No-one is born with low self-esteem. No-one is born lacking confidence. Have you ever seen a shy newborn baby?
You spend nine months developing in a safe, warm environment where all of your needs are met. You may not be aware of it at the time (I think the jury’s still out on that one) but you’re often talked to and told how much you’re loved by parents who haven’t even met you yet.
Then you’re born. You come into the world and, at least for a short time, you’re the most important person in it. Everybody wants to meet you. Everybody wants to hold you. You’re amazing!
And it gets better. You smile. Has anyone ever seen a more beautiful smile? You learn to raise your head and look around. “Wow – he’s looking at me. Isn’t he a clever little boy?” You clap your hands and splash around in the bath. “Isn’t she cute? Isn’t she the cutest little thing ever?”
And better still. You take your first steps and you might as well be an Olympic athlete. You say “mama” and it’s received like the world’s best TED talk. Every tiny stage of your development is celebrated. And so it should be – you really are amazing!
Maybe not quite so amazing
But it can’t last. The crowd gets tougher. You have to try harder to impress. Suddenly you have to do more difficult stuff. Like talk in full sentences. Read and write. Get your head around long division. Not only that – you have to be good at things. Who knew that was part of the deal?
Before you know it, you’re getting criticism. Some of it’s delivered constructively by people who know how to bring out the best in you. But far too much just has the effect of making you feel like you’re not good enough. Your confidence and self-esteem start to slide.
It gets worse
And people stop being nice to you. Not all people – lots of them still think you’re wonderful and make that crystal clear. But some people don’t like you. That’s not your fault – no-one can be universally popular – but it doesn’t half feel like it sometimes. And don’t forget the people who go around be horrible to you just because they can. They can really sap your confidence.
But you ARE amazing
Really you are. When you think back to that tiny baby who couldn’t do anything, then look at who you are now – isn’t it incredible how far you’ve come? We all deserve to be proud of ourselves.
You deserve to be proud of yourself. Because you really are amazing.