When I was about eight years old, I was very much worried about my weight. I had a huge stomach, my cheeks were really round and I just couldn’t accept the image that the mirror projected. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to get active and lose weight and she would always tell me: “you are too young to worry about how you look, when you grow, you will decide for yourself how you want to look. Right now, you are very beautiful!” I was the only child then… Obviously, two siblings and a few years later, the story changed. As I grew older, precisely after I immigrated into the USA ( I was 18), and gained 50 pounds within the first six months that I spent in the U.S.A, my mom started calling me names that stuck with me for years. Those words among many other factors in my life affected my self-esteem. There were days when I forced myself to look at the image in the mirror and hating myself become common. It was not a great place to be and I have learned that I could have faced it better (challenged my thoughts) if I was thought about self-esteem.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-esteem is the “confidence and satisfaction in oneself.” But I think that Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D defines self-esteem better when she says that self-esteem is:”Self-esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness.” With that being said, self-esteem is taught and maitained throughout lifetime. Unless you are thought that you can face anything if you think that you are strong enough to do it, chances are you will not challenge thoughts like “this is too hard” or “I can never do it.” As Jeffrey Keller, a motivational speaker says: “Yet, I believe every person has the capacity of high self-esteem. The question is, are you ready to make a commitment to increase your self-esteem?”
Self-esteem is personal, therefore, it is affected by all the various dimensions in your life such as your sex, your age group, your background,etc. However, there are some common ways to find out how high or low your self-esteem is. A common test used to evaluate self-esteem is the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.
Once you have found out where you stand, you can take action to improve or maintain your positive self esteem. A part of being happy is being proud, confident and respectful of ourselves. All that is influenced by your self-esteem so work on your self-esteem!
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” Eleanor Roosevelt