What feeds your self-esteem?

The ingredients matter.

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Your sense of self-esteem is a crucial part of your identity that will guide through both good and bad moments in life. But have you ever wondered what the components of that feeling are?

Healthy self-esteem is about acknowledging you are able to face any event that can happen unexpectedly, knowing your worth and being humble.

Ability to manage all aspects of a life is linked to the presence of a degree, job, savings, house, partner, friends and so on. Most people allow assets, position, title, belonging to a group or a person to build their confidence and when that’s gone, their feelings about themselves shatter.

When a person is defined by having a job or a partner, it can lead a self-esteem jump from high to low depending on the presence of an object/subject which feeds that sense of worth. Therefore, people need to find something that is more constant and stable. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone regardless of who and where they are. From a very young age, my parents explained me that the way I feel about myself in every role I have in life (as a daughter, granddaughter, sister, student, professional, friend, partner, etc.) must override the noise of the crowd. They told me to listen to others but to practice being the sole influencer of my identity. In the first piece I wrote for Thrive Global, I outlined the three components of the calm and composed confidence I built over the years: the words I heard, the events I was exposed to and the atmosphere which was dominating in my parents’ house.

To my very own question ‘what feeds your self-esteem’, my answer is a bit unusual.

It is my childhood.

It is a thing that keeps me on my feet when I am about to fall down. It is a thing that helps me to wake up after a moment of grief and be kind to those around me. It is a thing that whispers me ‘you are one of a kind’ when I do not quite meet the cultural, societal or human expectations. It is also a thing that makes me navigate gracefully around the world as I meet people from different walks of life. I might not be straight A student, might lose a job or a loved one out of sudden, my credit cards might be stolen, a house destroyed, but I understood for myself that there is something that no one can take away from me, and it is what happened when I was a child. The childhood I had is the core and foundation of my identity that cannot be intimidated by the majority’s view of what a person should be defined by.

Once you find a continuous source of your self-esteem, you will have all the power in the world to face whatever life throws at you. Like I said, to live well is to live ready.

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