Healthy Self-Esteem: Don’t Allow Others to Define You

The thoughts, opinions and beliefs others have about your sense of worth have absolutely nothing to do with your level of worth. In a world where so many are judging others based on their race, looks, gender, sexual orientation and on and on, many individuals can begin to feel small. Don’t buy in. Don’t ever shrink because of someone’s dis-ease.

You are inherently worthy. Never believe your worth is tied to anything—it’s not. Every human being in the entire world is inherently worthy. When others challenge this basic human truth, it speaks about that person rather than about the person they are judging. When an entire group of people treats another group of people as less than they are, this practice stems from their own fears, insecurities and grandiosity. It has zero to do with the worth of the discriminated group. Don’t ever allow others to define you.

There are crazy messages rumbling in the world today which say, for example, men are more worthy than women, whites are more worthy than blacks, heterosexuals are more worthy than homosexuals, Americans are more worthy than Mexicans and on and on. The oppression involved in this thinking is enormous. This type of thinking is based in fear. As human beings we often fear the “other.” We are unconsciously aligned with those who seem the most like ourselves and we see “others” as a threat. When we see “others” as a threat, some will resort to pounding their chests to prove how they are better than the “other.” Don’t buy in. Don’t buy in to the notion that “other” is less than or is dangerous. Don’t buy in to the notion that you are less than. When we get lost in our differences, we forget our sameness. We are all human beings first and foremost. Don’t ever forget that.

In the end, we all want to belong. We all want to be loved. Focusing on our commonality rather than our differences gives us the best chance for these basic needs to be met.

Challenge: Moving forward, focus on those pieces that bring us closer. Strive for kindness, not hate; inclusion, not exclusion, and equality, not judgment. If we want a great world, we each have to do our part to be great in it.

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