We are born with the seed of self-esteem already planted within us. It’s dormant at birth, but it will be awakened as the child discovers the world. Self-esteem begins to grow in the soil of experience, watered with feedback at every turn.
The seed sprouts and begins sending roots into the developing person. The child puts out feelers, and the self-esteem plant begins to add the leaves of self-confidence. Trial and error is the order of passing days. This process repeats thousands of times, and the child grows into an adult, self-confidence feeding self-esteem.
Much has been made of instilling self-esteem in young people. Courses of instruction for teaching self-esteem in youngsters have been developed and unleashed on unsuspecting children. This is a disservice to young people.
It is a misunderstanding of self-esteem and its source. Self esteem is a seed within us. It is not a product of how we dress or with whom we associate. Rather, how we dress and with whom we associate are a product of the seed within. This seed grows with time as we engage the world, as we realize each small success, and as we grow in our self-confidence to engage again.
Even so, adults can make wrong choices or bad decisions. We can get caught up in the destructiveness of these choices and let self blame (or guilt) burden us much longer than the consequences of the action itself. This erodes self-confidence.
We need to learn from wrong choices and bad decisions. Self forgiveness comes as we accept that those choices have the power to shape us into stronger, more responsible people. Self forgiveness allows us to shrug off the burden of self blame and guilt. It allows us to move on in self-confidence.
We author our life story. We write the script and repeat it endlessly. We write the script in the decisions we make. It is written in the self talk in which we engage. It is written in the treatment of others. When we write a positive story, we create a healthy, well-balanced life. Full of self-confidence. Rooted in self-esteem.
By Chelsea Perry