Sunday, 4 July 2010

Self-esteem through individuality?

I am quite hung up on the issue of lacking self worth and having low self-esteem as a result of not being given enough love and attention as a child. How do you get over that? How do you as an adult restore the feelings of love and being loved and valued which were not instilled in infancy? I don’t think you can, surely. I know my parents love me but don’t feel it if you see the difference. I wonder if I need now to stop considering the love I didn’t/don’t feel and to start loving myself. Perhaps I can get that love, value and self-worth through “self”-respect. How to achieve this? I have been reading a book called Affluenza which tells of how different races bring up their children and the love and values attainted as a result. It tells of how one nation strictly instill in their children that they must be good at everything they do and that love is conditional on this. Anything less than perfection is not good enough. Also, it states that any individuality is worked out of the child as they must be made to conform. Depression and anxiety are huge problems in the country. This got me thinking. When I was younger I was very sure of myself and confident in that I was and wanted to be an individual. I took great pride in this fact. It increased my self value and self respect to exorcise my right to be me and not to conform to what was expected of me. I have since teenhood/early 20’s become more boring in order to be more accepted as wackyness and individuality can be frowned upon. I think I have allowed myself to be sucked in to what society wants from me and have conformed to this. Perhaps if I could re-gain this perspective and be myself I could develop and strengthen my self worth and self pride. I have strong opionions on individuality but at the same time I want approval. But instead of gaining approval from others (actually I do often get complimented on my sense of style) I have compromised my own personal individuality and I think therefore have allowed my own sense of self to diminish.

I, of course, understand why people conform if they crave approval but would it not make more sense though to be myself no matter what others think and in being myself I will be happier and will be more likely to succeed. People like happy and successful people = approval. Ta-da! Is it that simple? Am I nieve?

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