ˈˌself əˈstēm/


confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.


…Do you have it?…Do you want it?

“Confidence in your OWN worth or abilities…SELF respect” Your own self; not social media’s self, not Victoria Secret Fashion Show’s self, not your younger sister’s self, not your best friend’s self…your OWN self. We all struggle with self-esteem at one point or another in our lives- in our academic, social, professional, or physical success- how we conquer or succumb to these struggles is the key component to the equation.

Conquer: you realize the areas with which you are struggling, recognize that you can’t snap your fingers and squish out of the struggle and intentionally begin to move forward. Perhaps you’re struggling with the shape of your legs, you haven’t quite mastered loving them to pieces, and you find yourself wearing clothing that thoroughly hides them. Realize this. Recognize that you really wish you could change your legs, but that you know they are the way they were meant to be and that they allow you to dance, do yoga, hike, and swim- they’re amazing. Understand that loving them is not going to happen over night, heck loving them may never happen. Accepting them with grace however, that can totally happen…in time! So you begin your journey toward leg acceptance. A few months later you find yourself wearing shorts to dinner with friends and not having incredibly negative thoughts throughout the entire meal. Six months later you find yourself wearing sun dresses and gym shorts whenever a warm weather opportunity presents itself. You still look at your legs and don’t think, ‘wow, these rock!’ but you also just don’t care what others think as much anymore and are finally letting yourself live (rather than sweat to death). GO YOU.

Succumb: you realize the areas you’re struggling, recognize that other people around you (ie: on social media, your friend group, your class mates or co-workers) appear to not be struggling in the same way and you do one of two things: a) hide beneath your sorrows and do whatever you can in order for others to never see your struggle OR b) fall prey to the facade that those people around you present and decide to become one with it; you change yourself in some form or another to fit in. With this comes inevitable consequences, as you are not remaining true to your morales, values, and sense of your OWN self. Whether this be in the form of an eating disorder, social anxiety, inability to form deep relationships out of the fear that your true self will be disclosed, body shame, depression, or some other form of deeper struggle. You may (or may not) recognize the downward spiral you’ve been on in order to get help to crawl back out of the rabbit hole and find your true self once more; help that will now likely involve more complex interventions, but nevertheless it’s help and you’re seeking it- GO YOU.

The end of both of these scenarios lies in acceptance. Acceptance of who YOU are and who you were made to be. All too many of us fight this with the hope of being accepted by others in the form of fitting in. Unfortunately, when we try to fit in by changing some form of ourselves we have lost the acceptance that matters most- the acceptance of our own self. As we see from the two possibilities, this option has the potential of getting much darker before the light comes in, but the end of the struggle is still the same! The only way out is in folks. So get out there and start nurturing YOUR worth, start initiating SELF growth, and start building positive self-esteem. YOU GOT THIS. #lIvebeYOUtifully