Yes, that was me. I was the kid who hid under his desk and in coat closets the first several years of his schooling. If I remember right, this continued into 3rd grade. 863 more words
85% of the world’s population are affected by low self-esteem. Source: The self-esteem book, Dr Joe Rubino.
Now that is a stunning statistic, definitely not in a good sense.
What is self-esteem? You may ask!
Dictionary dot-com defined self-esteem as “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.”
synonyms for this term include:
self-respect, pride, dignity, self-regard, faith in oneself.
I have been around people with very low self-esteem (mostly religious or church people) and in the past, I had wondered why some of these people suffered from this menace, however, it became clear after I closely investigated the possible cause.
You see, self-esteem talks about the “self”, but from a religious standpoint, we consider anything that promotes the “self” as bad, although God Himself doesn’t, in fact the Bible is full of self assuring powerful affirmations that can change people’s lives for the best, see for yourself… What does the Bible say about self-esteem? However, there are people with varying and contrary opinions about how we should treat ourselves in order not to appear conceited and prideful, their intentions might not be bad but the way they go about it produces damaging results to the individual’s self-worth. Proponents of this belief system engage in derogatory self talks such as I am dumb, I don’t deserve this and that, I don’t expect big things to happen unless God comes down from heaven, I am not good enough because of my sins, I don’t matter in the grand scheme of things etc. These people are quick to judge others who are their stack opposite, call you names and associate you with negative phrases such as you are prideful, you are selfish, you don’t ask for advice, your heart is not right and you need to check it to find out why all of a sudden you have become so bold and confident lol, you will go to hell if you don’t repent and humble yourself, and the list is inexhaustive. So in order to fit in, majority of the people go to war with the “self” either consciously or unconsciously, being propelled by deceptive religious dogmas that seek to hijack the mind with the sole purpose of enslaving the freedom of thought that God has so freely given to us.
What is the percentage of religious people globally?
84 percent of the world population has faith; a third are Christian. “Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group,” says a new comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Funny how 84 percent of the world population is religious and the percentage of those suffering from low self-esteem account for about 85 percent. It can be inferred that majority of these people belong to one religion or the other.
I will speak as a disciple of Yeshua (Jesus Christ). My believe in God through Yeshua should not enslave me, I shouldn’t feel less of a person because I am a Christian, in fact, I should feel so much power, confidence, poise and every good thing that follow the decision of becoming a disciple of Christ; The Truth Sets Us Free. I am glad to say that more than before, I am very confident, I have very high self-esteem, I love myself and others, and I love God because I chose to read the Bible for my own convictions and I don’t care about religious dogmas and false doctrines that are all over the place to enslave people.
How Can You Break Out From This Low Self Esteem Menace?
- know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made by God the creator. Is it true? Find out.
- Avoid people who constantly make you feel worthless, who want to teach you how to think or act. People who micro-manage you, who tell you to change from who you are to who they want you to be by imitating exactly what they do. Maybe imitating certain aspects of things you like about a person isn’t that bad but remember that there is no iota of originality in imitation, and what is more? it is a betrayal of the self. In my opinion, imitation has more detrimental effects than the it benefits as highlighted by these two articles: 3 Ways Imitation Can Kill The Innovation Inside You, 5 Reasons Why You Should Simply Learn and Improve Instead of Imitation. Don’t get me wrong, you can imitate someone’s faith, enthusiasm, drive, positive affirmations etc. but for goodness sakes why imitate how someone walks, talks, preaches, eats? why imitate their style? what about your style?
- Be around people who support you. Good friends who listen and speak to you from the heart, who enjoy spending quality time with you (maybe a cup of coffee every now and then, a walk in the park etc.). Those who want to genuinely walk with you and see you improve and achieve incredible things in life. People who ask about your problems and genuinely listen and never tell you what to do but only offer advice if and only if you ask for one (or who ask to offer you one if you are too shy to ask).
