Self-Esteem

The Un-Holiness of Low Self-Esteem

“If my aim is to prove I am “enough” the project goes on to infinity-because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable.” – Dr. Nathaniel Branden

Self-esteem is a core human need. Self-esteem determines how we act, think and reveal ourselves in life and relationships. The essence of self-esteem is worthiness. To believe we are worthy of meaningful life, love and happiness is a function of healthy self-esteem. Self-esteem is also rooted in our belief in our ability, adequacy or competency to handle life and deal with change. Where unworthiness might whisper, “I don’t deserve it,” low self-esteem whispers, “I can’t handle it.” 

Self-worth is the value we believe we possess as human beings. Self-esteem is the anchor that directs that value. When we struggle with low self-esteem, we attach additional meaning to the words of others- we take things personally. We strive, perform, and people-please to prove our worthiness. When we are constantly striving to prove our worthiness, we can become addicted to the external approval of others. While the approval of others may temporarily make us feel better, we eventually return to the internal thermostat of our beliefs. 

Self-esteem is our evaluation of self. It is how we project ourselves in the world, and in turn, how life responds. The great psychologist, Nathaniel Branden, in his definitive and classic book: The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem describes it this way: “The value of self-esteem is not merely in the fact that it allows us to feel better but that it allows us to live better-to respond to challenges and opportunities more resourcefully and more appropriately. The level of our self-esteem has profound consequences for every aspect of our existence: how we operate in the workplace, how we deal with people, how high we are likely to rise, how much we are likely to achieve, with whom we are likely to fall in love, how we interact with our spouse, children, and friends, and what level of personal happiness we attain.”

Healthy self-esteem leads to a healthy life. It aids our creativity, courage, flexibility and rational thinking. Low self-esteem can be blinding, making us doormats for abuse, or can cause us to become rigid, fearful, rebellious, irrational and hostile toward others and ourselves. Healing our relationship with the self is the foundation for the great endeavors of this life that we are called to accomplish. We tend to feel at home with people whose self-esteem mirrors our own. As we seek healthier relationships, we don’t have to look much further than within. When we begin to consciously heal and raise our self-esteem, it invites relationships into our lives that mirror this elevated view of self. All of life, love, and relationships get better when we get better.

3 Comments

  • Kristina Rose

    I absolutely love everything that you write; I often feel Ike you are talking directly to me. You have a gift of connecting to people on a deeper level and your words attach to their spirit. Thank you.

  • KarLaLa

    ‘Healthy self-esteem leads to a healthy life. It aids our creativity, courage, flexibility and rational thinking. Low self-esteem can be blinding, making us doormats for abuse, or can cause us to become rigid, fearful, rebellious, irrational and hostile toward others and ourselves. Healing our relationship with the self is the foundation for the great endeavors of this life that we are called to accomplish. We tend to feel at home with people whose self-esteem mirrors our own. As we seek healthier relationships, we don’t have to look much further than within. When we begin to consciously heal and raise our self-esteem, it invites relationships into our lives that mirror this elevated view of self. All of life, love, and relationships get better when we get better.’……….#SELAH🌟💫✨🙌🏽💯

    I’ve battled with this all my life. Loving myself, beating myself up. I can honestly say that sometimes I avoid people with high self esteem. Now I realize it’s because I don’t want to be reminded of what I don’t have maybe and it eventually has made me feel lower in the past…because once again I’d beat myself up for not being up to par.

    Ive been saying the Hawaiian prayer and it’s been helping. 💕

    I watch my 5 year old twin girls, Karliyah and Kaylah. Their self esteem is through the roof and I thank God for that. Im like why was it so different for me. My girls have their grandma who Is constantly praising them and making sure they have what they need. They have 3 big brothers who love on them.

    Growing up…it was me…my stepfather and my mom. I was adopted and my adopted parents were transplants from the East Coast. So I had not grandmother, no grandfather, no aunties, uncles cousins. I remember life feeling like that old Del Taco commercial…”Same Place, Same Thing…I would get home to an empty house, eventually my step dad would get home. Then my mom would call the house until she finally got home. Because she had a step father who would peek at her while she used the bathroom she was always trying to control everything and would call, “Where are you, Where’s Willie, What are you doing, What’s he doing?” One day I finally got mad and asked her why she married a man she didn’t trust. She actually got mad at me for asking an important question. Guess you don’t want to hear stuff like that from a teenager.

    So my important formative years were in fear. My house was always filled with negative energy of struggle, pain and mistrust. Living in South Central L.A. on 101st and Vermont exacerbated what we already struggled with. I would be in the living room watching tv, but as soon as I heard the gate open, my heart would race with panic as I rushed to turn the tv off, clean up and run to my room real quick cause I didn’t want to deal with the awkwardness of what was coming through the front door. Those years in the 80’s spent on 101st and Vermont felt like prison. I know cause I work in one.

    My girls scream with excitement when I go to my moms to pick them up. We have an awesome relationship, inspite of our hardships. I make sure they know they can always talk to me. I always get on their brothers when they say ANYTHING that might damage their esteem. At one point they started teasing Kaylah about her belly. Because I haven’t quite mastered the art of gentleness when it comes to facing those who try to bully, I…in a very ghetto tone let them know…NEVER in your life…talk to your sisters in a way that make them feel them feel less than. Not ever!

