Tag Archives: self esteem
I have healed my hurts in Jesus. Please don’t try something else.
I don’t own the rights to this image, and I’m not making any money on it. I DO hope to help people with it.
Despite your sincerest efforts, people will doubt you. It happened to the Apostle Paul. He was accused of being a false apostle because he didn’t want gentiles to get circumcised. (He was vindicated by the head honchos in Jerusalem, but still itinerant preachers cast doubt over his person.)
If it happened to Paul, to Job, to Jeremiah, to Daniel, to Amos, to David, to … to JESUS, why be surprised if it happens to you.
This is not to say that you, or anyone, is perfect. It is only to say that we live in a fallen world, and we are not the only ones to possess a cynical sin nature. Others can view us how they want.
In those moments, may our God strengthen us to keep fighting the fight of faith, to keep trying, to not give up.
Heart, you’ve led me astray, following your desires, chasing love where it cannot be found. So I’m giving up on you. I’m going to follow One who is faithful and who forgives. I’m tired of the disillusions you lead me to. It’s time to settle down for an illusion, a hope, that won’t disappoint.
No critic was severer of me than me.
Virtually friendless in high school, I lacked confidence and avoided the risks that would lead me to success. But through the years, I have fundamentally changed (though not totally). Here’s how:
1. Discover your unique giftings. Eventually I discovered that I did have strengths and gifts, though these were not appreciated by anyone or registered by any test designed to show strengths. This is a Biblical truth: God has NOT made person void of some talent.
Just like parts of a car, you can’t do without even one of them. The car will break down. Each part is critical to proper functioning. Through the years, I saw that I was no exception to this rule. I was valuable and realized God made me with special giftings for my special calling.
Critics may focus your deficiencies. They are blind to your abilities. Too much attention paid to other people can deflate your self-esteem.
2. Turn around the toxic environment wisely, as best you can. It’s downright discouraging being surrounded by people who drag you down. What can you do? Appeal to your family members to look at positives more than negatives.
I turned around the nay-saying non-family by repeating back to them what they were saying to me. When someone criticized me, I criticized me in the same way. And they were horrorized to hear my self-criticism. It was as if I raised up a mirror to their faces, and they saw how ugly it was what they were doing. They stopped.
3. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Accept yourself for who you are. If people don’t like the fact that I’m sensitive, that’s fine. I’m not going to pretend to be something different. If they don’t like it, then I’ll look for friend elsewhere. Find friends who appreciate you for what you are.
These lessons of life came to the surface with my recent participation in a basketball tournament at the school where I teach. Basketball is not my game, so I tried to get out of it. But my friend, Zach, really wanted me — because he’s a true friend, not because he wanted to win.
Would you believe we wound up winning the tournament. I didn’t believe I had talents for basketball but I used what I had, and Zach did the rest. I’m learning to be less of a self-critic.
As a Christian, I believe the chief work is done by Christ. But we Christians must do the work of focusing our thought life on positives. Maybe you’re surrounded by hounds who criticize. Maybe you need to cancel your EnvyBook account. It’s astonishing what a little Bible-reading and prayer can do to lift your spirits.
- Bible prayers
- Prayers for encouragement
- Faith to rise above
Fear of failure has a unimagined flip-side: the fear of success. The person who chokes because he’s afraid he’ll blow it comes under a cloud of doom. Ultimately in his decision-making, risk-avoidance becomes success-avoidance.
I know what I’m talking about. I have suffered from it. When I was the hardest-working, most experienced college reporter on the UCLA Daily Bruin, my editors handed me the opportunity of the lifetime, an investigative piece that would establish my reputation. I said I was too busy.
It’s better to risk humiliation and go out with a blaze than step to the sideline. But the nasty habit of self-brow-beating is no easy task for anyone who has wrestled with the low-self-esteem demon.
Here’s what’s helped me:
- Bible reading
- Church fellowship with encouraging saints
- Eating right
- Trying to learn patience
And this has hurt me:
- Competition among friends
- Envy and jealousy
- Church dysfunction
2 Cor. 10:5 says, we must bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. For me, it is a struggle. I share these confessions in the hopes that others will be encouraged in similar fights. The enemy of our souls, the devil, wages war against our thoughts. Let’s pray for one another and support one another.