- Embrace inner voice modification. Come on! no one is an island; there are times when we feel so low especially when we feel we are not where we ought to be in comparison to others (trust me you want to avoid comparing yourself to others), that we begin to indulge in negative thoughts that do not benefit us in any way. In these situations, you must modify your self talk, filter all the negative thoughts that flood your mind and only hold on to the positive ones. Yesterday I was with a friend who was telling me how his week went and somewhere in between the story, he pretty much affirmed that he was a very dumb person. I allowed him to finish, however, I suggested he modifies his use of self descriptive words because they have profound effects on our emotional and psychological wellbeing. We make bad decisions that place us in awkward and bad situations but we are not those decisions, we must not associate our identity with those mistakes but only learn from them and move on. Avoid damaging self talks like “I’m such a fat pig, no wonder I don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.”, “I hate my job, but no one would hire a loser like me.”, “I’m such a failure.”, “I’m so dumb.”, “I will never amount to something in life.”
- Accept that you are not perfect. Honestly, people who suffer from low self-esteem are those who compare their imperfections to other people’s supposed perfections. Truth be told, no one is perfect and you have to realize this fact and focus on your strengths and embrace your weaknesses.
- Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound) goals. The fear of failure is one of the reasons people don’t like to set goals, but you have to know that if you don’t fail, growth is unlikely because if you don’t try new things, you cannot advance, and when you try new things, sometimes you will fail. It is alright to fail but it is not alright to quit and accept that you are a failure, you have to be resilient and accept that failure is a springboard to success, in fact the most successful people had the most failures. Use the SMART model when setting your goals and clearly state why you want to achieve them. For instance, I will write 3 articles about thought leadership this week (beginning from 4/30/2018 – 5/7/2018) to inspire my readers to lead themselves better, I will run a 3k every morning to improve my physical fitness, I will save 30% from my pay check every week to pay off my debt etc.
- Take calculated risks and be resilient. How do you feel about those who took risks and followed through their dreams and later became successful? Inspired and motivated right? That’s right! You too can become that person whose story would inspire others to dare and become who they were born to be. But is not going to happen unless you act; I would have loved to guarantee you that you will succeed but I am sorry to disappoint you, there are no guarantees but you wont know how it will all turn out unless you act. One thing I can guarantee you though is, as long as you don’t give up, as long as you continue to improve yourself, persevere in the pursuit of your dreams by taking practical steps to see them come through, you will succeed.
I am not a therapist but I can support you in your quest to attain high self esteem. Just use the “Contact Form” in the homepage and send me an email.
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check the following articles to help you lead a more productive and fulfilling lifestyle.
Bibobra Michael Alabrah
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without purpose.” – Dr. Myles Munroe
Who Am I?
The answer to this thought-provoking question will change your life forever because you would have to dig deep into your very foundations and question your values and principles upon which you have built your personality and formed your philosophies about several aspects of life.
Is it important to know who I am?
Well it is not important if you don’t want to become who you were made to be, if you are comfortable been led by others in every aspect of your life (lack of self-believe in yourself), if you are afraid to face the truth, if you are afraid to be honest with yourself, if you are afraid of your uniqueness, if you love to be in a bandwagon(follow-the-crowd or go-with-the-flow or no-independence-of-thought), if you love to hear other people’ stories of success and triumphs but are not ready to discover and unleash yours, if you are comfortable hiding yourself under the ugly face of insecurity and self-hate, if stories of near-misses inspire you, if you are happy and satisfied with where you are, and finally if you are convinced that you are at your best and don’t need to find that missing link. If these descriptions reflect your thought process then you don’t have to read further, but if they are a stack opposite of what you desire, then congratulations you have come to the right place, and I promise your life will never remain the same again.
How are we influenced as we grow older?
- In the womb, we were 100 percent free from the outside influence, I cannot say if we had thoughts but if it were to be then they were independent and free from influences as well.
I like to think of a new birth as a unique solution to a unique problem that the world currently faces or that she would face in the future. Hence, every conception was divinely orchestrated for a divine purpose.
