Having low self-esteem itself is not selfish.
There are so many things that can knock us back. But not working on our self-esteem would be selfish; it affects so many people other than ourselves.
The above was a thought that occurred to me as I was on a sweaty, adventurous run.
When I’m running, I feel good and my imagination starts sparking. I thought of some other things that make me feel good: meditation, reading, listening to podcasts, social activities, writing, and creating content. When I’m doing those things, I also start to think about how I can offer more to other people by being my best self.
I’ve started to think about many people I follow and who impact people’s lives: Tony Robbins, Gabby Bernstein, Rob Dial, and many more. I’ve always been interested in routines and beneficial activities such as meditation, silence, workouts, journaling, and priming the mind. The people I follow say that if they don’t prime themselves to be in their best state, they can’t give as much to others. I, too, find the same.
When we feel good about ourselves, we can provide more; we can contribute so much more. Think about the last time you felt on top, loved your life, or had a delightful moment. Were you able to give a lot more than when you felt down? When I’ve hit my lowest points, I don’t write as well; I won’t create as much content, and I’m not as effective in my day-job.
That’s why working on self-esteem is so important and essential for me. It doesn’t just provide me with the benefit of feeling good about life but has a knock-on effect on others.
If you have low self-esteem, you create a negative vibe about you. People will notice and feel that negative energy. I’ve been there—deficient—and people could feel it. Sometimes people would ask if they had done something to upset me. I was making them insecure.
On the other side, I’ve experienced those moments when someone else is in a bad spot—the mood entirely changes. You no longer feel comfortable. While it’s perfectly natural for people to go into a low state from time to time, if you are always in a bad state because of your low self-esteem, it will harm others.
If you are a parent or in a relationship, your children or partner will feel it. If you are with a friend and acting negatively, they will feel it too. It can cause others to feel the same.
It’s your responsibility to change that low self-esteem. It’s okay to feel down (it’s perfectly natural), but it is not okay to do nothing about it.
I genuinely believe that if we were in a world where people had even average self-esteem levels, it would be a better place. Things like war, attacks, bad relationships, and abuse would significantly reduce. When I say attacking another person, I mean both physically and mentally. A person only hurts another person because they are hurting themselves.
I’m sure that if you are reading this, you aren’t about to start a war or attack another person maliciously, but think about when you’ve lashed out at another person. It was probably a time when you weren’t feeling too good about yourself.
I can think of an example from last year when I did this. I had been on a long, boozy holiday abroad, at a difficult time; I had not been looking after myself properly, went back to work, and did not feel on top of things. In a work meeting, a woman I get on with really well said something against my perspective, and I lashed out.
My verbal attack hurt her, and all this was because I was projecting my own insecurities and pain. She ended up in a bad state, not feeling good about herself. Can you see the effect that feeling bad about yourself can have on others?
I believe we all have value in life. Some of us are writers, some dancers, some lawyers, some accountants, some footballers, some gardeners, some artists, and the list can go on. It’s okay not to know what you want to do in life yet, but it’s not okay not to look for it.
With low self-esteem, you will likely hold yourself back in life from finding or doing what you want. You won’t go through with things, as you have little faith in yourself. I’ve been there. But this is incredibly selfish. Someone out there needs what you have to say or offer them. If you don’t share who you are with the world, then you are selfish. The problem is that many of us are afraid to show who we are and be open.
Someone with high self-esteem will be more transparent in sharing themselves. Make sure that you are building up your self-esteem—be you and provide valuable guidance that the world needs.
In summary, is it selfish to have low self-esteem? No, there can be a lot of factors that lead to low self-esteem. Is it selfish not to try and improve it? Yes. You are stopping yourself from being someone who can raise others’ morale, make the world a better place, and give value to it by being in a state of happiness.
Work on your self-esteem—change your life and the lives of others.