Better than throwing salt on his wounds, better than mocking him, better than washing your hands of him, better than saying “He had it coming,” express confidence to the person who’s floundering. It will lift him out of his funk.
Sir Alex Ferguson believed in Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United forward had gone 9 months without a goal. Pundits were sharpening their knives: wash-out, has-been, flash-in-the-pan. Coach Ferguson, who’s had an extraordinary knack for winning teams, kept believing in Rooney until the mercurial players found his winning ways again — with a overhead backwards kick that left the world gaping and shut up critics.
Believe in someone.
You may “win” the rat race, but you’re still only a rat. You may get to the top of the crab pile, but you’re still only a crab. If you help someone out, you’ve made a friend for life. And that is worth more than pounding your chest and shouting the tired I’m-the-best rant.
It’s what Jesus did. While everybody hated the odious, turncoat tax-collector Zacheus, Jesus dressed him with dignity, sharing a cappuccino with him. While accusers had stones in hand ready to hurl at the adulterous woman, Jesus defended her and didn’t accuse her. He touched the leper, ate with prostitutes, hung out with drunkards. Jesus was really into the business of accepting people.
Give and don’t stop giving. And though you may be the most unloved person on the planet, if you give love freely, you will find 10,000 people at your funeral wanting to honor your memory.
When I was kid, I felt sorry for myself intensely. When bigger kids pushed me around and my mom wouldn’t go out and make it right, I gloated on my woes. Self-pity has been an evil that has plagued me even up to the present.
The good thing is that she has a twin called Compassion. As with many “evils,” you can flip them and make them good. When I took aptitude tests in high school, I scored low or average on everything — but they didn’t even measure the deep well of gifting God had given me. Compassion and empathy have driven years of successful ministry. Feeling others’ pain keeps me in prayer.
Self-aggrandizement is a wicked
motivation to get in ministry. The only true calling is serving others. Consider the contrast: Jesus reflects on the hungry multitudes, “I have compassion on them.” The disciples reflect harsh realities, “And where are we gonna get the money to feed them???” (Matt 15 32 – 39).
Are you more like Christ or his disciples? The case is all the worse if you realize the disciples HAD the money to buy enough food (Luke 8:3) — they just were selfish! Compassionlessness is ugly.
So if you suffer from self-pity, don’t despair. Just turn your eyes outward, and you’ll become a marvelously effective servant of God/ of humanity!
Just ask George Washington. He lost seven successive battles but won the war. He was voted president of the newly formed United States of America. His revolution inspired freedom movements among colonies in both Americas (North and South).
Did he kick himself for mucking up when he became famous for retreating? Did he grovel with feelings of inadequacy? I don’t know. What I do know is that he continued fighting until he won. Place no time limits on God. If things don’t work out well now, they may later. Don’t despair, just keep plugging away!
Every time you fail, you’re one step closer to the formula of success!
People are congratulating “my” 9-2 win last night. I just shrug. The truth is that “I” didn’t win with Lighthouse Christian Academy soccer.
The AD did.
The AD — Athletics Director, for those who don’t know the lingo — won the game. She scheduled it.
Pretty much all I did was shuffle our lineup so as to NOT score any more goals. In the first 20 minutes — one-fourth of the game — we had made 7 goals. So to lessen the humiliation for the other team, I pulled off good players and threw on beginners. I pulled attackers back into defense.
The lopsided victory was no coaching genius. It was guaranteed even before we started simply because we had superior players.
It felt like the gospel. God as AD schedules us trials that we are destined to win. We may celebrate on the field, but it was God who ordained everything to begin with.
To be sure, God schedules defeats for us too. To teach us humility, patience, effort, dependence on Him, etc.
You can have your cosmovision of universal randomness. I like being a Christian.
To form a new habit, willpower is more important than self-esteem. In his book Willpower, Roy Baumeister demonstrates that willpower is key to success in college, success in life, longevity and health. The possessor adheres to an unshakeable determination to achieve his goals.
