The power of self-esteem
Self-esteem is often mentioned in relationship to one's success or lack thereof. Some psychologists downplay the significance and others inflate the need for an above average self-esteem. High or low, I have personally witnessed the influence of this emotional factor on many a child and even more adults. It appears as if there would be a simple formula to enhance one's positive feelings of self, but it is as complicated as most mental issues. The first dilemma is that self-esteem is not what one thinks of his or herself. It is based on the perception of what others think of him or her. This perception may be totally inaccurate, but as I have learned over and over, Perception is 99% and reality is 1%. Initially it begins with family who respond in ways that either enhance the child's worth or does the opposite. Unfortunately if these were the only people that mattered as a mirror of one's image, most children would have a healthy self-esteem. However, the more important figures in one's life are everybody else. Lately "S" often says to me after I compliment her on an achievement, "you are supposed to say that, you are my parent." She pretty much is discounting most of what I think lately and is already more concerned with her teachers', friends' or coaches' view of her accomplishments. As time goes by, her peers will carry the most weight in the scale of self-image. Eventually with maturity, family will once again become an integral part of the search for worth, but there is pain and agony in the wait. From my own experiences, I have interacted with individuals who make many unhealthy decisions with an overinflated self-esteem as well as one which is too low. Either way, the issue is complicated when one's image is based on perceptions and not reality, and will be developed by countless interactions and individuals. But there is a very simple solution. If one could measure his worth on God's perception, than he or she would realize that no matter how smart or illiterate, rich or poor, thin or obese, of one color or another, disabled or abled, that his worth is priceless in the eyes of our savior. My wish is that "S" will realize this as will all others.
Garden Ridge, Texas