The First Steps Toward Self-Esteem
There is great joy in self-esteem, and often joy in the process of building or strengthening it, but this should not obscure the fact that more is required than blowing oneself a kiss in the mirror (or numerous other strategies of equal profundity that have been proposed).
Low self-esteem does not have to be a lifetime sentence. By integrating the six pillars of self-esteem into our lives, we can experience growth in our self-efficacy and self-respect.
The first enemy of self-esteem we may need to overcome is laziness. Sometimes we fail for no reason other our decision to not commit the requisite effort to a task. Sometimes we are lazy; we choose not to challenge inertia, or be awoken.
The other dragon we may need to slay is the impulse to avoid discomfort. Living consciously may force us to confront our fears and come into contact with unresolved pain. Self-acceptance may require that we make real to ourselves thoughts, feelings or actions that disturb our equilibrium. Self-responsibility demands that we face our ultimate aloneness and relinquish our fantasy of a rescuer. Self-assertiveness entails the courage to be authentic, with no guarantee how that will be received. Living with purpose pulls us out of passivity into the demanding life of high focus. Living with integrity requires us to choose our values and stand by them.
If the process were easy, if there was nothing hard about it at any point, if perseverance and courage were never needed– everyone would have good self-esteem. But a life without effort, struggle or suffering is an infant’s dream.