“With a healthy self-esteem, we like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or cannot do. On the other hand, low self-esteem fosters many unhealthy behaviors. Even though we might become aware of these behavioral problems, it’s often a difficult task to change them unless the root of the problem, low self-esteem, is dealt with first.” – Dr. Vincent Berger
I asked myself a question early this morning, and went to my computer to do some research. In the search bar I typed, “why we lack confidence,” and the first thing that popped up was, “One of the reasons why people lack self-confidence is because they grew up in an environment that restricted their freedom of expression.” I then went a little further and read about the root of the problem that many, as well as myself, have struggled to find. Although my self-esteem is not that much of a problem anymore, it is instilled in my life. My knowledge of what it has stemmed from; my childhood, has helped me to focus on remedies to the lingering low self-esteem that I have grown accustomed to throughout my adult life. It wasn’t until I learned some key factors, and then reflected on the past, that I realized that the early years of the wrong situations and the behavior that I observed and learned from, set me out on the path of thinking that I was not worthy of much. I’m going to talk a bit about the way I grew up, and I hope that my transparency will help someone else to start building the self-confidence they deserve.
As Dr. Berger had said, “With a healthy self-esteem, we like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or cannot do. On the other hand, low self-esteem fosters many unhealthy behaviors.” These few words have really made me reflect on some issues I had when I was a young boy. Back then, I didn’t really know what security meant, and I never really felt ‘at ease.’ My parents separated very early in my life, but I do remember them struggling to make it. They would be together, then apart. My mother and I would move in with her parents, or into an apartment, and then before I knew it, I would be back in a house with both my mom and dad. This went on for the first fifteen years of my life. So, just within that, you can probably see the lack of security? It doesn’t stop there. My father was a very abusive man, both physically and mentally. My earliest memories of my childhood are plagued by the hitting, yelling, cussing, screaming and sexual content that no child should ever be exposed to. Oh God, the horror. It really had a lot of play in the way I was developing. I would cry a lot; at school, in public. I remember being very upset most of the time I was growing up, and because my mother had custody of me after they were divorced, I would find myself crying in her arms nearly everyday. She was the only security that I really knew. I know that I didn’t find any security in the monster who I called, ‘dad.’ He was a rager. He would not control his temper, and the ways that he chose to display it were intense. You can only imagine how terrified I was, watching this big strong man beat my mother, while she held me tightly in her arms.
I could go on. There are many issues that go along with why they fought, and why they tried to make it work for so many years, but that is not the topic at hand. The learned behaviors that were developing within those early years; those toxic behaviors that I have carried with me, have shaped a ton of the aspects of my life. I talk about these struggles, as well as the triumphs within my blog posts. If you are having trouble with low self-esteem, as I did for most of my life, I encourage you to get some help. You are worthy of so much more. Maybe it is time to get to the root of the low self- esteem that you are experiencing? Here are a few links to read. God bless.