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Is low self esteem getting in the way of you enjoying your life, limiting what you do, how much you earn? Simply being happy and content? I’ve met so many smart, talented, kind, really good people who have such low esteem they feel they don’t deserve success or happiness.
It starts with a story.
Once there was a young magpie with a beautiful voice who just loved to sing; she would sing in the morning when she woke, she sang all through the day and she would sing at night before she went to sleep.
She sang because it made her happy. Then one day when she was in the forest, she heard a strange, ugly sound, it was harsh and loud, and it hurt her ears. When she asked what that sound was, her mother told her it was the crows singing.
She was shocked and began to wonder how could it be that she was able to make such a beautiful sound and the crows make such a racket. She was sad for the crows, for their ugly voices, and because she was such a kind and caring young magpie, she decided that if the crows couldn’t sing as beautifully as she did, then she wouldn’t sing anymore. She didn’t want to show off and think herself better than the crows. So she stopped singing. But she found herself feeling sadder and sadder every day, she felt worried and anxious, and every little thing that happened seemed to upset her.
Then one day, when she was sitting on a branch feeling sad, a wise old crow came and sat beside her. The crow said to the young magpie, “I miss hearing your beautiful voice in the morning and during the day and in the evening. Why don’t you sing anymore”?
And when the magpie explained to the old wise crow why she’d stopped singing, the crow smiled and said, “We have all been given gifts and they’re not the same for everybody. And the most beautiful thing you can do is to trust and accept that when a gift comes your way, it is because you are meant to have it. Otherwise, it would not be available to you. Accepting that gift with gratitude and using it to the best of your ability, that’s true humility.
The Doubt Maker
I’ve met many good, kind folk who feel uncomfortable, guilty even, about having a comfortable life and opportunities that others don’t. Such low self esteem makes it difficult for them to really appreciate and enjoy what they have. Do you know someone like that? Is there something in you that has a tendency to question or even deflect life’s gifts, the good things and wonderful people that come your way, with seemingly little or no effort on your part? Have you ever thought that this deflection might be saying something about your self esteem, how worthy do you think you are to be happy, be successful, enjoy life? Or does it all have to feel like a struggle before you can accept?
Is it that good fortune requires us to think of ourselves in new ways or make us question why we have something that others don’t? These feelings of unworthiness need to be called out, because if they’re not, they can really spoil your enjoyment of life, can even lead to the low self esteem that causes us to sabotage our efforts and opportunities.
Maybe you need to just bypass that doubt maker all together. Because when you really think about it, who of us could possibly be worthy of the gift of life. Isn’t that the point, it’s a gift. So when you really think about having self esteem is an act of gratitude!
Can you be simple enough to trust that these gifts are meant for you, after all they were given to you? Or do you think life has made a mistake, delivered the gift to the wrong address? Accepting a gift with gratitude and using it to the best of your ability, now that takes humility.
Acknowledging and Accepting
When you consider the good and beautiful in your life and maybe even the difficulties and challenges, can you receive them as gifts? And if you find feelings of unworthiness or a sense of “Why me, that’s not fair”, cropping up, can you simply acknowledge those feelings?
And you might say something like, “This is simply what is”, and can be curious about how that feels.
You might even feel like saying, “Thank you”.