FIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME LOW SELF ESTEEM
Low Self-Esteem does not have value to a life, therefore anyone who discovers that (s)he has a low self-esteem must make every effort to overcome it. Here are five keys to overcoming low self-esteem
Self-acceptance is the main antidote for low-self esteem. You need to identify things about yourself that you do not like. Is it something in your background or a habit that you wish to drop? Are there things you will not want people to know about you? Do not pretend that they are not there or else the day an impish fellow decides to tease you with it, it will be demoralising for you. From among the things you do not like about yourself, identify those that you do not have power to change. Most physical deficiencies like stammering or a facial scar are in that category. If you have a physical deficiency, accept yourself the way you are. But note that things you are to accept about yourself do not include bad habits like anger, pride and the like.
- PLEASANT CHARACTER:
A pleasant character makes up for most physical deficiencies. People may not notice the deficiencies unless another person calls their attention to them. I had heard many stories about a particular woman that I had come to love before we ever met. One day, her husband invited me to her house so I could meet her. My first encounter was awkward for I had imagined that I would be meeting a very beautiful woman, but she was obese and had a slight limp. All the physical features seemed to be directly opposite to all I had imagined, but as I visited with her, I discovered she was really a lovely woman, and before long, I also began to view her in a different light.
- APPRECIATE GOD’S GRACE IN YOU:
You need to start appreciating who God made you to be. I am not talking about comparing yourself with another person in order to make you feel you are better because that is pride. It is about you realising that you are a person of worth before God; therefore, you must be a person of worth in your own sight. There are things within you that others admire and appreciate, but a negative self-image blinds you to those things. Begin to identify the good things about yourself that you are aware of and start thanking God for them. If the good things are difficult for you to identify, you should pray and ask God to open your eyes to see the gifts and abilities He has given you which you are unaware of.
- APPRECIATE OTHERS:
Another key to overcoming inferiority complex is to learn to appreciate good things in other people’s lives without being jealous. You can never be someone else, and another person cannot be you. It is interesting to know that no two individuals in the world are exactly alike. In fact that is why the fingerprint is a widely accepted authentic way of identifying persons. When you start appreciating others sincerely, you will not pretend to be who you are not. You will allow people to know your limitations, and together you can work at overcoming them without the pressure and the fear that people may know your shortcomings.
If the cause of your low self esteem is something that someone did against you in the past, you have to handle it by forgiving the person. True, you have been wronged but if you fail or refuse to forgive them, you will be holding your mind and emotions bound to the person. Can you imagine a girl who decided to study law in the university simply because she believes that when she becomes a professional lawyer, she can sue her uncle who used his family position to cart away her late father’s inheritance. Now if the uncle dies before she finishes her study it will all be in vain. Likewise, if it is something you did wrong that is haunting you, I want you to know that such a wrong would also have hurt God for He is the one who created you for good works. You need to seek His forgiveness in prayers. This is further explained in chapter six. After you have received God’s forgiveness, then you need to forgive yourself, for you have no right to hold on to the past after God has forgiven you. Meanwhile if it is a wrong that can be undone, for example if it was a lie you told about someone, then it is important that you look for the person and own up to the truth and be willing to bear responsibility for your action. After you have received God’s forgiveness, you should also forgive yourself and any other person who has offended you. This will free your mind and make room for you to move forward.