Monday, January 24, 2011

"The Undervalued Self"

Kids aren’t the only ones who can suffer from low-esteem. What is an adult to do? It can be hard to find the right resources and bootstraps to pull ourselves out of that pit. So I was curious when I came across the article “The Undervalued Self” in Going Bonkers magazine, the self-help magazine with a sense of humor.

The article begins with a story of a young man throwing starfish back into the ocean. Even though he can’t save them all, he has made a difference to those he does save. The moral of the story, of course, is “You make a difference in this world, whether you are aware of it or not. It’s not important if you touch one life or thousands. It’s just important that you exist.” These are great encouraging words for someone who is down on themselves.

All right, so what if you want to change how you feel about yourself, your current situation. You think there might be a light at the end of the tunnel if you could just figure out which tunnel to take. “Yet, somehow, despite the plethora of self-help, goal setting, and how to books, you have yet to make the changes you so desire? The problem may not be in knowing what to do. Nor is it in understanding how to do it. The real issue may be in believing you are worth making the change; that you actually deserve to live a fulfilling and fruitful life.” If you are dealing with a bully type frequently, this can be a hard concept to wrap your head around. Even if you aren’t a Christian and believe God created you for a purpose, I think it still comes down to: while you’re here, you might as well find some way to enjoy it (yeah, I know, someone could really run away with that …).

It can seem easier to stay where you are, even if you feel miserable, because there is comfort in the known, the familiar. You ask yourself what if it doesn’t work? What if this is the wrong tunnel, the wrong change? At what point do I give up, turn around, try something else? And do you know what this article offered as its answer? “You become capable by being capable. You become flexible by being flexible. You become strong by being strong.” What?! I’ve been in the pit where you wonder if anybody really cares? Does it really matter that you exist? How on earth can you “be” capable, flexible, or strong if you have no idea what capable, flexible or strong is?

The article does redeem itself a little as it reminds to value yourself enough to be willing to change. Keep in mind all the little successes in your life, instead of beating yourself up over the failures and mistakes. Try looking at your life, your situation, your approach in a different way to find another solution.

All in all, you are worth it, regardless of your age. Believe you are worth enough to try something. It’s ok if it doesn’t work out. Try something else. Try something different. Don’t give up on yourself.