If you’re accustomed to a dreary day of negativity, make some practical changes: Introduce or lengthen prayer time. Sprinkle your day with the Word of God. Arrest negative thoughts and force yourself to assume the best. Audibly confess the opposite of what gets you down. Continually go up to sit on God’s lap and tell your loving Father your struggles.
It’s amazing that willpower is akin to faith. They’re overlapping circle graphs with a significant shared region. This is the overcoming spirit of which the Bible speaks.
Is it possible to go from pessimism to belief? I am one who emigrated from the country of unbelief and unhealthy depression. I journeyed to the land of faith. Transforming my outlook has transformed my life. So I encourage you to get off your “but” and become a person of faith.
By contrast, Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic boasted he’s a 10 and then backed it up with a mind-boggling overhead kick from an acute angle that has gawkers jabbering about “best ever in history.”
I never believed in myself because there wasn’t really anybody around me as a kid who believed in me. My self confidence bloomed late, starting in college. Just for me to accept the challenge to pioneer a church in Guatemala was a huge step of self confidence/ confidence in God.
Get around people who will build you up, not tear you down. Hopefully, you can find such people at a church. People who tear others down are insecure themselves; they feel better about themselves cutting you down.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another — Pr. 27:17 NIV.
This is one of the uses of the church, that like-minded believers would encourage you and share talents and attitudes with you to make you better. Ideally this support network is a far cry from the hypocritical society painted by many.
We live in an age when growing droves are leaving the church. Has it lost its relevancy? Pundits may prattle, but reform, not replacement, may be the order of the day.
When I was kid, nobody believed in me. I wasn’t picked for teams till last. I didn’t stand out academically. I didn’t possess musical talent or social skills. So when I came to the Lighthouse Church in Santa Monica, and my pastor believed in me, it revolutionized my life!
It gave me faith in God.
Somehow, for some strange reason, when my pastor believed in me, it helped me to believe more in God. As my self-esteem soared, so did my faith. I took on the long-abandoned call to pastor. I planted churches and a school on the mission field.
I’m currently reinventing myself. I have made it a goal to compliment and encourage five people a day. This does more good than 17 kabillion rebukes. Even if the person is NOT as good as I say, his demeanor changes, and he actually wants to become better.
Love believes all things — 1 Cor. 13:7. This does not mean naiveté. This means that we are exorbitantly upbeat about others. When God looks at us, He doesn’t discard us for what we are — because He sees what we will become.
Recently, a member of the church stumbled into his old drug addiction. When he did, I panicked. I had not told him how much I appreciated him, and now he was gone. Maybe my words of encouragement could have helped him in a moment of weakness. Fortunately, he returned to God, and I was able to tell this brother all he meant to me, all I admired in him. I hope he was encouraged.
Don’t wait till the funeral to express the good things about another person!
Morgan Spurlock‘s The Failure Club is a stroke of genius. This web-based program features New Yorkers deliberating trying to fail. In repeatedly failing at their biggest unfulfilled dream, they eventually hit success.
If you aim to fail, you lower expectations. You eliminate paralyzing fear of failure. You allow yourself the freedom to experiment and practice. You stop wasting time in distracting ventures and pursue your truest dream. You stop fantasizing success and actually pursue it. You don’t get discouraged because your stated goal is to fail.
The inspiring program is an inverted formula for faith. You should watch it on Yahoo (it appears every Friday at 1 p.m., but you can watch old episodes). It teaches you to have faith (in yourself). We Christians take it step further to have faith in God. Because if you don’t risk, you won’t achieve anything.
What has God called you to do but you aren’t doing because it is too grandiose? It doesn’t have a “secure” future? You could flop hugely and become humiliated?
Go ahead. Don’t be afraid to fail. So Gideon attacked the vast enemy army. David took on Goliath. Abraham left his homeland. Moses accepted ministry. Joseph received Mary as his wife. Etc., etc., etc. Passage after passage of the Bible, it’s the same story: people gambled everything, risking utter failure, to do something for God — and in the process became heroes.
Spurlock was $250,000 in debt, sleeping at the office because he lost his home, when he decided to risk yet again and do one more movie. His docudrama Supersize me, unflattering to McDonald’s, of 2004 became a huge success.
Are you praying prayers that are too small? Are you limiting your course of action to a safe and familiar zone?