WRITER: KARLA HORNE
CALIFORNIAI can’t really trace back to a time in my life when I realized I had a good self-esteem. I don’t think it was a realization as much as it was a coming to be. I came to know who I am and to develop a sense of who I wanted to become. I chose to never back down when failure slapped me across the face. I chose to be me and to never doubt the person I am and the worth I have. I started to realize that every person has a unique personality and set of traits that he or she brings into this life and shares with others. That personality is added to and taken from, but all in all YOU are always at the core of it. As much as you try and change and mold yourself to others and their expectations of you, the “real” you is just waiting to be accepted by none other than yourself.
My own self-esteem grew when I realized I could really sing, and I could sing well. I realized that finding your passions and talents inspires you to see yourself better. Everyone has a natural born talent, it may not be one that can be measured, seen, or heard; but self-esteem can come from finding the things inside yourself that make you special, that make you unique. Whether it is your smile, your singing ability, or your incredible capacity to love—people will be more drawn to you because you choose to be you, and nobody else. Dig deep to uncover your talents within yourself to see your own potential.
Don’t become caught up in comparing YOUR weaknesses to OTHERS strengths. It won’t help you. Instead humble yourself. Appreciate the talents and strengths in others and then discover and magnify your own. Throughout my short life I have realized that you can’t wait around for people to pick you up to determine your worth and happiness, although compliments and helping hands can be helpful indeed. However, don’t always assume they will come. Instead pick yourself up and tell yourself everyday in the mirror: “I am beautiful, confident, and capable.”
Your true and deepest self-esteem depends on how you view YOURSELF, and not how others view you. The latter is self-esteem in its shallowest form, and its constant companion is misery and self-pity.
Self-esteem also comes from being selfless. If I have learned one consistent thing from my religion, it is that service brings out the beauty inside of you. It radiates from within and carries out through your smile and into the souls of those you serve. Lose yourself in the work of loving and serving others and your happiness and self-worth will rise and explode to others. It will be contagious.
Be your own person. Be your best self. Love and be loved. You are a unique individual—embrace it! And remember, joy is in the journey. The best indicator of good self-esteem, in my opinion, is being “free to be me”. Be yourself—everyone else is already taken. No one will EVER be like YOU. No one will ever be quite as quirky, with the same fears, the same abilities, the same laugh, the same capacity to love, or the same faith. So be free. Be free to see yourself as beautiful, confident, and capable. Why? Well, because you are J You ARE worth it, to more people that you will ever realize or even know. “Be free to be me”, because no one else will ever be quite like you!