A Question of Self-Esteem

It seems to me that a lot of people have self-esteem or ego issues.  There are some people who seem to think too highly of themselves and like to brag, name drop, and generally make sure you know how great and/or important they are, but they actually usually have a low self-esteem, not a high one.  People with high self-esteems don’t have to brag, drop names, etc.  They are confident and just act that way…they don’t need to force it.

It seems that we get most of our sense of self-worth from our childhood.  So, then, is it really mom’s fault???  That’s a good question.  And what if mom doesn’t have a strong self-esteem herself?  How does she help us to build one?  It’s an interesting dilemma, because how does one teach what they don’t know?

I’ve always known myself to not have the strongest sense of self.  I seem to care a bit too much what other people think and often look to others to see what they think before I can voice my own opinion.  It’s something I struggle with.

This whole thing came up again when I was recently asked to judge a writing competition.  I was excited at first but then began to worry if I was really qualified to do it (even though I was).  But I forged ahead anyway.

I didn’t like what I had to read and didn’t feel that it deserved to win an award but then I struggled with what to do because I didn’t really trust myself.  I knew there was another judge and I wondered what they thought about it, because somehow in my mind what they thought was “right.”  But I wouldn’t ever know what the other judge thought…I had to figure out what “I” thought.

Over the years I have learned to judge certain feelings I have on my “gut.”  I’ve lived in many apartments over the years and was finally able to learn to trust my gut as to whether an apartment seemed like one I could live in or not.  This took me many years and looking at hundreds of apartments to finally figure out.  Can I manage to do the same in other areas of my life?

I tried this strategy in judging this competition.  Was it so wrong to go with my gut on this one too?   If I told myself that I had no choice and was forced to come to a decision and voice my opinion, I really did know how I felt.  Aren’t my feelings and opinions enough?  They certainly should be.  And this is what I need to convince myself.  It’s not really my mom’s issue anymore…it’s mine.  And, really, I’m the only one who can make my own feelings and opinions count!

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