    “Karla…I know what you’re thinking…’My hair is nappy, my nose is kind of big…I’m a little chunky..’ but one day…(he took his hand and did this kind of abra cadabra magical gesture) “Wooooosh!” It’s all going to come together for you” He said this at the dinner table when I was over his house on ‘his weekend’. At the dinner table. As my stepmother (mixed white and Black) and his beautiful mixed children looked at me…maybe in agreement…I don’t know. Point is…I didn’t know these things about myself until he told me. LOL The FUNNIEST part is after years of that loop playing in my mind, years of our off and on, text only, rare phone call relationship (He texted me Happy Father’s Day this year finally I told him if he couldn’t at least call me to hear my voice like a loving father usually does…don’t bother. Just let me continue to hear the giant cricket that have been feeding on our silent disfunctional relationship😩) I, in hopes of getting closure and stopping the awful loop that…has seemed to paralyze me for YEARS…I told him…’Dad, remember when…those words really hurt’ His response…’Sorry Punkin I really don’t remember that’. I don’t even remember him saying ‘Sorry if I did’.

    So this is why I went from Karla La Shawn Johnson, to Karla La Shawn Wilkins (at WTF were you thinking 2 year marriage to a momma’s boy😂), to just simply Karla La Shawn. Cause WHY THE HELL would I want the slave name back of a man who…NEVER had my back. It still hurts but I am healing. So many episodes of him being caught up in his on life not really caring. My stepsister, his real daughter would run and jump in his lap while I always felt off to the side like Cinderella. I might have well have been since I had to clean when they could no longer afford their maid.

    One day my step mother had to put her gold BMW in the shop and she used her mother’s Burgundy Chrysler. Well by the time she came to pick me up from school, Inglewood High 1987 🤗, I forgot. I’m looking and waiting, looking and waiting. Finally I go to the office to call, cause cellphones😂, as I’m walking back outside one of my friends who had stayed after school for track was like, “You don’t need to be out here by yourself…I’ll wait with you”. Well as we’re standing on the front steps talking and laughing for a while, I realize there’s somebody blowing a horn like crazy. I look over…OH SHIIIII! I forgot my step mom was in another car. I run to the car in panic…cause she was always…over the top. “Where were you? I’ve been waiting here forever!!! You were probably somewhere with that boy doing something you had no business. I was so hurt and mad tears came from my eyes. “That’s why your crying…cause you’re lying!!!” What she didn’t realize was her car was usually my safe place after a long day sweaty arm pits and sweaty hands cause I battle HIGH social anxiety EVERYDAY!!! When you not sure of who you are and you’re surrounded by high energy, self confident kids…it felt like torture battling the thoughts of my mind through out the day. So for her to take that safe place away from me with accusations, which ultimately felt like rejection, I finally got tired of her going on and on and told her to let me out I would walk home. So she skidded her tires and didn’t hesitate to let me off at some train tracks. I walked the mile to Ladera Heights. Crying and trying to figure out what happened the whole way. As if what happened wasn’t bad enough, when I finally got there tired…my dad says, “So tell me what happened”, I told him. I kid you not, his response…”Well, Marilyn is the woman of this house and I expect you to respect her, what she says goes”. HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING!!! She put her hands on my at some point we started fighting and I got the best of her…and back to South Central L.A. I went…confused, hurt, tired…but God. If it wasn’t for me getting baptized in the Holy Spirit with tongues a year later…I NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT.

    Because I understand the importance of a Black woman owning her self worth, I make it my business to always love on my girls and remind them who they are….now it’s my turn💕🌟✨💫 Karla La Shawn

  • KarLaLa

    God’s been calling me to write for years…I know it’s to help others heal…especially those who find it hard to trust God because of their bad relationships with their fathers.

    The amazing part about my relationship with my dad (adopted dad) is, after years of wondering about my real parents, I find out my birth father is in prison for rape and drugs. He’s on psych meds.

    THEIR BIRTHDAYS ARE THE SAME DAY…FEBRUARY 4TH. Mine is February 15th.

    Talk about a recipe for sadness. I’ve written him since we first found out about each other over 10 years ago…but I can’t bring myself to go visit that man. Even if I am his ONLY real child. I found out he left town when he found out my birth mom was pregnant so…I CAN’T… Too bad my birthmother couldn’t handle me calling her. Yeah, I found my birthmother after paying a private investigator in 1993. Excited I walked across the freeway in the desert heat, 8 months pregnant with a heavy purse full of quarters to the truck stop, cause we didn’t have long distance. Only to hear the anger of the woman who carried me in her belly for 9 months say, “I’m on edge, my confidentially has been violated, HOW DID YOU FIND ME???” Yeah, sounds like a movie huh? It’ll all be in the book. Sad part is…10 years later when she finally came around to meeting me…right before we met…I got a call at work…she died from kidney failure and I didn’t even know she was on dialysis cause my sister who I had met and was in constant contact with NEVER made a point to help us meet.😠😭😢

    God is a healer and a comforter. I just had a big cry after I wrote this. I’m realizing it’s been hard for me to write cause it’s so PAINFUL remembering. But I’ve been crying a lot lately after God showed me I have years of bottled up pain. That’s why he gave us tear ducts. That’s why we have the notion to cry when we feel sad, mad even happy. We need to let out that excess emotion. I’ve held it in…got mad or just smiled and waved, pretended everything was ok…thru SO MUCH pain. My body is literally covered with tender spots. Last time I got a massage, the massage therapists said was COVERED in stress.

    🌟✨💫When you read this please pray with me that this is the season ALL THESE WEIGHTS FINALLY!!!! come off me. I am doing the work. I thank God for this ministry💕🌟✨💫

    I just read a journal entry from 2004 LOL and it tripped me out because I didn’t realize it had been that long since God gave me the book idea. So…now that I’m finally healing and gaining clarity…I see my first book being published within the next couple of years.

    ✨💫Stretchmarks & Warscars💫✨🌟 by Karla La Shawn (The story of a father’s love💕) In a store near you!!!! Soon!!!

    ☮️Peace and Love💕

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