Gals call it pride. Guys call it ego (and I’m not talking about what Beyoncé meant by “ego”). I call it self-esteem, and it can be your worst enemy or your best friend.
Self-esteem is what I would define as the measurement of how confident you feel day-to-day or even minute-to-minute. This is because of how volatile our lives can be. If you get an A on an exam you studied your butt off for, you feel like you can overcome anything. While if you trip in public, you instantly wish for the power of invisibility.
Being self-conscious is related to self-esteem, but also appears to have more niches. You can be chronically self-conscious in certain aspects of your life. For example, one may be self-conscious about appearances or grades. Being self-conscious can certainly lower one’s self-esteem as well as create a low baseline for self-esteem.
I’m writing this piece in order to encourage the expulsion of all negative feelings we have about ourselves. What are those feelings going to do in the long run? Cripple us from being truly happy because we will be too fearful to go after what we want.
When it comes to matters of the heart, our pride or ego too often get in the way. You constantly hear people trying to come up with sly and indirect ways of showing people how they really feel. I’m just gonna touch his arm cause Cosmo says that if you engage in physical contact, even mildly, he will feel it and take the hint that I’m interested. Now, I’m not suggesting jumping the poor guy, I’m just talking about inwardly being more confident in yourself enough that it projects outwardly. Be as direct as possible with what you want in a relationship because the sooner you find out another person’s bottom-line, the better.
Pride can also lead to fear of vulnerability. Vulnerability is the way people access deeper sides of each other. They share secrets and confess feelings. These experiences are scary and wonderful, but so vital to getting close to someone, whether that be in a friendship or in a relationship. Often in romantic relationships we have to let go of our pride in order to express what we want. If you love someone, but your relationship with this person is falling apart, isn’t it worth it to tell them how much you care and love them than to let everything crumble because you don’t want to look desperate? Who is going to know you looked desperate? Who even cares?
I know this is easier said than done. The fact is that many self-esteem problems run deeper than others. Maybe you were teased in middle school for having braces. These small things that you’ve overcome in your life may have left tiny marks that bother you to this day.
You do have one major super power that no one else has and that is the knowledge of the things that caused you pain. Nobody knows who you were in middle school or high school and nobody has to know unless you’re still stuck on your image from those days. Find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it.
If you’re preparing for a major event in your life like a job or internship interview, a big exam, even going to a formal, go with a strong head on your shoulders. If anything, fake it until you make it. Self-esteem develops over an entire lifetime. Do not expect to have it all figured out now, but acting like you do will help you exude confidence and a positive aura people will want to be around. The key is believing in yourself in this moment.