When Low Self-Esteem is a Constant Struggle

When Low Self-Esteem is a Constant Struggle

Confession:  For years, I struggled with low self-esteem. 

I constantly worried about what others thought of me.

While I've become much more confident the older I get, there are still days - sometimes weeks - when my self-esteem is in the toilet.

Perhaps this interesting (or not so interesting) fact shocks you. It seems odd that a Jesus-lover who writes a blog, authored a few books, and has a passion for social media, would have trouble with a low self-worth, doesn't it?

It's true, though. It's been an issue for me since childhood, but has escalated into a bigger problem since life sort of fell apart a handful of years ago and my husband and I moved our family across country.

Blame it on a season of long-term unemployment, lack of acceptance from school peers during my childhood, emotional fallout from having divorced parents, judgmental tendencies from my relatives, life in a town overflowing with alumni (my hubby included) from a local prestigious college, or emotional abuse from my first marriage.

I may never know the actual cause. However, I suspect it's a combination of many things that contribute to my constant angst over not being good enough.

Valid or not, stress-filled feelings and questions bounce through my mind way too often.

I'm either not educated enough, not interesting enough, not spiritually righteous enough, not athletic enough, not wealthy enough, not creative enough, not pretty enough, not giving enough of myself, or I'm not doing what the crowd feels I should do.

  • Why do things feel so awkward around so and so?
  • I hope I didn't hurt her feelings.
  • Why doesn't she like me?
  • Does she think we aren't adventurous because we don't travel (never mind that we can't afford to?)
  • I hate that I feel inferior around all these highly educated people.
  • They only know me as a stay-at-home mom, they don't know the success I had during my corporate days.
  • What if they think my writing sucks?

Ugh! It was always something! And it was exhausting worrying so much.

Imagine the heavy burden on my mental and emotional health. I felt like my head was trapped in the drama of 7th-grade cliquey nonsense.

I'm glad I finally said, "enough already!" But like I mentioned, some days it still rears it's ugly head. It's so frustrating!

Maybe you struggle with low self-esteem too.

I don't know about you, but I can't do it anymore. I can't continue to live with the lies in my head. That's what all those random thoughts are. Lies! Okay, maybe every once in a while my feelings are valid and correct. Not everyone is going to like me, and no matter how hard I try, I can't control that. All I know is the madness has to stop.

But how?

How does one turn off more than 30 years of programming?

The answer?

God.

The Creator and Author of our life.

Only God can fill our soul with His love and acceptance. Only God can remove the lies and replace them with a view of how He sees us.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.    ~Romans 12:3

When we constantly compare ourselves to worldly standards of success or achievement, we only end up missing out on seeing our true value from God's perspective. Our God is one who chose to give us the gift of life! He loves us unconditionally, faults and all. Therefore, the basis of our self-worth need not be who we are in the eyes of others, but rather who we are in Christ.  In Him, we are valuable!

His opinion is the only one that should matter.

So how can we change old thought patterns?

We can pray.

God answers our prayers and He certainly doesn't desire for us to live emotionally burdened.  Let's drop to our knees and talk to God about this problem.

Not long ago I read the book, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. This was shortly after watching the movie, War Room. After being inspired by both the book and the movie, I created my own space for a War Room in my closet and began to place scripture on the walls. It didn't take long to realize praying God's word is powerful. He is slowly replacing the lies in my head with His loving words of truth.

We can recognize negative patterns and choose to react differently.

The moment a negative thought pops into our head we can make a choice.  A choice to follow our sinful nature - the one that doesn't believe or trust God and His promises, or we can stand strong as God's wonderfully made creation. Our Creator doesn't make mistakes. Therefore, I'm not an oversight on His part and neither are you. Let's change our pattern by choosing to react differently.

We can pursue positive relationships.

There are people in our life who truly love us and accept us for who we are, rather than what we do or what we have. Those relationships are the ones we should be pouring our efforts into.  What a weight it is to expend emotion on people who don't appreciate our authenticity. Let's choose to nurture and grow the relationships that bring us joy.

If not low self-esteem, what do you struggle with?

Pink Signature
The following two tabs change content below.

Rosann Cunningham

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Author at Rosann Cunningham
Rosann is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in hormone health. She is also a fitness junkie, with a specific passion for mixed martial arts style kickboxing and is trained in Krav Maga - a military self-defense fighting system. After a Hashimotos diagnosis which turned out to be a very wrong call, Rosann became her own health advocate and fought her way back to optimal health and wellness. She is determined to help her clients dig deep to find the root cause of their hormone health struggles, so they too, can thrive and live the abundant life of health and happiness they deserve. Rosann believes nobody should be a victim in life or in their health, so in her coaching practice she loves to integrate a martial arts style and sense of accountability.

Leave a Comment