At what point do we forget how inherently valuable and important we are? When is it that we lose that initial sense that we are special, powerful and can change the world?
I have the great pleasure and fortune to spend time with many wonderful and inspiring people who speak in to my own life in many ways. In recent months, I've noticed one of the recurring themes in many conversations has been around recognizing self-worth and importance. Though it's been brought up through these particular conversations, I am beginning to see these topics thread through many areas of my life (perhaps the way owning a new red car makes red cars seem to appear everywhere).
The thing is that the people who often seem to struggle with feelings of low self-worth the most are those who are so beautiful, so unique and so special. But they simply can't see that - and no amount of outside reinforcement of the truth is sufficiently convincing. No, what is required is to realize that it is within each of our own power to realize and know our value.
There are lots of ways to build your own self-esteem, and lots of people trying to tell you how to do it. I couldn't find Canadian statistics, but apparently the self-help industry in the United States in 2008 was worth $11 billion - no small amount of people willing to spend good money to improve their self-image.
I would suggest that the answer is both easier and more difficult than something that can be bought, and it's not going to come from a book or talk show. Perhaps the only way we can come to believe our value and worth is the same way we come to believe in our worthlessness. It is not from an outside source, from the praise of friends or co-workers or even the love of family - for all of these things can be lost. We must believe, inherently, that we are valuable just because we are.
It's not easy, and I would never suggest that it is. But it is possible. People can do this. And if you want to, you can too.
I leave you with one of my favourite quotes...