Rising above criticism and low self-esteem
Have the predicaments and challenges of everyday life ever pushed you to the wall that you gave up and raised a white flag in surrender?
I was born with a slight disability on my right leg that makes me walk with a slight limp. Throughout my life, I have received all kinds of criticism, bad comments and even people laughing at me because of it.
When I was in my lower classes, I would go to school, and my classmates would make fun of me, and I would go back home crying and tell my mum about it. I even refused to go back to school for some time. My mum encouraged me and supported me all along. She said that I was fearfully and wonderfully made a verse she taught me to read from the bible. I really thank God for her.
The birth of my sister is what broke me. She was born healthy and walked with no limp as I did. I could not understand how this was possible. I was so sad and really felt bad about myself. I even started complaining to God asking why did he do this to me. For many nights I even cried myself to sleep. I carried this bitterness inside of me which made me even seclude myself from people.
My mum noticed this, and she took me for counseling. The counseling did me some good, but I was now ready to join high school. During my time in high school, peer pressure kicked in. High school is where all your flaws are addressed publicly, and you get criticized about them with nobody caring if they are hurting your feelings.
My grades dropped terribly. My self-esteem went to zero. I was even left in school for two weeks during the holidays for getting bad grades. I cried day in and day out wondering why did I have to be born this way. I even asked my mum some bizarre questions which I’m sure also hurt her because she tried her best to answer me and make me see life in a different view but with all the criticism I received in school,……. it still did not go well for me.
I almost went into depression, but an angel of God as I like to call her came to my rescue. She had a severe impairment on one of her legs that made her walk with so much difficulty. That did not make her look down on herself like me. She faced like with so much courage and confidence that I really admired her and still admire her to this day.
She is a wife, a mother of two daughters, she has slain the academic dragon and had a masters degree. Something many teachers or people at that time did not have. She had been following me and my grades for a while without my knowledge and one day after class she called me to her office. We talked about what was going on with and why were my grades so bad and that she believed that I was a bright student. I was able to open up and told her my story.
She laughed at me. Yes, laughed at me. I felt confused. I did not understand why she was laughing. She then told me her side of the story and how life had treated her and I saw that I was actually in a better position. I became more optimistic.
I went back to class a new person. I felt energized from inside. I had new hope and new goals to achieve. My grades started going up. I joined different clubs and games. Surprisingly I could even play football very well. I had now come to my turning point. I started seeing life as a beautiful thing where with a positive mindset, hard work and determination will enable you to reap some good rewards.
I was never left in school again for getting bad grades. I became the best student in biology. I managed to get to the Nationals for being the best in table tennis. My self-esteem rose to the roof. The other students who were making fun of me could not believe it. Nobody dared to make fun of me again. They now wanted to be associated with me.
I stopped being in the bottom part of the class list and rose to better positions. I even wrote a short book about my rising out of predicaments. I could not believe it. I who was always looked down upon and still had terrible grades was now achieving what nobody thought I could achieve. I went on my knees and glorified God for what he had done for me. I even apologized for questioning him. I realized that God had many ways of glorifying himself and he had used me to showcase his might and wonders.
Before clearing high school, I had many certificates in games and other activities. I also managed good grades that enabled me to join the university. I joined one of the top universities in the country. I joined the university confident, and ready to succeed and although I faced challenges there, I was able to make the right decisions and no longer held any resentment inside of me.
Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful just as Joshua J. Marine said. Without the challenges, we face life would be so dull. Challenges allow us to get new experiences and learn new lessons.
I’m now set to graduate by the end of the year, and I am so happy that I was able to make it this far. I thank God for enabling me to get this far and my mum who brought me up single-handedly and has also been my pillar of strength throughout.
I walk on the streets and see the many people lying there helpless begging with many more problems than me who has just a slight limp, and I feel like beating myself up. I can walk, run and do anything I want, but at one point I decided to take that for granted.
You are so much stronger than you know. Get out there and show the world what you got for the sky is never the limit.