Karen is a strong, and vibrant young lady. She’s beautiful, and quite multi-talented. Karen can do even the many techie things men do, and very well at that. She’s a trained engineer, even in the field not so common among the ladies of her generation.

From the first day we spoke, and through the conversation we had, I was amazed at her level of experience at many things she does, especially in creative writings and technology. Karen has written numerous books, well over twenty, one of which she had sent to me after our talk over the phone. But she won’t have them published. Not even one, yet.

With all of these qualities, Karen doesn’t believe in herself, not a bit! When you compliment her dexterity, she feels flattered, and rarely believes you. Karen doesn’t believe anything good about her works, either. This has kept her down for too long, despite her many skills.

The result? she feels unfulfilled and thinks she’s working below her potential but doesn’t know what to do.

Why do we rarely think something’s right about us? I think it is perfectly appropriate to know what you are good at, and understand your abilities, well enough. That way, you shine more in your areas of strength. Agreed?

The more I have lived here on earth, the more I have had to believe the reason many people fail isn’t because they are not talented. But because they do not even believe in themselves in the first place.

Unfortunately, “stupid” people seem bolder than those whom we think noble. Sad. No wonder they end up taking the lead!

Who cares about your nobility if it is not actively impactful?

For someone as blessed as Karen, she should have been well known all over for a lot of super stuff she does. But no, she’s always at the back, hiding her face and the many things she’s able to do. With her lame excuse of not wanting to embarrass herself.

Yet, to succeed, you must need embarrass yourself; in fact, many times at that!

Since November, I have been posting intentionally every month about some key personal development traits.

I had to take up this responsibility because like Karen, I was once a very shy person, who never believed much in herself. And to say that I didn’t lose so much opportunities during those years would have been an understatement.

Having come out of this doldrums, I have considered it my life goal to help others with the confidence to truly believe in themselves, and embrace who they are.

One of my favorite definitions for self-esteem is pride in oneself or in one’s abilities. Self-esteem is having faith in yourself to believe in your capabilities. It is to me, how you see yourself in your own eyes. And this is very important.

No matter how beautiful you tell a woman she is, if she doesn’t believe that she’s beautiful, she would demean her own bodies to men of low pedigree in return for a cheap approval ratings. Yet, without the lies of these men of unreasonable character, she was already what their sour words had been used to flatter her with.

When a young girl grows up sure of herself, she would believe in her own intrinsic worth and in her ability to do many things; without the need for flattering encomiums before she can achieve what she wills.

For the issues of self-esteem, it isn’t all about how good you think you look, although that might help for some people, or how short you feel your height is compared to your best buddy.

Self-esteem rather, is more affected by how you see all these things overall. It is not the absence or presence of anything; for almost all of us fall in this category of nothingness in one or two areas of our lives, to an extent, at some time.

Self-esteem is how you regard yourself in the light of all things, or nothing.

There are many from affluent homes without a good self-esteem, and some with abject nothingness, yet with a great esteem of self. A lot is determined also be your experiences thus far with your life, and with your upbringing.

Regardless of how you think you must have inherited your own case of poor esteem of self, there’s always hope to start learning to show regard for who you are. You can start learning now.

With self-esteem, there must be a balance though. It shouldn’t be overly in excess, as in the case of the narcissistic personality types, who thinks too much of themselves. Or too low that you can’t even raise your head to face another soul. Both cases can become destructive to your relationships and to self.

The way to it is having the right estimation of your abilities, and capacity, without thinking less or more of it, than it really is.

How can you do this?

Remember the Biblical parable of the talents?

All three guys had talents. But not in the same degree.

One had the capacity to trade with five talents, another two, and the other, just one. But each was according to their abilities.

This is the story of every human life you meet. We are all gifted. But to a differing degree. And you will be judged ONLY based on the level of your own ability not someone else’s.

However, with every use of your seemingly low ability, is the chance for its growth. Talents are like seeds whose total fruits we cannot be too sure of until it is planted. The planting is the working with the talent; without which, there will be no fruits.

When you understand this simple principle, you seize to envy another man’s conspicuous many capabilities. And focus on developing your one talent bit by bit until it reaps enough harvest of good.

The knowledge of your abilities is one thing that works for a good self-esteem.

Why did I have to use these illustrations?

Because I have seen how comparison to others, and what we think they have that we don’t, can cause one to even lose focus of even that which one already has. This is one of the things killing people’s self-esteem.

Instead of tendering theirs, they would rather envy another’s. And think themselves of having less compared to the one who is practically making use of his talents to bear more fruits.

So many people are struggling with accepting who they are. And for many, it isn’t because of the presence of any lack, not that anyone is ever free from that at some particular time of their life, anyway.

It is more so because they do not even show regard to that which they already possess.

Self-esteem has a lot to do with how much you like yourself, the absence, or low possession of it, can impede your development. And if you do not feel good about who you are, it becomes more difficult to even attempt those things that would make for your advancement.

You keep hiding away, and making the excuses of not wanting to be in the limelight, and how you would rather work in silence and not let anyone know you! Really?

Those are some of the lies we sometimes use to comfort our lack of good self-esteem to stand up for our works. If you are doing something, and that thing has a cause for bringing you out in the open, by all means come out. Sometimes, People want to experience not just your works, but you.

The lady whose story I had earlier relayed may die never publishing even one of her many works. Why? Because she doesn’t think that she’s good enough. And so doesn’t see her own works as good enough! How many talented multiples lay still in the graveyard for lack of believe in their abilities? Many!

Having too little esteem of self can lead you to not truly fulfilling your potential, and not having the confidence to be who you truly want to be.

You must believe in you. And have trust even in your small ability which has the potential for optimum growth. Start with what you have, from where you are.

For further clarifications on this post, speaking engagement, personal coaching on self-love mastery, or counselling, kindly send a mail to

To your evolving life.

Joy Iseki

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