- Life starts when we are born! I wonder why babies cry at birth, could it be because we are now out of the comfort and security of the womb to the awakening of this harsh world? I doubt if anyone knows why. But from there on, the baby depends on the parents for food, warmth, love, and survival generally; however, after some months or a few years, he/she realizes that they are separate from the parents and the intrapersonal conflict kicks in, the desire to do as they please versus the need to strike the balance between harmony with family and ‘self’ sets the tone for an epic inner battle (the battle between the role as a child and individuality).
- As we begin to make friends and even welcome a brother or a sister, the responsibility and the influence on our individuality increases. Our peers pressure us to try out things and at the same time we are pressured to be of good character and uphold the family values which often than not we do not always agree with. Gradually, we are influenced by so many things that our individuality never seems to see the day light however hard it tries to come to the fore.
- Just as Petroleum Engineers explore for oil and gas in the deep seas and the weirdest of places, so a child begins exploration, we begin to ask more questions, the need to explore and find answers is increased, our natural instincts begin to surface but so also is the pressure to conform to acceptable norms. We want to know the things that make us happy or sad, the things we love etc., this quest provides us with some answers but again we are caught up between satisfying our innermost desires and doing what everyone else expects of us. For fear of being scolded or rejected we often succumb to fit in, and this affects almost every aspect of our lives, from the choice of food, music, clothes, hairstyle, to the kind of people we hang out with etc.
- The gap between our individuality and conforming to the rest widens even further when we start college and decide on our majors. Often than not we abandon our innermost selves as we bid to become engineers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. and wrestle to become the best of what society has designed for us rather than truly becoming us. Of course, some will never go to college but we all have a common point…job… where we are all expected to fit into a box and deliver expected results…conformity at the highest level.
- Ah we are here now! After all is said and done we still feel empty, unfulfilled, and maybe left wondering about our legacy. Um… the time of self-reflection beckons, reality sinks in, yes, I have a house, a car, a family etc. but then I still feel like there is something missing. We then seek to reconcile ourselves to the very purpose for which we were born in the first place, those who are lucky may find their way back but those who are not, will just leave unnoticed, like they were never here, the purpose for which they were born was never reached and the earth is deficient in that area because of their lack of understanding and knowledge of the self.
These influences confuse us to think that our roles are who we are. That is why you meet someone for the first time and they introduce themselves as thus:
Hey! I am Michael. I am a father of 20 lol,
A loving husband, I have 13 sisters and 5 brothers…just kidding
I have an awesome job working as an engineer at X-company.
As you can see that is a typical introduction and all that it highlights are roles. We must separate our roles from who we are, I know this is complicated but I promise to simplify it as we continue this journey. Just grab a cup of coffee, recline on the couch, I will be right back!
Boom…. Examine your life!
Why should you examine your life?
Well according to Socrates “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Self-evaluation will help you with:
- Self-Discovery: there is truth in Socrates’ statement. Why? Of what use is it if you are not living your life but someone else’? barely existing as a human being is miserable that is why everyone desires to live life to the fullest. Self-examination will help you to unmask the fake-self that has replaced your true-self, it will help you to see the difference between who you truly are versus who you think you are, it will help you to dissect and separate yourself from the achievements and roles, it will present to you thought-provoking questions that will break the superficial satisfaction you attach your self-worth to, and finally bring you face-to-face to your true self.
- Self-Awareness: this is the second reason you should examine yourself. After you discover your true-self, knowledge of the self becomes paramount…Loa Tzu remarked: “The one who knows others is wise, but the one who knows himself is enlightened.” Now you must become aware of your inner emotions, thoughts, desires, strengths and weaknesses, the things that make you thick, your instruments of peace and happiness. You must reconcile yourself to your PURPOSE.
- Self-Acceptance: is one thing to know who you are, another to accept it. Having had the full knowledge of the self through self-awareness, you must accept the challenge that was divinely orchestrated for you to live life rather than just exist. Honestly, when reality sets in, when we are faced with our purpose, we could become nervous and scared, is all right to be afraid but now is not the time to run away, rather, it is the time to accept who you are and enjoy the journey. There will be somethings that you may not like about yourself but instead of rejecting those parts of you or being in denial, you must accept the things you cannot change and change the ones you can.
