Self-esteem is defined as the confidence in one’s own worth and abilities. In much deeper context, it is self-respect.
Self-esteem is rooted mainly in the feel-good portion of our life. It is formed from our successes and failures which are the direct elements of how we feel about ourselves.
Negative or low self-esteem may make it more difficult for some people to feel successful in school, at work, or even in relationships. They tend to doubt and question their capabilities to the point where they compromise or disregard their relevant skills set. Simply, they do not feel good about themselves as a whole.
Positive or high self-esteem makes you feel good about yourself. This is where we can speak confidently and voice out our opinions and ideas freely. We think that we are deserving the respect of others because we give it to them. Importantly, we trust ourselves because we know what we can do and we know our limits.
Though, as a whole, we can have positive self-esteem, we can never be fully confident in all things unless we address them. One good example is how a public speaker still feel nervous at times even when he’s done it for few years already. Maybe, in all aspects of our life, we can consider 75% full confidence and 25% self-doubt as having a positive self-esteem already. To be able to rise above your confidence level, we all need to work out the things that make us feel bad about ourselves. Either we accept it, or we do something about it.
I have been doing speeches since grade school but I still feel awkward and nervous to speak in public. Why? Mainly because Ilocanos have different accent and pronunciations of English words from Tagalog/Filipino. I always have to thicken or smoothen my tongue every time I converse in English language. That’s why I love talking more to foreigners, because they do not actually focus on your accent or pronunciation but on the thought you want to deliver.
I know proper grammar and correct pronunciation, but I always feel awkward when my Ilocano accent comes on. To be able to work this out, during my free time, I used to imitate lines from foreign movies or series, like lines of Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, Annalise Keating on HTGAWM, and several others. Also, I sometimes watch tutorial videos on Youtube. It’s still a work in progress, but positively, I am grateful to have found a job that helps me in this thing because we usually make calls to clients.
Another insecurity I have were the impurities on my face. I have had acne breakouts since I started migrating here in Manila. Funny that I put the blame to the pollution in urban areas though. Kidding aside, when I was in middle school I actually have minimal to zero acne. When I entered college, due to stress and environmental causes, I begin to have breakouts and I did not give enough attention to that just until recently, I found out that it’s becoming worse.
I had to find a solution to this insecurity. Consulting a dermatologist is a good suggestion to be able to determine the real causes and be treated right where they are actually rooted. I searched the market for effective skin care products but what I adopt was the 5 gallons of water intake daily, regular exercise, and products to detoxify the body. Another good thing to do is build a healthy lifestyle. I am also in the process of trying some other products and let’s see how it ends up. So far, I am happy with the results and I hope I can share them soon when I achieve something significant out of them.
Recurring insecurities I have to overcome are my height and my nose. Though normal for Asian, I still felt they needed to improve. To stand over these insecurities, I accepted the fact that my height will only reach 5’5” at a maximum since hereditary, and my nose is a gift from my mother since it resembles exactly her features, even her facial expressions. Though open for opportunities, those are good motivations to keep my confidence at peace.
Funny but true, my academic achievements became my insecurities once. It developed mainly from the thought of what remains my worth when I’m stripped off of everything that’s keeping me from falling. My medals and academic achievements defined me for a long time, maybe until now for some people. However, along the way I met friends and genuine people who accepted me for who I am, who saw my true value–that I am not limited to my titles, position or academic excellence. They were able to see that I am worth so much more and I can do so much more.
They made me realise that I am so much more.
When your confidence is rooted from the people you surround yourself with, it can never be easily damaged. People will only value you on how much value you give yourself. So go on and work out your insecurities and do something on what makes you feel bad. Though imperfect, we can still be improved. Add that 0.009 on your 99.99 percent confidence. Claim it because you can surely do it.
Respect is earned, self-respect is learned.
Failures and defeats are sometimes the biggest demotivator and the main reason we lose confidence on ourselves. I am afraid of defeat and failures, too. However, I managed to ready my heart and my self if ever I have to face that challenge. Maintaining a positive outlook in life is the key to have a hold on yourself. Accept the fact that they are essential parts of our life and they can be the best experience we can grow from.
Defeat is only bitter once you swallow it. Failure is only limiting when you can’t accept it.
Focus on what you do best. Practice on areas where you lack confidence, expose yourself and be flexible enough to receive criticisms because they are helpful tips you can learn from. I also recommend to give yourself an honest feedback, then progress from them.
Why hate the negative things about yourself when you can do something to improve them?
Remember, you are only limited to the extent of the limit you set for yourself.
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