Building Self Esteem: The Value of Self Awareness
In our thoroughly homogenized world believing in oneself is quietly considered to be politically incorrect. Words such as conceit, egotism and arrogance are tossed around to describe the negativity of such a concept. If one follows these ideas through to their logical conclusion, a person should be a clone of whatever image is currently accepted as popular in the media. Evidently we are "supposed to" look right, smell right, have the right number of children and hold the right type of job. This is patently absurd but every group of human beings holds a specific criteria for "rightness", and individuality is distinctly frowned upon. This is understandable from the perspective of feeling safe within one's community.
We all enjoy a certain degree of predictability from those we associate with and familiarity with how we perceive those around us contributes in large degree with how we feel about them. But what happens when there is something within us which doesn't fit the "norm" of our environment? It's not uncommon to feel alienated, or a misfit in such circumstances and frequently we may get angry with ourselves for not being what we think we ought to be.
I suggest that this isn't necessary. If we accept the idea that we are each unique creations of a perfect Creator, there's got to be something right happening, whether it's accepted by our environment or not. The two most common psychological disorders, depression and anxiety, usually have their roots in this difficulty of self-acceptance. Some of us who have radically different backgrounds or experiences from those we associate with, may have more of a problem with it. It doesn't make one wrong or bad or less than worthy simply because the composition of our psyche is a bit different.
Although the stated issue may be a sense of alienation from our environment, in my opinion it's more a matter of alienation from ourselves. If a comparison with others is continuously being made, any deviation from that could be blown up far out of proportion. What is important is to acknowledge the rightness of our uniqueness. Even if we can't immediately see what could be right about being different than others, consider the possibility. What if there was something very valuable about this character trait, physical difference or perception alteration that could be really important? Perhaps it could even be vital to your soul growth, contribution to society or personal survival. It probably is.
Even if we can't immediately understand what could possibly be right about ourselves, especially that which we've considered to be so negative, it very likely is so. Continuous belief in the wrongness of the Self takes awhile to undo, and our perceptions may not be open to alternative possiblities. Frequently it takes a sort of blind faith for awhile to believe that there is something inherently right about our difference before the subconscious mind will open up to it.
Every individual has something special to offer. Our greatest minds, artists and saints have been remarkably different people. It's historically stated that a significant number of them had problems with feelings of alienation until they learned to accept their uniqueness. This doesn't mean that you have to become world famous in order to fulfill your special qualities (I wouldn't put that responsibility on anyone). However, it's perfectly acceptable for you to be of value to you and by building self confidence and self esteem. After all, where would you be without you?
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Your presence is a present to the world.
- You’re unique and one of a kind.
- Your life can be what you want it to be.
- Take the days just one at a time.
- Count your blessings, not your troubles.
- You’ll make it through whatever comes along.
- Within you are so many answers.
- Understand, have courage, be strong.
- Don’t put limits on yourself.
- So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
- Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
- Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize.
- Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
- The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets.
- Don’t take things too seriously.
- Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.
- Remember that a little love goes a long way.
- Remember that a lot of love goes forever.
- Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
- Life’s treasures are people -- together.
- Realize that nothing is ever too late.
- Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
- Have health and hope and happiness.
- Take the time to wish upon a star.
- And don't ever forget -- for even a day --
- How very special you are.