Thursday, 12 December 2013

Series: What Do You Do When You Never Feel Good Enough? (Part One)

If you missed the intro to this topic, please read it here.

In writing this series I have assumed that the topic under scrutiny is new to whoever will read it and based on that assumption, I have chosen to define all key words I deem important to this discussion. 
The Concept
Look into a mirror and tell me what you see... Er, don't. Whatever you see staring back at you is what is referred to as 'Self'. Self means YOU as a complete, distinct person from everyone else.

To 'Esteem' means to have respect for, to attach value to something. Together both words form the phrase 'Self-esteem', a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. 

Though self-esteem and self-respect are used interchangeably, it is a neutral term. It takes on a positive or negative meaning depending on whether your estimation of yourself is high or low. If you take pride in yourself, then you have high self-esteem. If you feel unworthy, incompetent, inadequate, below standard or perceive everyone and everything as better or more deserving than you, then my dear; you have low self-esteem (LSE).

The severity of LSE varies from person to person but generally, it is characterized by a complete lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities and sometimes, a projection of that sense of inadequacy on those around you..

LSE is not a surface problem. Its roots are deep and usually date back to early childhood and adolescent years. As painful as it may be, the solution lies in confronting the underlying and sometimes unresolved issues that have become the soil on which the problem thrives.

Now, I need you to take some time out and study the list below and I need you to be honest with yourself:
  • Have you lost both parents? (Or living with one biological and one step-parent)
  • Are you from a broken home? (Did your parents separate or divorce when you were much younger?)
  • Are you from a polygamous family? (Did your father marry one or more wives? Or had one wife and a string of mistresses?)
  • Did you grow up in an abusive environment (Your father beats up or talks down at your mum, or the other way round? Did you experience constant shouting or arguments?)
  • Did your parents favour one or more of your siblings above you or use him/her/them as a standard for good behaviour?
  • Did you grow up experiencing lack? (Was there less than enough money for food, clothing, shelter, school fees, books etc.?)
  • Did you suffer some form of abuse (Rape, incest, sodomy, constant beating and or criticism, verbal/psychological abuse etc.)
  • Are you disabled or do you see yourself as handicapped in some way? (Blind, deaf, dumb, crippled or scarred physically or emotionally)
  • Are you squatting or living with friends/relatives?
  • Did you drop out of school (At whatever level, for whatever reason)
  • Have you tried to do achieve something and failed over and over again (E.g JAMB, business, relationships)
  • Were you borne out of wedlock? (It's possible you don't even know who your mum or dad is)

The list is not exhaustive, it can't be; but it outlines the likely roots of LSE for those who grapple with it.  The environments and scenarios described above by their very makeup are dysfunctional (though there are exceptions) and for impressionable children, adolescents and teenagers, the effects can be life-altering...

To be continued
©Naomi Lucas


Tijjani Abdulsalam said...

Really looking forward to subsequent pieces. This I guarantee, will really benefit more people than you imagined... Pls keep it up.

Naomi Lucas said...

Thank you Tijanni...

Nazor Nwafor said...

I love this! Will check constantly for the sequel. Hope I can share?

Nazor Nwafor said...

Nice piece, Naomi! I look forward to the sequel pieces. Am I permitted to share?

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Nazor. Please go ahead and share widely :D