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  • Joanna Hart

The Self-Esteem Disorder

It’s funny how we as a generation are plagued with the ‘disorder’ of low self-esteem. In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. In other words, how much you appreciate and like yourself. What’s ironic about this is the fact that we’ve to work towards ‘liking’ or ‘loving’ ourselves when as a humankind we’re selfish beings.

Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston who has spent 20 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy says in her TED talk that this world contains two types of people: those who live with a sense that they are worthy of love and belonging, and those who, because of shame, struggle to feel worthy. We live in a world where body shaming, mom shaming, and all kinds of movements targeted at shaming people are trending hashtags on Twitter. People love to laugh, mock and essentially destroy anyone’s sense of self-worth. We the millennial's exist in a society where Photoshop and the cover of Vogue defines the standard of beauty. We have set ourselves up for ‘shame’ – an unnecessary feeling based on unrealistic standards.

More and more we find ourselves struggling with low self-esteem. We struggle with our identities, who we are and what gives us worth or value. We watch as people stronger, better, more talented, more gifted, more successful take their places in this world while we devalue ourselves thinking “he/she is so much better than me, I’ll never be like that.” Thus putting ourselves in an endless prison cell of comparison and worthlessness. So what do we do about it?

Well first: We stop comparing! Identical twins born to the same parents, brought up in the same environment and expose to the same things do not turn out the same. Each one of us is different – this doesn’t mean better or worse, just different. Moreover, the idea of what’s better than the other is a matter of perception – it cannot be measured, nor scientifically proven or factualized. No one person sets the standard for you! You set your own standards and your own goal is to be the best possible version of yourself that you can be. It takes practice, but we’ve got to bind the thoughts of comparison. Every time we think “she’s a much better singer than I am” or “I wish I could be as good a mom as she is, look at how well behaved her kids are” we’ve got to fight them and throw them in the bin. By no means does this mean we have to stop aspiring to be better or trying to learn or grow – but we do it for ourselves, not for the unrealistic standards we’ve set by comparison.

Second: We diet! We feed ourselves nutritious truths and detox our minds from the lies and junk we’ve fed ourselves for way too long. The truth is: we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are crafted with so much detail, so much love and so much affection by our Creator. We are HIS delight! We are made in the image of God himself, and if we choose to accept, have the freedom to walk as his son and daughter. The truth is, we are worthy enough to have life, to have breath because if we weren’t then there is no longer purpose for our lives and we would cease to exist. We all have a unique destiny, a plan made specially for each one of us – one that is uniquely made for you! We are a destined people. We are powerful, strong, loved, adored, equipped and empowered – If we choose to be. We have to choose to walk in these truths, they don’t just come automatically. But if we make that choice, it has the power to transform you inside and out. It’s like going to the gym – you go for your work out every day, you come home and look at the mirror and see no change at the time, but weeks later, you begin to see some change. You work harder and harder and down the road, you’ll see a complete transformation. You feel better about yourself, you’re confident, you’re full of energy and excitement. If we work feeding ourselves truth, we’ll watch our whole lives transform into something amazing.

Lastly: Align yourselves with the right people. We all know the saying “haters gonna hate”. To help ourselves grow, we’ve got to ensure we have the right company alongside us. Align ourselves with those that live these truths out daily – those that speak life and encouragement, those that will cheer you on. You owe it to yourself to be the best you that you can be. You owe it to yourself to look back on your life and say “I lived well.” Your life matters and each day counts – what legacy will you leave behind?

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