A few weeks ago a couple of friends and I were having a conversation about self-esteem and self-confidence. The most common question, at least anecdotally, that people seem to get caught up on is “Am I good enough?” It’s definitely a question I’ve struggled with. If I were the gambling type I’d bet a fair amount that you’ve also struggled to answer that question. That’s okay, but it’s the wrong question.
Here’s the thing. That question can’t really be answered. What does “good enough” even mean? It can’t really be defined. When you try define it, you get caught up in all the tiny details of mistakes you’ve made and that never helps. And why does it have to be phrased “enough”? The question assumes you start below some standard you must live up to. It doesn’t matter though. It’s the wrong question.
There are two questions that I think are the right questions. Two questions that, when answered honestly, will tell you where you stand with yourself.
Do I Know Who I Am?
If you don’t know who you are, how could you ever answer a question like “Am I good enough?” anyway? Take the time to get to know yourself. Know what your strengths are and how to use them. Learn what your weaknesses are and how to learn from them. Know your limits. Know what your priorities are.
Let me be clear here. Knowing who you are does not mean you’re perfect. Which leads right into the next question.
Do I Love Myself?
They do not love that do not show their love.– William Shakespeare
Imagine someone close to you admits a mistake they’ve made. Nothing extremely serious, but something you know you’d beat yourself up for doing. How would you react? Chances are you’d accept the apology. You would probably say something encouraging. You’d probably express love for them through hugs or words.
Why would you treat yourself any different?
You don’t need to be “perfect” to love yourself. No one else you love is perfect, so why would you have to be? It’s self-righteous to think that a higher standard should be applied to yourself, but not to others. Loving yourself doesn’t even mean you have to like yourself or choices you’ve made. It probably wouldn’t take you long to thing of someone you love, but who you don’t really like at the moment.
A Final Thought
I am a firm believer in continual self improvement. None of this should ever be used as an excuse to stop improving. Love is a catalyst. Love drives action and change. Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on self-perception. Please let me know yours in the comments.
One last thing. Please take a moment today to let yourself know that you love you.