Some thoughts on Self-Esteem : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Many people suffer from poor self-esteem. They are afraid to try anything new because they might fail. They don't feel as though they can do anything right or can succeed at anything. It takes some work to learn to have respect for yourself and appreciate the good that you do and the contibutions you can make to the world around you. I hope everyone here can take some time to reflect on your own thoughts of self-worth. Another thing to remember is to think about how the things you say and do can affect someone elses feelings of self-worth. Criticizing others or continually belittling their thoughts and ideas can be very damaging to their self-esteem. Just some things to think about.

Some thoughts on self-esteem (from Oprah magazine)

* Spend time with people who appreciate you and who show it through their thoughts and action.

* "It's Ok if you mess up. You should give yourself a break" -Billy Joel

* Become aware of negative thoughts the minute they show up in your head. Don't fall for them."

* Stop putting your life on hold until you lose weight, get your money in order, or finish raising your children. Do one thing right now that you have been putting off until things get "better".

* "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"

* "I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time" -Ann Freud

-- Melissa (, January 17, 2002


I never thought I had self-esteem issues until I moved and found all these items for projects I hadn't started. I have always wanted to learn to paint, and thought it was lack of time. I've finally figured out that I am afraid of failing and that's why I haven't done it.

So that is my goal, to do some painting and to start a little more each month. BTW, I'm not talking michelangelo here, just copying a pattern at this point. Isn't that silly.

I have learned to tell my kids the things I am struggling with. They encourage me and also learn to face their fears too. I am afraid to speak in public so one year I told my daughter that before the year was up, I was going to volunteer to speak/read scripture in front of our (at that time) VERY large church audience. I finally did it at the very end of the year-- infact we did it together. But it was very meaningful and she knew we weren't just reading scripture, I had passed an important landmark for me. In spite if all, I really messed up the reading. BUT, the important thing is that I did it!

-- Ann Markson (, January 17, 2002.

Ann, I think you just gave us a perfect example at the end of your second paragraph when you stated: "copy a pattern at this point" followed by "Isn't that silly". You are co-enableing yourself to feel lesser about yourself by stating your actions feel silly to you. This is just an observation, not a put down; am I off base here?

-- mitch hearn (, January 17, 2002.

I noticed that I forgot to attribute the "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" quote to Eleanor Roosevelt.

-- Melissa (, January 17, 2002.

Good point, well-taken Mitch. I guess I am humble to a fault. To someone who is talented to the point where they can draw freehand or paint freehand, I thought it might seem sillly that I find it intimidating to copy a pattern.

-- Ann Markson (, January 17, 2002.

Ann-I'm feeling pretty intimidated by a pair of knitting needles!

My MIL has a subscription to Oprah-I like to look at it because she does seem to help a lot of people-I havn't seen this though-thanks Melissa for sharing.

A thought-often people who critisize or put others down suffer from self esteem problems also. That helps me in dealing with these kinds of people!

-- Kelly (, January 17, 2002.

James 3:8-10

-- Kevin (, January 17, 2002.

Realize that true self esteem comes not from what we accomplish in life. Knowing what is right and what is wrong, and choosing to do right generates self esteem.

I am a teacher, and the self esteem horse has been thoroughly beaten in public education. Thank the Lord that it is falling out of favor. For a while, we were told to praise students' work, no matter how poorly it was done so that we didn't harm their self esteem. We have students in the system who think they are wonderful, but they can't write a grammatical sentence, don't know their multiplication tables, and can't find New York City or Egypt on a map. In the name of self esteem, the academic pundits have created false confidence.

Our grandparents turned out wonderful, and when they failed or didn't behave, they got punished. Funny how that fell out of favor, and now we instead of gum chewing and running in the halls being a problem, we have gun toting and drugs in the halls.

OK, I will climb down from my soap box now.

BTW, I teach at a very small rural school that operates like a happy extended family. Many of our students are there from 6:30 in the morning till dark, or later. They know our principal will "be their daddy" if their parents won't, and they LOVE it.

-- Rose (, January 17, 2002.


I definately agree with you but personally I like to use the term "self-assurance" to fit your description because of the overuse of "self-esteem" today.

Have you ever read any of Dr. John Rosamond's articles? I love him - he just always tells it like it is. He probably has a website. He has a syndicated column about child rearing and I just recently read in one about the high percentage of criminals that have high "self- esteem". He spoke about what you just mentioned, praising children for any and everything rather than for real accomplishments.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (, January 17, 2002.

I've always been amused at how the public school system teaches kids that they are freaks of nature, evolved from pond scum, and then wonders why they have self-esteem problems.

Author Randy Alcorn defines it this way:

The Secular Basis for Self-Esteem:

You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm that washed up on an ocean beach ten billion years ago. You are the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance and natural forces. Your closest living relatives swing from trees and eat crackers at the zoo.

