I think your own definition of yourself is the most important identity you have. Of all the opinions of who you are (solicited and unsolicited), your opinion about yourself is the one you will believe the most. The danger with it is that ‘belief’ is the strongest human force on earth. The power of conviction has behind it, all the strength residing in the human person so much so that whatever identity you ‘believe’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You unconsciously begin to act out what you believe. A vicious cycle erupts immediately. The more you act it out, the more you believe it. The more you believe it, the more you act it out.
What is self-esteem and why is it so important?
The term self-esteem is one of those combined words that don’t give you a direct definition but takes you in a roundabout way to get to a point. So, not to waste time on stuff you can google or get in the dictionary, self-esteem boils down to ‘how you feel about yourself, or what you believe about who you are. It’s your overall opinion of yourself or your sense of worth.
Why is it so important you ask? Well, it moulds who you are, irrespective of your innate abilities, skill or God given talents. Who you believe you determine what you believe you can do and that invariably determines who you are.
The story is told of the eagle that was hatched in a chicken coop. After it grew up, it ate nuts like the other chicks and never attempted to fly. Luckily, one day a big awesome Eagle meets the ‘eagle-chicken’ and convinces it to attempt to fly and in a swoosh, he takes off and soars’. There are many morals in the story, but the simple understanding is that as long as the eagle believed he was a chicken he never flew or hungered for fresh meat. That same way, whatever you believe about yourself will end up being what you will live out.
It also works the other way round, there are some chickens believing they are eagles and beating themselves up that they can fly and blood tastes like glue in their mouth, so they end up living an unfulfilled life because they have a wrong self-image and self-esteem. Your best life is when you find the life that is made for you. It fits like a glove or a shoe that has taken the shape of your feet. A healthy self-esteem is one that allows you live out your full potential without putting you under the pressure of spreading yourself too thin, trying to prove a point.