Over the course of our lives, numerous factors impact our self-esteem in some way. Four of these factors are
(1) Our Parents (Parents are especially influential when we’re young children and adolescents)
(2) Our Achievements
(3) Comparisons To Others (i.e., Assessing whether or not we performed better than others in certain activities)
(4) Our Peers
Overall, these four self-esteem influencers can be summed up in two short words: OUR EXPERIENCES.
How Our Experiences Help Shape Our Self-Esteem
Our experiences, if we choose to allow them, will determine what about our lives we believe to be true. Our beliefs, as they run their course, will often begin to influence our feelings of self-worth.
Here’s how this process looks visually:
What You Experience Through Your 5 Senses → What You Choose To Believe As Truth → How You Feel About Yourself
Let’s say that a 5th grader takes a math test at school one day (i.e., his experience). After the test is graded by his teacher, the student gets it back and sees (i.e., his senses) a bold, red D+ at the top of the page. If he chooses to allow it to, this student’s experience will shape his beliefs about his ability (i.e., “I believe I’m just not good at math”). Unless his belief is altered by an outside influence, over time it will eventually lead to a negative feeling of self-worth (i.e., “I feel stupid”).
The Impact of Self-Esteem
The impact that our self-esteem has on our lives is huge. That’s because
“the perception that we have of ourselves determines what we will ultimately achieve in life.”
In Numbers 13, Moses sent 12 soldiers to spy out a land that had been promised to God’s people. After 40 days of surveillance, 10 of the 12 spies had this negative perception:
(1) There’s no way that we can win this battle.
(2) We just mere insects to be squashed by our enemies.
(3) Our enemies are going to eat us alive.
Two of the same 12 spies, Joshua & Caleb, had yet another, more positive perception:
(1) We are well able to win in battle.
(2) The Lord is with us and He is bigger than any enemy we’ll ever face.
(3) Our enemies are bread for us to eat.
Two completely different perceptions.
And only two out of 12 soldiers made it into the Promised Land—Joshua & Caleb?
Because their self perception determined their ultimate achievement in life.
So what about you?
What’s your perception of yourself?
If it’s not exactly what you’d like for it to be, I have great news…
Your Role In Shaping Your Self-Esteem
YOU are in control of the health of your self-esteem!
To help you remain free of any negative thoughts that could undermine your success, here are four steps that you can take to take control of your self-esteem:
1. JOT IT DOWN. Whenever a thought comes into your mind about either your abilities or value as a person, write it down.
2. EVALUATE THE SOURCE. Determine whether the thought came from God, Satan, or you.
3. SEEK THE TRUTH. Seek out what God’s Word has to say about you.
4. LIVE & SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. Consistently speak and act in a way that aligns with the truth of God’s Word.
God has an incredible plan for your life.
In fact, 1 Corinthians 2:9 says that no one has ever seen, heard, or imagined what God has lined up for you!
But you’ll never achieve it having the wrong self-perception.
So the million dollar question is this:
How Do You See Yourself…???