Why bother trying, it won’t work anyway?
Imagine this: you’re driving along the freeway at 50km/h. Your goal is to get from one city to another, as fast as possible. What would be the best way to reach your destination? Would you drive like a maniac, earning yourself a speeding ticket and maybe even an accident? Or would you take it easy and avoid any risk of endangering others? Which choice would get you where you want to go, without unnecessary complications? Making decisions can be tough sometimes; if we aren’t careful, our actions could have far-reaching effects – some good, some bad. But what’s more important than trying too hard or not giving enough effort isn’t really doing anything at all. It’s having low self-esteem.
What’s self-esteem, then?
Self-esteem is your level of confidence in yourself. Even if you’re not the best at anything in particular, you’ll still have some abilities that you take pride in – and low self-esteem doesn’t change that. What it does do, however, is make you think that those achievements aren’t worth very much; that they don’t mean very much to anyone else either. With low self-esteem, we tend to see our talents as worthless. It’s like being offered a ride by someone on the freeway: even though we might want to get from point A to point B faster than walking pace, taking up this offer could slow us down more than still! Sometimes it takes a lot of encouragement from other people to remind us of our own strengths. And that’s okay – sometimes we forget about them ourselves! It might be helpful for us to remember how good it feels when someone compliments you; it’s a nice feeling, having somebody recognize the work you put into something.
Today, let’s make an effort not to dwell on the things we’re bad at. We can still do what needs doing, but try focusing more on the things we’re good at (“I’m really great at making up funny nicknames”), rather than the things we aren’t (“I’m not very patient”). Because in the end, whether or not you think you’re talented comes down to just one thing: self-esteem.
I’m not talented enough
“I don’t think I’m good at anything”, I’m not good at anything – we’ve all heard that said by somebody before. It’s really common to think of yourself as ‘not very talented’, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you! People with low self-esteem tend to feel like they’re not worth much; it might be because they put themselves down a lot, or maybe they just do what other people tell them to, never thinking for themselves! When someone has low self-esteem, every day is a problem. They’re bad at many things that other people are great at – but even so, these people are often better than they think.
Let’s take an example: Someone who is bad at cooking might say, “I’m no good at cooking, it’s something I’ll never be able to do well.” That person would never try to improve their cooking skills (which could help them with other things in the future!), and wouldn’t even try making a cake if somebody baked them one as a gift – they’d probably just give up! However, another person with low self-esteem who’s also bad at cooking could respond differently; instead of thinking that they’ll never be any good, they might start trying to make different dishes themselves. It can be hard work, but it feels much better when you’ve tried your best and improved on something you weren’t very good at!
A lot of people who work on cool projects say that they have low self-esteem. They might be the kind of person who gets lots of compliments about their art, but when they look at pictures, they drew themselves and see mistakes, it gives them a feeling like “I’m not as good as other artists.” The truth is, everyone makes mistakes – some people just choose to admit them, while others leave them there and only see the bad parts! People with low self-esteem often aren’t aware that everybody has flaws. For example, if someone gets a score of 9/20 in an exam where 20/20 was possible, they might think that I’m not good at anything – but somebody with high self-esteem would probably feel that getting 19/20 was a pretty good achievement!
One cannot be bad at everything
It’s very easy to think you’re not talented at certain things, and that maybe you’re just not suited to them – but it’s very rare for someone to be bad at everything. Even the most talented people find things they can’t do well (they might even have low self-esteem!), and sometimes it takes a lot of practice before we get good at something. For example, there are some very brilliant musicians who had to put in hours of work before they could play their instruments as beautifully as they wanted. Don’t give up on your dreams because you don’t think you’re good enough – if you just try hard enough, anything is possible.