A couple of days ago someone asked me why I chose to write a book on self-esteem. It was a good question that made me pause for a minute. I realized there are a couple of answers to this question.
The first one is that there was a time when I had very poor self-esteem. When I was a child I perceived my little sister as the “perfect one”. She was cute, smart, funny, and everybody loved her. I probably resented the fact that she came along when I was two and “stole” my parents’ attention, so in response, I became angry and inadvertently drove people away.
My parents were loving and fair, but as we all do, I acted on my perception and decided that because they spent more time and attention on my sister (as is necessary with small children) I wasn’t as loveable and valuable as she was.
This was the beginning of 25 years of feeling “less than” others. I decided I wasn’t as loveable, valuable, capable or competent as everyone else, and this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn’t know how to make friends, and my grade school years were mostly lonely. High school was slightly better, but I still didn’t value who I was.
After many experiences in which I was successful and people appeared to like me, I began to realize that I am OK and actually have much to offer. By the time I was in my 30s I also understood that the opinions of others do not define who I am. I decided that I’m just as loveable, valuable, capable and competent as others, and that I’m OK. This doesn’t mean I’m ‘perfect’, but I’m the ‘perfect’ me, and there is always room for growth. It means that I can love myself, even with all my imperfections.
However, I still remember how painful life was when I didn’t value myself. So I went to school, got an education in psychology and became a Licensed Professional Counselor. My goal was to support, inspire and empower people so they would never have to feel the way I had when I was a child.
In my counseling practice it became clear to me that the people who have positive self-esteem have an easier time dealing with whatever life brings them. Those who feel they are loveable and competent are able to cope with life’s traumas and move on. Those who don’t love themselves seem to struggle.
I wanted to help people avoid the pain that I experienced in my early life, so I decided to write a book and create a program that helps people rediscover the amazing person they’ve always been. The result is Feeling Good About You, and The Feeling Good About You Breakthrough program, which over the years have been the platform for people to reconnect with the incredible person they are.
So that’s my experience with self-esteem, and why I’m so passionate about helping others.
What is your story about self-esteem? Please share, and let us know how your level of self-esteem has affected your life.