Self-esteem: Who Do You Think You Are?

Are you the kind of person who dwells on your strengths, or the kind obsessed by your weaknesses? It's been said that you become what you think about most of the time. Continually pondering your strengths therefore makes you become stronger, enhancing self-esteem. Conversely, thinking constantly on your weaknesses makes you become weaker, draining whatever self-esteem you have.

Incidentally, self-esteem is all about who you think you are. Notice the word "think." Quite often it has nothing to do with reality. What we think of ourselves could be very far from the truth. The world is full of beautiful women who think they are ugly, thin ones thinking they are fat, men who have it all but think they need more?. I believe you could add to this list of ironies!

Self-esteem is all about what you think about you. Now, who or what do you think you are? Are you happy with your answer? If yes, you have healthy self-esteem; if no, your self-esteem is poor. A poor self-esteem could weigh you down in many areas of your life. It could cheat you out of promotions, contracts, relationships and much more. If you feel inadequate and undeserving, you will never fight for more in life. Why, you think you do not deserve what you presently have! If you feel unworthy of your loving spouse and children you could unconsciously hold back on loving them, fearing they might leave you sooner or later. You consequently maintain emotional distance, protecting yourself from anticipated hurt, alienating your loved ones in the process. Do you see how poor self-esteem could do its harm?

An unrealistically high opinion of yourself could be equally damaging, resulting in conceitedness, the other end of the continuum. Conceitedness destroys relationships, and consequently businesses and careers. Whether they are feelings of superiority, or of inferiority, an unhealthy self-esteem is damaging. It is therefore important to build and maintain a healthy self-image, where you think positively of your strengths and abilities but with humility, desiring to be a blessing through them.

By all means you should celebrate your strengths and successes. It is alright to feel good about them. We all have them, so do not be too self-effacing. If you were to make a list of things you are good at, that you get complimented for, and progress you have made in the last five years you may even find that you have not been fair to yourself; you may be more accomplished than you thought! Why not make such a list right now!

On the other hand, making a list of your weaknesses is not to burst your bubble. It is to highlight areas for further improvement. If these are things you cannot change, you will simply need to find a way around them. You certainly shouldn't work up a sweat about them! For instance, if you hate writing speeches, you could hire a speech writer. Not good with balancing the books? Get an accountant. And if you think you don't have a pretty face, you could focus on fitness, inner beauty, good grooming and manners. You could always find a hairstyle, a combination of colours, a style of clothing that down plays some features, highlighting others. So celebrate your strengths, work on your weaknesses; and enlist help wherever you need it!

If you made the list of your strengths, and the other of your weaknesses you will often find that your strong points more than make up for your weak ones. It therefore makes sense to dwell on what you've got rather than what you haven't. No one is perfect, but we are adequate for God's purpose. You have all it takes to be you. There is no reason to envy someone else. They need what they've got to be themselves, something you were not created to be.

So, dear friend, who do you think you are? Reel off those strengths in answer to this question and you will not be far from the truth. Think on your strengths, celebrate them and be thankful. Remember, it's all about who you think you are. And that is within your power.

Copyright 2005 Oma Edoja

Oma Edoja is a freelance writer, motivational speaker and publisher. She publishes an inspirational ezine, The Up-Mobile ezine, at This article is excerpted from issue 5. Visit to see current issue. Subscribe now and get free booklet: Four Steps to Success -- Your easy-to-follow guide to getting what you want and keeping it by Oma Edoja

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