Cristina thinks she has nothing to say because she’s not as good as anybody else. When she is seated with people who have acronyms after their names, she considers it practical to mute herself during the whole meeting.
Even if those around her are talking nonsense, she considers herself not worthy to speak. There are many Cristina’s in our midst.
I agree, we are not really equal. Some are smarter than others. Some are more beautiful and more charming than the rest of us. Some are rich and many are poor. But lack or less of something does not make us worthless.
Why Raising Self-Esteem Isn’t the Answer
When I was in seminary, I realized that I have low self-esteem. I compared myself with others who have handsome faces, fatter wallets, and trained tongues. Though I did not feel worthless, I had the urge to always prove myself. It is as if I begin with this thinking that I was not good enough, and I was trying to be at least enough,
Our society pays more attention to raising self-esteem. It is a big and lucrative industry. Personality development courses are everywhere. Image builders and personal branding experts are making huge money by helping people raise their esteem. But the more they try to solve the self-esteem problems, the more there is a need for these experts.
Because there is always someone who is much better than you. Even the presidents of the most powerful countries have insecurities. Even the most popular and richest NBA stars have insecurities. Even the most beloved movie stars and entertainers get depressed because of their insecurities.
There is an addiction to self-esteem drugs and these experts are the drug pushers and manufacturers.
We are Worthy
Self-worth is an inner game. It is not dependent on where you are in the scheme of things. You don’t buy self-worth. You don’t manufacture it. You don’t paint it blue, red, black, or yellow.
As a Christian, I believe in God. I believe that my God created masterpieces, each unique, priceless, and worthy. Though I never had a conversation with my God and my God never really answered my prayers, the best thing that happened to me during my seminary life is to understand my true value.
I learned that some priests tend to play favorites. They compared themselves with others and some were very competitive that they behaved like politicians. We were learning from them.
I had very low self-esteem, but once I paid more attention to my worth as a person and valued the talents, skills, passion, and experiences unique to me, I started to not compare myself with others. I learned to love myself even more. I was unleashed. It felt like I had so much to give.
And remember this, no one is youer than you.
Self-worth is like a living organism. It needs good soil, enough sun and water, and nutrients. It grows if you take care of it.
But unlike building self-esteem, self-worth does have a side-effect. Because when you are not comparing yourself with others, you begin to be happy about yourself and happy about the achievement of others.
I have watched a lot of basketball games when I was young. Among 20 teams, the second placer almost always felt like the first loser. Being second place isn’t something to celebrate. Third place, usually, felt better. Now, imagine how many people in the world you have to compare yourself with.
Be better, not bitter. Look into what you can offer and learn from others. Give yourself a chance to grow and be happy.
If you have a story to share or you want to say something about self-worth, please use the comment form below. Let’s have a conversation.