"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." —Eleanor Roosevelt
New month. New attitude. Love others as you love yourself.But do you love yourself?
Someone asked why they are not seeing more self-esteem related topics in the column. Well my friends, I would like to think that 99 per cent— if not a hundred percent— of my work is about self-esteem, because the topics are all centred on bettering ourselves at every level. Having hopefully cleared that up, I will zero in on the importance of fixing our inner image.
We do a wonderful job of dressing up or masking our inner pain with makeup, nice clothes, nice car, for example. However, unless we take the time to stop sabotaging ourselves by not dealing with the cause of our pain, we are living a lie.
Now, some people make a career of belittling, putting people down. Hmmm. And when we allow them to do so, wrongfully believing what they tell us — like we are not going to amount to anything, and all the other negative things that they say to and about us — we give them the power to continue to do so. And one reason why we allow them to continue is somewhere in our innermost being, we believe their lies. And we also give them more power to continue by staying around them.
Becoming a person with total confidence takes work, but if we are willing to work so hard on other things and not our self-confidence as well, the joy that we should feel when everything else is working, is lessened. Haven't you ever felt at the end of what should have been a fantastic day— you worked hard, you did your best— and somebody finds fault with one single aspect of your work, and that is all that you remember? Instead of focusing on what worked that day, your memory keeps serving up what went wrong because your self-confidence took a nose dive because it was not as strong as it should be.
Now this is a time for self-reconstruction. This is not a time to focus on what went wrong as much as it is a time to focus on rebuilding your confidence. And you do not do this by running to everyone for affirmation but sit down alone, and that takes a certain amount of confidence —and start patting your own back. You do this because at the end of the day when it is you and God alone, you have to remind yourself of your self-worth. You have to remind yourself that God who created you has confidence in you, so you'd better have confidence in yourself.
It can also be a time of inner struggle when you attempt to do more than forget the negative things that others say about you, to you AND the negative messages that you say to yourself about yourself. Some pain may surface at this time because in a way you are performing mental and emotional surgery to get rid of the negative self- images. But stay with it now, because pretty soon if you do, and work on recognising how beautiful, precious, strong, worthy of appreciation, (fill in the opposite words of the negative descriptions you have carried or believed here) and thank God for that you are all of that.
There will always be the folks who object to the subject of self-esteem being necessary. But check out the recommended relationship prescription from the Master —loving others as you love yourself, and understand that the process of loving yourself has to precede the loving of others. Hmmm. So start there, please.
Now, prepare yourself for this; when you start to love yourself healthily, and others see it because it is very obvious when you are self-confident — especially those who have gone all out to make you feel bad about yourself —some folks will disappear from your life for they no longer have a verbal floor cloth. But remember this as well there is a better replacement for every seeming lost because nature abhors a vacuum. So people who are more suited to your new attitude and self-confidence will come into your life.
I must tell you as well that on those days of doubt, you pray more than ever before because you do not want to backslide to a lower state of confidence. And I tell you with perfect confidence that you can do this with God's help.
So let us walk on water because weak faith panics, growing faith prays and seasoned faith walks on water in the midst of the storms.