If you haven’t been following until now, you may want to read the past two days before you read this post.]
I always had an inner struggle with self-esteem.
On the one hand, I thought I was amazing. If you know me, you know I’m a reasonably accomplished person, so that’s was fair to assume without sounding too egotistical.
On the other hand, I could never shake the feeling that I was nothing compared to other people.
So in conversation with a friend last night, I think I figured it out, and I’ll share with you my findings since I think this is an affliction that impacts many people.
Growing up, I was told that I was great, then I reinforced that message by doing great things, and being told by people that I was great. At the same time, I created an inner voice, that told me “Josh, you’re great.” The problem is that the message that I created surrounding my self-esteem was one of I am great because of what I do, which means, that if I stopped doing great things, I would no longer be great.
Therein lies the fallacy, which I realized last night. I had been telling myself a message that was dependent on an outside force, instead of being independent, and as we have discussed, the goal of man who wants to be free in this world is independence.
You see, my greatness (if I can call it that) stems from the fact that I exist. The fact that I am gives me a natural right to enjoy this world as much as the next person since no one is better than the next person, and honestly, from my perspective, I have more of a right to be here than you.
So if I can’t rely on who I am and what I do to define myself, and provide my self-esteem (or lack thereof), where does my self-esteem stem from. It’s quite simple actually. I am, therefore I rock. This message is independent upon anyone else – even independent upon my own self approval, which is key, since sometimes my inner voice isn’t so approving, if you know what I mean.
However this message is totally up to you to integrate and believe, but if you think about it, it is totally believable and achievable with a simple change in perspective. Crazy huh, all you need to do to “fix” your self esteem is change your perspective.
The only thing that is hard is that for many of us, we were told that we don’t rock, in our childhood, and have continued to tell that message to ourselves until today. However, if we want to work on our self-esteem, the shortcut is to tease out this message from our psyche, and fully awaken to the realization that “I am, therefore I rock.”