Your Greatest Weapon, Ally, & Best Friend
“You yourself, as much as anybody
in the entire universe, deserve your
love & affection.”
What do you think is the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who fails?
Have you watched TV and wondered why an untalented and unattractive actor or an anchorperson made it so far in their careers? Have you wondered why your co-worker, who is missing half a brain is always getting the promotions? Have you watched an Olympic competition with two equally skilled athletes to see one always succumb to pressure? It’s not about being smart or having talent. That comes later. It’s about something you cannot see, but it’s powerful enough to create magic and make dreams come true.
It’s called self-esteem. It’s about believing in yourself no matter what. Without it, you will always question yourself in life. Have you seen someone with a lot of self-esteem? I have, and it’s mesmerizing. It draws me to them. They are confident and self-assured, and they are certain they will succeed because they rely on the single greatest source in their lives: Themselves.
Even on the playground at school, you can see it happening. The bullies don’t pick on kids who are confident and unafraid. It’s always the ones who are not sure of themselves, the ones who lack self-esteem.
Some people are born with a lot of self-esteem, while others are given encouragement early in life, which naturally increases their self-esteem. Sadly, some of us lose it because someone criticized us, put us down, and belittled us as being inferior, unworthy, and stupid when we were young. I was one of them. My parents have always encouraged me from the day I was born, but when we immigrated to America, my American teachers told me repeatedly that I was an inferior human being because I was not White, and I would end up being nothing better than a “maid.” I was just a kid, a scared little kid thrown into a foreign country with foreign people, speaking a foreign language. I had no reason to believe they weren’t telling me the truth. I believed them. So the damage began. And from then on, I believed I was second class in America, and I didn’t deserve anything other than being a maid. It affected every aspect of my life, including my career and my relationships with people, including men.
Once we lose our self-esteem, we have to work very hard to get it back. But it’s worth the effort because it is something we must have in order to stand on our own two feet in life. In order to gain your self-esteem, you need to start focusing on positive things in you and your life. You also need to reduce or eliminate negative things in your life that make you feel like you’re worthless. Sometimes that could be a person. Don’t let them anymore. We are old enough to stand up to them now. Stay away from negative and toxic people as much as you can.
Try focusing on one thing in your life that makes you feel worthy, strong, and proud, and then build from there. It’s like planting a seed, watering and nurturing it every day, so that someday it will become a strong and majestic tree. Surround yourself with supportive people and allow them to nourish you. You may not think you deserve it, but you do. Go into therapy to resolve repressed issues and strengthen your mental power.
Work on developing your self-esteem consciously every day. It matters throughout your whole life. If you don’t have yourself, who does? And what sweet revenge it would be to all those people who picked on you.
Bullies are still around. So work on developing an unshakeable self-esteem. It will be your greatest weapon, ally, and best friend throughout your whole life.
Excerpt from the book, “Happiness to the Rescue.”
By Clara Young, Ph.D.