SELF-ESTEEM IS A SCAM!!!
Yes, I said it. As one who trains,mentors and coaches girls about self-esteem and confidence, I still say so. Issa scam, my people, I tell you!
You know why? Let me tell you a story.
When I was growing up, I didn’t have very many good feelings about myself, except perhaps the monthly or termly elation of being among the top 3 in my class. I once became position 4 and the head teacher wrote “No way!” on my report form and called for a parent-teacher meeting. It was a very grave matter.
That’s about all the good feelings I had, really. For most of the other time, I felt un-pretty, un-beautiful, un-cool, un-’with it’ – name it. So when I finally came across people who saw something good in me, I would gladly associate with them and take in all the encouragement and beautiful words. It was heavenly. A lot of that was in church. I found great encouragement from my pastors and church leaders. I loved being in church.
As a result, I began to have friendships. Before that it had been all about getting work done, more like project management. It really wasn’t about the joy of being with people even without an agenda, just to have a good time, talk and get to know more about each other. At some point I calmed down and was able to just hang out. For me that was such a miracle. And once again, I began deriving good feelings about myself because of the friendships that I had.
There’s a time I wrote about creating an encouragement box. This would be by writing wonderful things about yourself and putting all those little notes in a box, so that when you’d feel down, all you’d do is pull out any note and it would tell you something wonderful about yourself that you had personally written, so you knew it was true. I thought that was a brilliant idea! And it worked… well, until when it didn’t.
Fast-forward to a few weeks ago something dawned on me as I was working in my kitchen. I’d been frustrated about something and I was feeling pretty awful about myself. I wondered if some of what I did mattered and if it was significant in any way. Then a question went through my mind – who would have to say it for it to be significant? And right there, I stopped in my tracks, hunched over the sink and let my eyes fill up with tears.
I had gotten it all wrong – all through. My esteem, my significance, my worth – it was all other-based. My self-esteem was really other-esteem. It was based on what others said, felt, thought and expressed about me. And as much as that was helpful, it was inadequate. It was inadequate because it was transient. Like when some of my friends pulled away. Or it just was no longer possible to hang out. Or when they’d develop different likes and preferences, and yes, opinions. My sense of worth and esteem would swing like a pendulum.
I needed something more solid. Something that wouldn’t change, no matter what. I needed a new encouragement box full of eternal truths. And the only source of that would be God’s word. See, God’s word never changes, because God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, and so is His word. So I began using His word and meditating on only one aspect of what it said about me, such as I am beautiful or I can do all things through Christ. And I’d play that one word or phrase over and over again in my mind. I’m realizing how powerful this is, especially because it can’t change.
And the new name I have for self-esteem now is God-esteem. That’s what I need. That’s what we all need. That’s my prayer for every girl. Take up God’s word and hide it in your heart and feed it to your sub-conscious mind endlessly. That can never change. It won’t be taken away from you because God can never be taken away from you, most especially because He’ll never die. And what He says about you can’t change – I mean you know how friendships change and your feelings about yourself change with that? And well, not just friendships. Relationships too. The heartbreaks play a number on us. And sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. So we can’t even rely on ourselves because on one day we can be extremely happy and on top of the world then when our hormones kick in it feels like the world is on top of us. We cannot have ourselves, not even our best thoughts as the source of our esteem. We need God’s never-changing, ever-present and ever-encouraging word as the basis for how we esteem ourselves. We need God-esteem.
Today’s post is authored by my good friend AnnGladys Gichuhi.
About Anngladys Gichuhi
I’m a wife, mother, professionally certified Life Coach registered with the International Coaches Register and author of several books. My desire is to mentor and raise mentors according to 2Tim.2:2 and I find that one of the best ways of doing this is through using technology and publishing to mentor people, leaving a positive, lasting impact in their lives that they can pass on to others.
I run the Amazing Girl Mentorship Network which trains, mentors and coaches people to help them discover their identity, worth and purpose in God through events, publications, and digital platforms.
I’m a trained teacher-librarian currently pursuing my Masters in Library & Information Science. I have worked in several positions in many organizations such as: peer counselor, teacher, Administrative Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Assistant Registrar at a university, Public Relations, Communication and Partnerships Director. I currently run my own publishing company (Amazing Life Publishing House) as well as the mentorship network aforementioned.
I have also walked with mothers who’ve lost their children, having lost my son in 2015.