This Will Not Be Good for Your Self Esteem

I don’t believe in Self Esteem.

Self esteem became a thing as I entered the professional world. I remember it because there were active discussions about how ALL the kids should get a trophy at the awards so it would help their self esteem. And we were taking lots of classes and workshops in developing self esteem. It’s not like before that we wanted people to feel bad about themselves. I think it was just called confidence.

A more recent development on what I think is the same thought spectrum- but not one I think is going to be as popular- is resiliency.

While it isn’t going to be as nice to talk about, I do think it is better. Resiliency skills are focused on the idea that when (not if) life knocks you down, you get back up. And the quicker you get up, the better your resiliency.

So, it’s not IF you fall off the horse. It’s how quick you’re able to put the martini down (or is that just me?) get the wind back in your lungs, look the animal in the eyes and face that stirrup again.

This isn’t the horse that through me. But I have been thrown twice. One broke my tail bone and the other gave me a concussion. And I still ride.

It’s not IF your heart gets broken, but how soon you stop playing the sad song soundtrack, eating a steady diet of chips, chocolate and martinis (or is that just me?) and are willing to acknowledge a joyful life is still possible.

No, George did not break my heart. But the men who have were almost as charming and had just as many issues.

And it’s not IF  your writing gets criticized or rejected, but when. And when that happens, how much time do you waste perfecting your martini recipe (or is that just me?) instead of getting back to your story?

This is the day I signed my contract with my agent. It helps on the not so good writing days.


I’m not against self esteem as a whole. I’m against half of it. The self part.

The idea being that esteem rooted in the self or in others’ opinions of our self is bound to cause problems.

I ascribe to something I learned a long time ago called Healing Esteem. And I am so sorry to not have that phrase link to a book or website of the person who came up with it, but I can not find my notes or anything on line. But it is not my idea.

The simple premise of Healing Esteem is that I-you-we are created in God’s image. And simply put: God don’t make no junk.

We are His children. His beloved. He made you exactly how he wanted you. The same God who did all this, made you. Amazing, beautiful stuff.

And when we doubt that, question that, loose our mooring from the anchor of that truth: then that (doubt, question, loss) needs to be healed.

And notice, I said when. Not if.

While I do love a good martini, I do not recommend them for improving esteem.