- Self-Appreciation: it is awesome to accept who you are because you are unique. But it is not always easy to appreciate ourselves especially if we wish we were someone else visa vies feeling inadequate…thoughts of how I wish I was taller, had blue eyes, long hair, more handsome or beautiful, and the list continues. We mention all the things we wish we had while forgetting all the awesome things we have. Listen, no one is perfect, that person you wish you were like him or her, wishes he/she was someone else or even you. So just accept yourself for who you are and appreciate and love yourself because this is the only way you will be happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.
- Become: the last thing is to become what you were born to be, explore the world from its length and breadth, search for all the arsenals you need to achieve your purpose, refuse to limit yourself, dream as big as you want because there is no crime for doing so…allow your imagination to traverse you to places no one has ever thought of and bring them to reality. Discover, dream, and explore so that at the time of your passing, the world will consider herself blessed to have had you graced her with your beauty and uniqueness because your imprints will not go unnoticed.
The conclusion of the matter is knowing who you are, accepting and appreciating cum loving yourself is not only beneficial to you but to everyone else. So, who do you think you are? Who are you truly? What are the things that make you…you? The world is waiting for you to self-actualize, what are you waiting for? Would you accept the challenge to find yourself and become who you were born to be?
Hopefully I have inspired you to find yourself! Thank you for reading.
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It is often said that the best things of life are the simplest things. We humans like to complicate things so that the simplest things are made complex and the ones that cannot be made so are taken for granted. Over the years I have come to realize that indeed the most important things are not expensive, in fact, money cannot buy them, for instance, money can buy lust, attraction and power but it cannot buy true love, it maybe able to buy influence but not the truth, definitely not true friendship, peace of mind, time and the list continues, not because money is not important but because these things cannot be bought. Check the links at the end of this article for more things money cannot buy.
As you go through this list, make a note of all the things you have being taking for granted and decide to make a 360 degree turn today. Appreciate these things and watch your life change from ingratitude to gratitude, sadness to happiness, complaint to contentment, comparison to appreciation.
- God’s Mercy: no one can claim that they are alive today because of their righteousness, we fall short every day and it is only by God’s mercy that we are still breathing. Romans 6:1-2 tells us not to take this mercy for granted and we shouldn’t.
- A Mother’s love: after God’s mercy, this should be the top priority. No sane person should ever take his/her mother for granted. Imagine the pains she had to go through to birth you and the sleepless nights, how she made sure you had enough to eat even when it meant for her to starve or work two jobs. Please don’t ever take your parents for granted, pick up the phone right now and call them, tell them how grateful you are and make things right with them. I wish I could call my mom right now to thank her for carrying me for 9 months and going through the pains of child-birth but I can’t because she is in heaven.
- Genuine Love: as highlighted earlier we can’t buy true love. There are so many people who have gone to the grave beyond without knowing how it feels like to be loved unconditionally, they neither gave nor received it. Maybe they gave but never received it or they received it but never gave it. So if you find that someone who loves you or vice versa, don’t hold back and don’t take it for granted.
- A True Friend: true friends are nearly non-existent because almost everyone is about “what’s in it for me”. Is so hard to find that person who would stand by you, offer that support and encouragement when you need them most and carry you if need be. Whenever I think of a true friend I remember Samwise “Sam” Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in the Fellowship of the Ring movie. The role Sam (Frodo’s best friend) played to ensure that his best friend succeeds in his mission to cast the ring into the lake of fire reflects true friendship.“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.” Aristotle. “My dad said to me growing up: When all is said and done, if you can count all your true friends on one hand, you’re a lucky man.” Josh Charles
- Time: time is probably everything and it is so sad to see people take this valuable commodity for granted. God gives us 24 hours every day, some people use it wisely while others not so wisely. They give it away so cheaply as if it can be recovered, you cannot achieve anything tangible if you don’t know how to manage your time, honestly speaking, you should be stingy with it. Remember time is money! Agreed that money is not everything but the lack of it makes life miserable.