You are a mere grab-bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an obscure galaxy in a remote and empty corner of a vast, cold, and meaningless universe. You are flying through lifeless space with no purpose, no direction, no control, and no destiny but final destruction.

You are a purely biological entity, different only in degree but not in kind from a microbe, virus or amoeba. You have no essence beyond your body, and at death you will cease to exist entirely. What little life you do have is confined to a fragile body aimlessly moving through a world plagued by war, famine and disease. The only question is whether the world will manage to blow itself up before your brief and pointless life ends on its own.

In short, you came from nothing, you are going nowhere, and you will end your brief cosmic journey beneath six feet of dirt, where all that is you will become food for bacteria and rot with worms.

And now, kids . . . doesn't that make you feel good about yourselves?

The Christian Basis for Self-Esteem:

You are a special creation of a good and all powerful God. You are the climax of his creation, the magnum opus of the greatest artist in the universe. You are created in His image, with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree, but in kind.

Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind. God has masterminded the exact combination of DNA and chromosomes that constitute your genetic code, making you as different from all others as every snowflake differs from the rest.

Yes, you are sinners, and in and of yourselves you do not deserve to go to heaven. But despite your rebellion, your Creator loved you so much and so intensely desires your companionship and affection that he gave the life of his only Son that you might spend eternity with him. If you are willing to accept the free gift of salvation, you can become a child of God, the King of the universe.

As a Christian, you are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. He has given you special gifts and abilities to serve him in a particular and unique way.

Your heavenly Father is sovereign, and will allow nothing to cross your path that is not Father-filtered. He cares for you so much that He is totally available to you at all times, and listens to every word you say. He cares deeply about your hurts, and has a perfect plan for your life. He has given you the inspired Word of God as a road-map for living. He gives you the truth that sets you free, a life that is abundant and eternal, and a spiritual family that loves and needs you.

Your destiny is to live forever in a magnificent kingdom, to reign with Christ over the universe. You will forever enjoy the wonders of his presence and the marvels of his creations. You will spend eternity in intimate and joyful fellowship with your beloved Lord and your precious spiritual family.

Now, kids . . . how does that make you feel about yourselves? And how does it make you feel about your God?!

-- Chuck (, January 17, 2002.

I can tell you that we do NOT teach the secular version at the public school where I teach. We are very politically IN-correct. Prayer and thanks to God are open topics there. Yes, it is VERY unusual.

Every day I go to work, I give thanks.

-- Rose (, January 17, 2002.

Thank you Chuck. I thought that having some esteem for yourself was a good thing! It seems there are many people who feel that they lack self-worth, and I was just trying to remind them that they have many good qualities. Too many young people don't get any positive reinforcement from anyone. I tell my kids that 20 years from now it won't make a bit of difference if they got an A or a B on some certain tests, but if they are able to help someone, or give a kind word to someone in need of one, or are able to make some small difference in someones life, That will matter!!!

One of the best teachers I have ever seen in action was like this. She treated the kids like she already knew they were winners. She treated them with respect, kindness and compassion, and every child in her room actually lived up to that expectation. It was a truly miraculous thing to see in action. My daughter who had this woman for a teacher, said that she was probably the greatest teacher she will ever have, and I agree.

-- Melissa (, January 17, 2002.

Oh Melissa,

I'm sorry, I hope you didn't think I was disagreeing with what you wrote. You are absolutely right and what you were speaking of is certainly needed.

What Rose and I were speaking of is different than what you referred to. I was speaking of how today so many children have nothing required of them so they don't feel that they add anything to the family or society and then teachers are required to praise them for everything and parents will do it because they have read that is what they should do. This is false praise which children pick up on. Even children want to feel they make a contribution and then they will be able to become self-assured people. I hope this is making sense.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (, January 17, 2002.

Hi Terry, no I din't think you were disagreeing, I was just trying to add some points to my original thoughts. I just see so many children really suffering and feeling "crushed" at every turn.

When you see someone doing something right, let them know. I think too often we are quick to point out peoples faults, but don't take the time to point out what we like about them.

I do think this can be a problem in schools. Some kids only hear negative things about themselves all day long. About their grades, their clothes, their homes, and families, etc... My kids do go to public school, and sometimes the kids and teachers can be mean. When they come home and tell me some of the things that are said to other kids, or how other kids act, I try to make them understand why people act like they do. Even though I don't understand it myself sometimes... Sometimes even off-hand remarks can crush a child. Some people seem to like to embarrass others which I don't like either.

To me it is mostly about respect, even if I don't agree with you, I can still respect the person you are. In God's eyes we all have worth and value! That is how I try to love my life, looking for the good in all people.

-- Melissa (, January 18, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