It’s difficult to “love your neighbor as yourself”1 if your own self-esteem is low. God made each of us unique and has endowed us with a distinct balance of strengths and weaknesses. The problem begins when we compare ourselves with other people and their situations, or we measure ourselves by society’s standards of success and eventually find ourselves in a state of constant unhappiness. If this is how you sometimes feel, consider these suggestions that I have found great self-esteem boosters:
Analyze your personal core values, and if necessary, make changes. Ask yourself which is more important—your health or your image? Making money or having peace of mind? Your work or spending time with your family? And so on. Recognizing what counts the most for you gives you clear targets to aim for.
Believe that you are very special to God. The Lord knew you even before you were born. “You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”2
Make a list of your strengths. What do you like about yourself? Don’t focus on your lacks or weaknesses, but rather on what is good about yourself, your talents, your positive traits. Perhaps you are creative, kind, cheerful, intelligent, easygoing, generous. While we have to admit our weaknesses in order to keep them under control, it’s also important to recognize our potential. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”3
Be thankful for all the good you have. In whatever situation you find yourself, try to identify something positive to be thankful for, remembering that “trouble is the structural steel that goes into character-building.”4
When you learn to understand and take care of your emotional needs you will be able to reach out to others and be a greater positive influence on those around you. The change begins within, as you let God’s light and love into your being and life.