- Don’t take Yourself for granted: You are here for a reason and this world would have been incomplete without you. Think about this, there is no one else with your finger prints; you are unique and don’t take this for granted.
- Don’t take anyone for granted: everyone is unique and equal before God. Even if you are highly placed in the society, well-educated, have a good job, have a good family etc just know that our differences are the things that make us unique. Imagine if everyone was like you; oh my gosh life will lack the varieties that spice things up.
- Family: when everyone else fails you, your family will be right there to take you in. Value and cherish your family, they are your roots without them there is no you.
- Don’t despise humble beginnings: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, Rome was not built in a day, and nothing worthwhile was ever built with the speed of light, my point is, good things take time so value and celebrate the baby steps.
- Experiences: everything happens for a reason, in my opinion, there are no coincidences. So when things happen focus on the lessons and the takeaways, enjoy and savor those good moments, as for the bad ones, look for the silver lining (nothing is 100% bad or good) because nothing lasts forever.
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Guest Post by Sibyl Joseph
Since December of 2015, when I made the decision to live for Christ, I have come to realize how important it is to stop and take stock of my personal walk with God from time to time. Self-evaluation has helped and continues to help me to know where I am at as I strive to grow in my relationship with God. This is a pragmatic step because then I know that I am armed with the fore-knowledge that regardless of the obstacles and challenges that I face, God guarantees that He will allow me to achieve greater things in the future through Him. It is very tempting to make bad decisions when things don’t go as planned, hence, the significance of truly evaluating our present situation in the light of God’s word cannot be overstated, especially when it comes in the form of God’s discipline. Hebrews 12:4-11 elaborates on the encouraging words about how God disciplines the ones He loves, and also how we must accept this discipline as an act of endearment that can produce great change in righteousness as well as peace.
Furthermore, we can become blind or even be deceived by Satan of where we think we are versus where we actually are with God, this lack of clear understanding of our position with God could lead to a lack of true change and/or transformation Romans 12:2 teaches.
I recently studied out God’s discipline in my life which lead me to Hebrews 2:1. I realized that in my walk with God I had drifted away from Biblical standards simply because I didn’t take the time to evaluate where I was at today, who I used to be in the past, and where I knew I wanted to be tomorrow. I needed to once again look at the Bible as a reflection of my own heart and accept who I had allowed myself to become, but more importantly, who I knew I wanted to imitate, Christ himself as clearly highlighted in the book of James 1:22-25
I heard a lesson the other day from one of my favorite pastors in our movement, Andrew Smellie, who leads the Nigerian church where he said (and this is not verbatim): if you can remember a time when you used to be more fired up, more faithful, more devoted, more loving, etc. then that’s a sign that you’ve drifted away. Instantly I was blown away because my answer to every question asked was “yes”, I could remember a time that I was more of all of the above.
Revelations 2:2-5 presents an excellent example of a church in the Bible that had everything perfect. Jesus says “consider the height you’ve fallen” meaning that there was a time they were on top before they fell or drifted away. Because they didn’t evaluate where they really were to see how far they had fallen behind the pecking order, Jesus held that crucial one flaw against them unless they repented.
So, where am I going with all of this? Overall, no matter what point in your walk with God that you’re at, take the time to evaluate yourself, and you can apply this to your daily life in the world as well. If you find yourself in the same position as I was, if every single one of your answers to those same questions is a “yes”, then it’s time to act! Just make the decision to repent and turn your life around. Remember the love you had for Christ at first and the fact that you can do even greater things as Jesus puts it in John 14:12. Make a plan to achieve the goals you had in the beginning for yourself and find ways to hold yourself accountable. Tell others your goals and share your plans with them so that they can help keep you on track and so that you can pay close attention in avoidance of the slow and steady drift to faithlessness.
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