How do you feel about yourself? Do you have a high degree of self-confidence? Or instead do you often (or always):

  • Not believe in yourself?
  • Second guess your decisions?
  • Concentrate on past mistakes?
  • Believe that much of what you’ve ever done isn’t worthwhile?

Everyone is Affected

The last 4 questions above described how I felt about myself for the longest time. If willing to be truthful, many, many people feel the same way about themselves.

There are really no prejudices when it comes to this issue. It afflicts the highly successful as well as those struggling, and EVERYONE in between. My therapist (to know my story is to know I saw a Christian therapist to help me through my issues) indicates that it’s the predominant issue that people face:

  • Low self-esteem (and)
  • Lack of self-love

Difficult to See Our Own Stuff

Most of us are too close to any situation to see it for what it really is. Because it affects us personally, we are emotionally invested, which impacts our objectivity. The results can be one of the following:

  1. Seeing things rosier than they are; not recognizing the potential negatives
  2. Only seeing the negative in yourself and the situation(s); not recognizing the positive

For both of the above, most are blind to the actual reality. Related to #2, accomplishments are overlooked, with past failures being the main point of concentration. True of so many, including me previously, objective fact doesn’t matter. You can point to the persons’ accomplishments, detailing them and their impact, and the person just doesn’t see it. To the extent that they are willing to acknowledge success, most dismiss it, minimizing the relevance.

The Impact

The low self-esteem creates a lack of self-love, where individuals can be so self-critical, self-loathing, that it steals their energy. Although not seen by the outside world (unless they want to share it), they lose their enthusiasm, their zest for life.

This was me for the longest time…always second guessing and blaming myself, beating myself up on a regular basis. And nobody knew it. To the outside world, I was this confident, happy, successful person. And given all the objective data otherwise, I had no self-esteem and no self-love.

 

What Causes It?

The answer…not knowing our identity or purpose (more on this later). Couple this with what the world tells us we need to be successful, to be happy…the 4Ps, as I refer to them…Prominence, Possessions, Pleasure, and People. Comparison, the thief of all joy, is a big problem because no matter who we are, no matter what we do, there’s always someone doing more and doing it better.

When we measure ourselves by our “do” instead of our “who”, our “role” instead of our “identity”, we’re never able to maintain peace, joy, or fulfillment. We are never able to keep up with what we believe we should be…this fictitious, unachievable standard that only we get to create and then judge ourselves against.

And don’t underestimate Satan here, who thrives on division and destruction.

What’s the Answer?

The ONLY way to overcome low self-esteem and a lack of self-love, then living a life of Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment, is to:

  • Understand your identity as a child of God, having internalized His unconditional love and forgiveness
  • Discern your true purpose on this earth, given to you by God as specifically related to your dreams, desires, and talents

Do the above and not only will you have a healthy self-esteem and self-love, but the unimaginable will be achievable. Be in relationship with Jesus and find your Greatness!!!

BTW, too much for this one blog, check out the following for more info on the above topic…one that applies to most of us:

  • Over 50 Past Blogs – Here
  • Free eBook – Here
  • My book, Overwhelming Pursuit, Stop Chasing Your Life and LiveHere

May God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

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