When I sat down tonight with my cup of tea and some candy I wanted to write something about self-esteem. It’s a subject I started thinking about since I wrote my piece about “What I Came To Realize About So Called Female Magazines”. Or I guess I have been thinking about this topic ever since I morphed from a child into a teenager, a long time ago. And I continued to thing about it even when my days of being a teen are long gone (thanks God lol).
It’s not easy to believe in yourself if you start comparing yourself and your skills to the entire population out there. With the Internet at your finger tips, it’s very easy to start doing exactly that. And there’s always going to be someone out there more skilled, better looking, funnier or more creative than you. Back in the days you could compare yourself to the coolest kid in your class or your school, but that’s not really the case anymore.
I look at my friends and their teenage sisters and brothers. There seems to be different aspects of what’s important for your self-esteem when you are aged 14-20. For girls it mostly consist of not not being fat, to hide all skin problems and to have beautiful, healthy hair. For boys it’s almost all about building muscles and getting a driver’s licence as soon as possible (I could be wrong about this one since I never been a teenage boy). But that’s just me generalizing wildly.
A lot of times the feeling of “being fake, a fraud that someone will detect and fire”, is a general symptom of low self-esteem. Remember, there’s a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem is the feeling of knowing your abilities, feeling comfortable in yourself and the sense of your own worth. Self-confidence “relates to self-assuredness in one’s personal judgment, ability, power, etc., sometimes manifested excessive”. So in short: self-esteem is about your own inner worth, and self-confidence more your achievements and success/failure. Something like that.
I’ve been very lucky to have a supportive team of parents & relatives, and lovely friends around me for most of my childhood and teen years, but of course I felt the pressure when growing up (and even after that). I have always found power and happiness in drawing and doing stuff outside in the Nature. I think the tricks to boost your self-esteem are:
- Find something you like doing (I found drawing), and keep doing it.
- Have meaningful relations with other people. I know this is easier said than done, and sometimes other human beings can be real douchebags. Try to minimize all contact with people who tell you you are stupid, ugly, talk the wrong way or just call you when they need your money or pity. These are energy drainers and will leave you feeling low on self-esteem, eating your happiness away.
- Try new things and master your fears. I’ve noticed if you challenge yourself, and get yourself out of your own comfort zone you will grow. Last week I climber big rock, and afterwards I was so totally happy when I got to the top. You get brave by following your dreams, but in order to follow your dreams you need to be brave.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. You are unique and only you can know what’s best for you.
There’s always gong to be days when you feel as if you are on the bottom of everything and everyone else are having so much fun. Everyone else seems to be in a happy relationship, eating lunch with interesting people or posting pictures of a sunny trip abroad on Facebook. The truth is that all people got issues, problems and WUA03ATAATP-moments (waking-up-at-03-am-thinking-about-all-their-problems). The only difference is how much of that we talk or write about and share with others. All those people who seem perfect got their own problems to deal with.
This brings me to something important. After reading Minecraft’s Lydia Winter’s very humble blog post “A Culture Of Criticism“, about how public people are exposed to tons of negative comments that could easily bring down anyone’s self-esteem, I think it’s important to remember that the key to feeling good about yourself can never be to put other people down. I try to never let my self-esteem feed on other people’s failures, bad hair day’s or miserly. Other’s feeling bad about themselves will never bring anything good into your own life (other’s feeling bad will only bring bad things to your life). Pro tip: if you are feeling low, try helping others feel good my smiling or giving them a surprise cookie, it will cheer you up!
I think many girls pick on other girls on order to feel better about themselves (unfortunately). If a skinny girl get’s fat, many girls are happy for example. There’s a lot of jealousy out there, and haters are always gonna hate. Sometimes, if I take one of those immature self portraits (I know you all snap them sometimes), and post of on Facebook or Twitter, I freeze for a second, thinking “oh no, what will people think, that I think I look som extremely hot and think I’m being someone?”. Then I kinda just shake that feeling of my shoulders and move on. Whatever, it’s a free country and I can post 10000 images of my new shades or dress if I want to. I know I’m more than those fun, immature self-portraits, usually I go collect some interesting bugs in the garden after posting them ; )