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When You’ve Lost the “Self” in Self-Esteem

The Struggle of Never Feeling Like You are Enough.

What do you do when your best doesn’t seem like enough and despite your overflowing plate of success, you seem to have lost your self-esteem, or even yourself. The pressures of having a seemingly perfect life loom over each of us. For many people, regardless of age, we mindlessly scroll through social media and don’t even realize the subconscious messages we are sending to our self-esteem. Whether your co-worker is bragging about her perfect children and husband, your parents are asking you when you’re going to settle down, your friends are getting married and you’re still single, others getting promotions, taking lavish vacations, new cars, purchasing a home, a “perfect” gym body, the list goes on. There you are feeling stagnant and this facade of perfect is eating away at your confidence. The weight of everyone else’s expectations and accomplishments have begun to chip away, or even eliminate, your self-esteem. Being a woman who has made more than a fair share of mistakes I am not proud of, I know all too well the plague of having a past or a life of decisions that weren’t exactly ideal to others. However, when was the last time you praised yourself for the obstacles you have overcome? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself “I am enough and I am doing the best I can with what I have and with my current circumstances?”  Maybe you feel like you aren’t doing enough, but you truly are. When facades and emotions get the best of you, take a moment and write down all that you have on your plate. Praise yourself for the ability to juggle multiple projects and if you’re not so great at juggling, re-evaluate where you need to take a step back. I will assume it is safe to say, we all want to be successful in our own way. Don’t get defeated or beat yourself up over thinking your journey is less magnificent than anyone else’s. 

For so long, I would envy my friends who came from a cookie cutter family, from wealth, from a happy home, who never had to experience so many lows before they reached their highs. I was a jealous, bitter, internally angry person. What I came to appreciate about myself and countless others in similar situations and upbringings, was the amount of lows that I walked away from, still in tact. You see, even when you are at that place where you feel like you’re not enough- a place where anger and resentment festers inside of you- practice mindfulness. Practice feeling the air you breathe into your lungs, practice feeling the wind blow against your face. Look in the mirror every single morning and remind yourself who you are- a human being with a purpose, even if you don’t know what it is yet. Remind yourself that those extra pounds or those bad habits or bad thoughts are only temporary and you’re going to do what it takes to be healthy: mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not because society says so, but because you want to do it for YOU. When you start to compare yourself to others, search inward and ask yourself what you love about yourself. Even if you’ve lost yourself or your self-esteem, I promise you will find something or several things that are lovable about you.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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