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Building Self-esteem, Even If You've Never Had It

Jan 22, 2008
If I said self-esteem could do wonders for your self-esteem you'd probably think I was pulling your leg, or I made a mistake in typing. I did not.

Many feel that a person is born with it, or maybe was popular in grade school and held onto that for the rest of their lives, always succeeding at whatever due to public support. If only that were so, we'd all have an excuse to frown and be depressed most the time.

This is actually not the case at all. The beauty you had a crush on in high school who maybe relied mainly on beauty for self-esteem later becomes an adult, has children and stretch marks, and a bad marriage. She escapes into television and maybe chemical dependence. It doesn't always happen that way, but more regularly than you may think.

It doesn't necessarily help to be raised in a family that is considered highly-esteemed in their community. Though this can be a positive, it can also be a negative. Often the child rebels as a teen or even before that. And even more often than not, never grows out of it, finding him or herself estranged from the rest of the family well into adulthood.

So, once again, self-esteem can do wonders for your self-esteem. That might not make sense if you feel your self-esteem has diminished for whatever reason. My point is, it can be learned for the first time, or be established maybe for the first time in a whole new lifestyle. We have the right to reinvent ourselves.

Maybe you were the football jock who lifted weights regularly and was applauded every time you blocked a tackle. You kept your grades up and you got more positive feedback. This helped your esteem very much. Later in life, you landed a high paying marketing job and you hate it. The pay all goes to an ungrateful wife who spends it on fashions and takes vacations with her girlfriends. Where did your self-esteem go?

We have an obligation to ourselves in adulthood to create our own self-esteem. We rarely get much unconditional love, attention, and acknowledgment of our deeds we did when we were younger (unless we have a dog). It won't be done overnight. But each time we do something positive for ourselves or someone else, it builds. It is a process.

Consider that on your worst day, you commit to go to a soup kitchen and serve food. Maybe a nursing home and visit with the elderly. Tutor a kid with his/her homework. Do something positive to get outside of yourself. You will not get back your self-esteem most likely in one day. But if you find yourself making it a habit of helping others, you will slowly find your self-esteem rising. It is a natural consequence of helping others and getting outside oneself. Perhaps it is true when they say, "God works in mysterious ways." Maybe its the way the universe operates. The fact is, whatever you believe, or don't believe, it truly works.

The battle with low-self esteem can last a lifetime. Some never win. If one tries just a little, they usually do win. One day, not long ago, I looked up and I was turning fifty and had a major heart attack so I was becominging more aware of my mortality. Me? A major coronary? That was what other people had, not me. My ego loves me to think I'm so unique. So I took a week and analyzed my life. I took, (as Richard Dreyfus' book in 'What About Bob?', baby steps. I studied. I researched. I learned. I even went back to college online. I volunteer to help the elderly and shut-ins learn the Internet and a few have even enrolled in universities in their 60's and 70's.

All these little things worked toward building my self-esteem and I don't say build it back. I don't think I ever had it in the first place. So self-esteem is new to me, and a little goes a long way.

With all the obstacles and challenges I have endured in my life, and I am certain there are many others who have much tougher stories, if I can do it, anyone can. I just take a little time out of each day and do something to build my self-esteem. I may do a lot of other things incorrectly, but I try to learn to do them right, and still, I take time for myself to do just a little something positive for me or someone else, or both, with no thought of compensation.

I'm a slow learner, but in ten years, I've accomplished a thousand times more than I did in my first forty-three years.

I launched Londons Times Cartoons which makes people laugh. I then opened numerous gift stores like LTSuperstore, RickLondonCollection, Justfunnygreetingcards,Justfunnycoffeemugs, Justfunnyaprons, Mirthgirthbirth, RickLondonwear, Justfunnymousepads, Justfunnyhoodies, etc. People order my cartoon gifts and collectibles from these stores and other people laugh and feel better about themselves as well.

When we are around humor or feel humorous, we don't take life so seriously. If you do not feel you are a funny person, that is okay. Simply expose yourself to humor, on a daily basis. As time goes by, changes eventually happen, for the positive. They did for me, and I was definitely not a funny person.

So, as I said, self-esteem can do wonders for your self-esteem. Build some today. Baby steps.
About the Author
Cartoonist Rick London battled depression and low self-esteem for years. He has since taken a path to feeling better about oneself. He makes others laugh with his cartoon merchandise stores and Top Internet Offbeat Cartoons Easy Self-Esteem: Even If You've Never Had It
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