Note: This article is written for clients who prefer a faith-based counseling approach, but can be beneficial to anyone who struggles with issues related to self-esteem / self-worth / confidence.
There is a common misconception in popular culture today: "I must feel good about myself. If I feel good about myself, that means I have high self esteem!"
This unfortunate myth promotes more personal pain, relational struggle and family dysfunction than any other belief in modern society. When our individual focus is on feeling good about myself, the focus becomes inward and the goal always seems just out of reach ("I will feel better about myself when..." "If only I had..."). To make matters worse, this type of thinking promotes comparison, competition and jealousy ("Why does she have such a nice house /car /husband / kids /body /wardrobe...?") This of course decreases self esteem ("I'm not as good as her / him/ them."), and causes an increased need for feeling good about myself (repeat process). Can you see the vicious cycle here?
Rather than focusing on our feelings about ourselves, shouldn't we rather focus on knowing the truth about ourselves? The truth is found in not just who we are, but Whose we are. When we know our worth, our value, our eternal Home... we can let go of the temporal things that will never satisfy. We will realize that those chains that bound us to ideas of "self esteem" are broken. We are free to walk in the fullness of Life.
Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... Romans 12:2
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