I am not sure if it comes out in my writing, or chatting on my blog’s Facebook and Twitter pages, but I am a VERY shy person. Once I “warm up” to people I’m not that bad, but I still have shy tendencies. I’m kind of like a “wallflower” in a way – I blend into the background, you don’t really notice me, and I tend to observer rather then hop into conversations.
I don’t want to be a shy or quiet person. I WANT to be the life of the party. I simply have ZERO confidence and ZERO self-esteem.
I hate it when people blame things on their parents and don’t take responsibility for their own actions. However there are cases where the parents ARE to blame. In my case I blame my biological mother. To make a long story short, she abandoned me – literally! While my father was in Japan (he was stationed there when he was in the Army) my biological mother packed up her things from their apartment here in NY and just left me (then only a toddler) and their dog in the apartment. She called my paternal grandparents and told them “If you want her go and get her” (as I was told). When they arrived they found just me and the dog.
When my father was able to return from Japan and go to court asking for a divorce my biological mother not only granted him a divorce but also gave my father full custody of me and never wanted any kind of visitation rights. Then she just disappeared.
I lived in the same house (with my grandparents who became my mom and dad) for over 25+ years. If my biological mother wanted to reach out to me she could have easily found me. She never did. Nor has anyone from her family.
I think subconsciously I have no sense of self worth because I believe I’m not good enough because my biological mother didn’t want me. I know I’m a worthy person. I truly do! But I think there is something deep down inside of me that prevents me from fully feeling that way.
I have also always had weight issues, even as a little girl. When my mom and dad got custody of me I was very sick. So sick that I had to be hospitalized. My biological mother didn’t take care of me. From what I was told all she fed me was powdered milk mixed with water – no real foods. My mom wanted to get me healthy again and to get me to eat food she would let me eat whatever I wanted, even if it meant cookies and candy. I eventually got to be a chubby child. And you know how cruel kids can be.
All through school I wanted to fit in and be liked, but people made fun of me because of my weight. If you were an overweight child I’m sure you can totally relate. It’s not easy being overweight.
Between my biological mother abandoning me and kids at school not wanting to be friends with me, has really done damage to my sense of self worth. I never feel like I’m good enough. I always feel like I have to “bend over backwards” to make people like me. I am very much a “people pleaser” and will do things for others, even if I don’t want to, just so that they like me. I know that is the wrong way to look at things but that is how I am. It’s not easy to un-do 40+ years.
My mom always told me that you have to learn to love yourself. I DO love myself to some degree. I know I’m a good person with a great big heart. But I still have major issues with self esteem. I also have no confidence at all because I’m always second guessing myself. I’m always afraid I’m going to mess things up and people will make fun of me and not want to be my friend anymore (which all stems back to being an overweight child).
EVERY DAY I try and break out of this shell. I want to be confident! I want to feel “worthy”! I want people to see the REAL me. It’s just not that easy to get to that point.
I came across an article (I have permission to share) that I think is really good and goes along with the idea of self worth and loving yourself. It’s by Richard Jaffe.
In his years as a successful entrepreneur creating and selling corporations to the likes of Coca-Cola and Kimberly-Clark, Richard Jaffe, one of the owners of the Phoenix Suns, found a few constants to guide him in business and in life.
“Love myself; live my values, and learn to give back,” says Jaffe, who gained respect as an inspirational leader.
The most important of these and the key to happiness, he says, is learning to love himself. It’s a recurring theme in the poetry he’s been writing for decades and recently published in, “Inner Peace & Happiness: Reflections to Grow Your Soul,” www.RichardJaffe.net.
“I’ve found that loving myself is fundamental to my happiness,” he says. “The one person I have a relationship with for my entire life is myself, so it’s essential to make that relationship my priority. When I have the inner peace that comes from loving myself, I don’t have to look to others to fill my emotional needs and wants.”
How does one learn to love him- or herself and to be happy? For Jaffe, it came from living and acting on his values in business and in his personal life, whether he was struggling or succeeding.
“These are the things that have worked for me,” he says. “Values guide my choices, and my choices affect how I feel about myself and how I interact with others.”
These are some of the values and tenets that have helped make Jaffe an exceedingly happy man.
• Find your passion and indulge in it. Jaffe has been expressing himself through poetry for 30 years – that is one of his greatest passions. “Poetry helps to provide me balance in life between work, family and other external commitments,” he says. “When I allow myself time to indulge in my passion, I recharge my spirit, my mind and my body.”
• Remember – givers gain. Even when he was a broke young entrepreneur, Jaffe and his wife of 28 years, Ann, always made sure to give to the community, to their temple, to charity. “Give even when you have nothing,” he says. “It always comes back to bless you, though sometimes from a different source.”
• Don’t rely on anyone else to make you happy. It doesn’t work, Jaffe says. When your happiness is dependent on your love for someone else, they control your happiness. Love doesn’t always stick around – sometimes it comes into our lives in order to teach us how to care. We have to rely on ourselves.
• Be the very best you can be at whatever you do. Don’t compare yourself to your competition, to history, to anyone else. Instead, raise the bar on yourself. “Even if I get knocked down at something, I can be happy when I know I gave it my very best effort,” Jaffe says. “I don’t always succeed, but I can give an even better effort the next time because I will have learned from being knocked down. Defeat is being knocked down; failure is the unwillingness to get back up!”
• Control your thoughts and keep them positive. “My kids used to come to me to complain when they were unhappy about something,” Jaffe says. “I would tell them, ‘If you do not like the way you feel, just change the way you think!’ It drove them crazy!” But they did eventually understand that their negative thoughts were making them feel bad. Jaffe says beware — thinking positively is habit-forming, at least for him.
About Richard Jaffe
Richard Jaffe is one of the owners of the NBA Phoenix Suns basketball team, a successful business leader and longtime philanthropist. Most recently the CEO of Safe Life Corp., a medical technology company, he also founded Safe Skin Corp., a latex glove manufacturer (acquired by Kimberly-Clark Corp.) and Nutri-Foods International, a frozen dessert company (sold to the Coca-Cola Co.) He is a member of the U.S. Golf Association’s Presidents Council and a supporter of numerous charitable projects. His first published book of poetry, “Inner Peace & Happiness,” is a reflection of the values and lessons learned in business and in life. He and his wife of 28 years, Ann, are the proud parents of three grown children.
I am going to take some if his tips to heart. I am going to work on my passions a bit more. I love writing and I love taking pictures. I just wish I could find a way to combine the two. I also have to learn to stop comparing myself to others. That is a hard one for me. Even as a blogger I find that I compare myself to others. When I hear about get opportunities that other bloggers get it makes me think that me and my blog are not good enough. I know it’s wrong to feel that way. I just need to retrain my brain into thinking that maybe me and my blog were not what the company was looking for or not a good fit for the opportunity rather then they simply didn’t like me.
I also need to control my thoughts like Richard suggested and try and keep more positive thoughts.
Do you have low self-esteem or low self worth issues? Do you totally lack confidence? If so, how to you deal with it? Do you have any tips or advice not only for me but for others who might be reading this?
I love to hear from my readers. Feel free to weigh in and share your thoughts.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers.