“The more you LIKE yourself, the less you ARE LIKE anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney
I spend a lot of time thinking. Now I’m not saying that’s always such a good thing… nor am I always fully equipped for the sport. However, it is what it is and I am a thinker. I’ve been thinking a great deal about self-esteem lately. Self-Esteem – it even sounds high brow, doesn’t it? But it isn’t – it’s simply the state of liking yourself and being comfortable with the good looking person you see in the mirror.
Yesterday, my husband (on Twitter) bemoaned the appearance of some recent WordPress themes. Seems they simply aren’t what he has in mind for his golf blog. He’s one picky guy, but geez I could have told them that. Whether it’s a Christmas present, a lawn mower, a trellis, a movie, or a theme – once he gets an image in his mind of what he wants or expects, nothing will “do” and nothing will be “good enough” until reality measures up to his mental picture.
He’s a perfectionist – with himself and the rest of the world. Again, it is what it is – not all great, not all horrible.
Anyway…. he unleashed the hounds. He made some designers (and even some who weren’t… go figure that one) turn into savages. Spitting, cursing, eye-bulging, fist-clinching savages. It was a little too much drama for me for a Monday, but my Cardinals weren’t playing – so the entertainment was kind of welcomed.
What was even more welcomed were the three guys who stepped away from the crowd. Two pointed Mr. Perfectionist in a direction where he might find something he had in mind and one (a super cool coder from St. Louis) good-naturedly told him that he was accepting this as a challenge… kind of a “class assignment.”
Apparently class had already been assigned to this man long ago. I’d wager that this gentleman has a great deal of self-esteem as well.
The thinker in me, naturally, kicked in. Like I said, baseball wasn’t on…..
In the quote at the top, Walt Disney points out how important it is to like yourself – how that doing so will make you unique. Personally, I think there’s something else that’s remarkable about people who genuinely like themselves… they’re cooler people. When you’re comfortable and at peace with the person you spend 24 hours a day with, it makes your disposition much cooler…. and much harder to rattle. When people have self-esteem, they’re simply too cool to instantly heat up and too steady to shake.
I honestly think that a lot of the grouches in the world, those who always seem angry at someone or something, simply don’t like themselves very much – or, at the very least, something in particular about themselves. They come across as angry at the world because they’re angry at themselves. Their attitude sucks because, as far as they’re concerned, something about their life sucks.
How much better (and quieter) would it be if they pinpointed what they disliked about themselves – the thing they aren’t comfortable with – and took action.
“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (More quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson)
A lot of people who seem to have personality problems, in truth, simply have a personal problem. Many times they expect too much out of themselves. They expect themselves to be totally without blemish, fault, or flaw. They forget that there was only one human who this description fit… and he was killed for it!
I think this whole “self esteem” and “liking yourself” problem is behind many ills in our homes and relationships. The person who gets overly angry about a criticism actually feels pretty weak or insecure about it. If not, why get so mad? If someone told me that I didn’t grow absolutely beautiful flowers, I’d laugh at them. If they told me my world-famous Almond White Cake from Scratch with Homemade Creamy White Icing wasn’t delicious, I’d realize they were born without taste buds. I’d pity them – then I’d go back to eating my cake.
I also believe that the reason some people age better than others boils down to self esteem. Look at Helen Mirren – she isn’t scared of looking her age or insecure about aging… the lady’s capitalizing on it. And beautifully, at that. She likes herself and is totally comfortable with who she is. Contrast that to the actresses who are going under the knife more than peanut butter fudge (what is it with me and sweets today?). There are some celebrities who are so uncomfortable with themselves that they’re plastic surgeon regulars before they’re even out of their twenties.
When they’re Helen Mirren’s age, they won’t be starring on the big screen, they’ll be starring on websites poking fun at them. And they’ll be just as miserable as they are now.
If there is anything – anything at all – you don’t like about yourself or anything you feel insecure about, write it down. Consider this the most important TO DO list of your life, because it is. It can be something as major as “I don’t like my temper” or as superficial as “I hate my hips!” Maybe you feel insecure about being able to talk in public (who doesn’t?) or maybe you’re insecure about your vocabulary.
The point is, if you sit down with yourself for about 10 minutes, you can pinpoint the area(s) you truly feel insecure about.
“The most difficult secret for a man to keep is the opinion he has of himself.” – Marcel Pagnol
When you have your TO DO list, I want you to turn it into a WILL DO list. Just like that! You know the old quote, “When all’s said and done, more’s said than done.“? Don’t ever let that be you – ever. If your TO DO list just sits there, it’s of little use to anyone.
Your TO DO list needs to evolve – from a TO DO list….
……..to a WILL DO list…..
……..to a DONE list.
To do, will do, done. To go from one to the next takes will power and determination. But what’s the alternative? Not evolving, not getting anything done, failure. Thanks be to God that caterpillars don’t “wimp out” – otherwise there’d be no butterflies in the world.
“You may find the worst enemy or best friend in yourself.” – English Proverb
Granted, it all sounds easier than it is. If someone isn’t happy with their temper, weight, public speaking, vocabulary, financial situation, etc – it takes more than just WISHING things were different. The individual has to MAKE them change, no one’s going to do it for them. In the end, though, a lot of it is just good old fashioned common sense.
Let’s take a scenario. “Jane Doe” (it appears I can’t get my mind off sweets long enough to be very original) has started a new job and feels woefully insecure about her ability to speak in public.
Her TO DO list may read something like:
- Gain confidence in public speaking
- Find out what others know that I don’t know!
- Improve my vocabulary
Jane’s WILL DO list may look something like:
- Take a course in public speaking at the local community college
- Read all the books I can get my hands on that deal with public speaking
- Attend a few Public Speaking seminars or workshops
- Take online grammar and/or literature courses
- Write down every new word I come across, along with the definition
- Read more
- Go to the library and walk out with a selection of vocabulary and public speaking books
The DONE list?
- I’ve gained so much knowledge about public speaking and feel so confident about my vocabulary that I’m looking for opportunities to speak publicly rather than running from them.
See Jane win.
We all have areas we can improve in – big areas, small areas, “deep” areas, “shallow” areas. Like my quest for Jillian Michael’s abs (sick, just sick) or Michelle Obama’s arms. Seriously, women? Must you set the bar so high and must those definitions be so pronounced? Just picturing these ladies right now pretty much defines my TO DO list. My WILL DO list involves yoga and weights (per chance if I could move beyond 10 pound weights, I’d have more luck). My DONE list? We’ll see… but my wardrobe has sleeves until then.
Could there be a correlation between a sweet tooth and… nah. It’s the weights.
“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” – Henry C. Link
See More quotes about self-esteem.