I used to subscribe to and heavily promote self-esteem building: affirmations, listing and repeating your attributes, etc. I don’t have to repeat it all here. We see the same “How to Build Your Self-Esteem in 5 Easy Steps” articles and inspirational quote memes.
What if I told you I don’t believe in that anymore?
If you know me personally and are familiar with the audacity of my ego, you’re calling bullshit. I don’t blame you. It’s true, nonetheless.
At some point, I realized I was building an argument for liking myself. Why was “specialness” the prerequisite for confidence? What was I really doing with all these declarations of self-love? Telling the world how I felt about myself? Or asking them to confirm what I wanted to be true?
“Whose permission am I seeking?” I wondered. “And why do I need it?”
With that, I emptied the gas from my tank.
I am no less sassy, no less shrewd in removing what doesn’t work for me. My head is not bowed, and my hips don’t sway any less when I walk. I spend no less time in the mirror smirking at my reflection. The only difference is I’m not constantly crafting explanations for why I should stand so tall or be so firm in my “yes” and “no.”
Explain to whom? And for what?