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How high is your self-value?

09 September 2015, 14:54 Ann Muigai

Nairobi - Self-esteem, whether high or low, is complex but highly essential in our daily encounters. Our feelings and perception of self are important and are the forces that propel us to act in certain ways.

It is no wonder many programs have been initiated to help many build their self-value. Unfortunately, many people continue to suffer low self-esteem. I know a couple of friends, neighbors, relatives and colleagues who feel unworthy, undesirable and incapable. Psychologists say that the victims develop this thinking disorder mostly from past blunders and mistakes. The negative thoughts in turn spawn a little self-image.

Verified statistics show that out of every ten girls, seven believe they are not good enough either in terms of their looks, performance in school or relationships. Low self-esteem has been linked to teen promiscuity whereby teens have multiple sexual partners as a way of boosting their self-confidence. Sad.

But really, it is not just teens struggling with self-esteem, many people including me, need the motivation to build self-value every day. Sometimes we feel self-sufficient and satisfying that we forget to seek help or help others build on their self-value.

Yes, I know that self-worth comes from within and projects outwards with time. You have to look at yourself in a positive way, shun inner critics that bar you from reaching your dreams, and most of all, believe in your capabilities. Self-esteem is something you have to work within yourself to build. In essence, we cannot and no one can build our self-esteem. We can only act as catalysts in the process. But how can we help raise the self-value of the people we love and care about?

However you want to help, I have realized that if you know how your self-esteem works, then you can help other people build theirs. Share with them how you tackled certain situations without losing self-value. In fact, show them how high self-esteem worked for you. Show them that if they believe in their capabilities, they can handle all situations. Encourage them to seek help when necessary, instead of living in denial, thinking that seeking help is a sign of weakness.

You need to make them realize that to have a meaningful life, they need to appreciate themselves. Here, you can show them that you too, appreciate them for who they are. In the past few months, I feel good to have left an impact on a comrade’s life. She had suffered low self-esteem since our seventh grade, and this continued to limit her in so many ways. By making her feel that I and others appreciate her, her world-view has transformed. She now finds value in the small things she previously took for granted; life, sanity, her odd mannerisms that make her unique, and so on. If you may, just help someone see how wonderful they are on the overall.

Refrain from being judgemental, especially because the persons are already in conflict with their perception of self. Let them know that to succeed, we all have to make mistakes, stumble and incur losses. Failing though does not mark the end of the world; it is only an opportunity to start all over again, this time, more cautiously. Encourage them to venture into what they dream about without fear. If possible, give them real time examples of people who had failed before but succeeded in the end. By giving them examples, you will help them realize that they are not the only beings prone to making mistakes and that they too can emerge victors. If you may, leave them a quote I have used to encourage tens of acquaintances I make; “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James.

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