Here in Africa, we have seen parents try to compare their children with others in a bid to correct their wrongdoings. Of course, this was how they were brought up by our great grandparents, and they have passed the tradition down to the newer generations. However, we have seen how this mode of upbringing has degenerated over the years as parenting in this social media era is now becoming even more difficult, and this require our parents to be meticulous with their utterances when correcting their children. In this article, Susan shared a few of her struggles with malicious comparison, how it degenerated to ‘Low Self-Esteem’, and how she triumphed encouraging herself by confession of God’s word.
Throughout my teenage years, I battled with low self-esteem, I felt everyone else was better than I am, whenever am in a gathering of people both young and old the feeling is the same. It got to a stage that it affected my confidence even among my peers, I used to be very shy. I felt everyone’s attention is on me even in the most crowded place also in the least gathering of people. Hence, I’m extra careful in the way I relate to people. My most evident temperament affected me being phlegmatic. It wasn’t easy battling with the three issues because, I wasn’t accepted for who I am, I was reticent, my parents and siblings were concerned if I was abused, anyways that’s just me.
How my low self-esteem started was, I used to be compared to my equals whenever I do anything wrong or my temperament tends to be evident, it was a norm, it was gradually building up in me and resulted in low self-esteem and lack of confidence. As a child, I used to be very confident but all of a sudden my confidence dropped, I couldn’t explain how it happened, all I knew was my self-confidence dropped and low self-esteem also stepped in. I was psychologically affected, it grew worse day by day, my parents and siblings became more concerned but never knew what happened to me.
About two to three months ago, I was able to point out the reason is actually “COMPARISON” which I have mentioned earlier. After I found out the reason my self-esteem dropped, I decided to regain my self-esteem but in the process, I keep falling and rising but all thanks to God, I was able to regain my self-esteem and confidence to some extent although I can’t still face a large crowd, the Lord is helping me. In the process I’ve learned to see myself exactly how Jesus sees me, I’m not moved if anyone on earth talks me down, how God sees me matter much more to me, God sees me as His physical replica. I keep confessing scriptures.
To everyone especially parents, guardians, and teachers, God made you a watchman over your children and children around you, in every facet of their lives you are their guide, not a judge. Never compare them to any of their friends or siblings if you want the very best of them in that area, instead, encourage them. Comparison is never a motivation, it is a destroyer! It affects them psychologically and makes them lose self-confidence.
2 Cor 10:12 We do not have the audacity to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with some who [supply testimonials to] commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they lack wisdom and behave like fools. DON’T BE A FOOL!
Another thing is acceptance, even among siblings temperament may vary, always accept each child for who they are, accept them with love 1 Cor. 13: Help them to build their confidence by speaking words of encouragement, words that will make them believe in their abilities, how much they mean to you and the world at large, and many other soul-lifting words.
Finally, for as many that are battling with low self-esteem and lack of confidence by first believing in yourself and your abilities, love yourself. Look into the mirror and speak beautiful words to yourself, how much you love yourself, how beautiful you are and many sweet words. In my process of regaining my self-esteem and self-confidence, I speak the following words quietly in my heart even in the largest crowd I make myself happy with these words:
Susan, you are beautiful
I am amazing
I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I am filled with lots of virtues,
I am the image of God,
I am a mother of Nations,
I am very special,
I am relevant,
I am important to God,
I am perfect even in my imperfections through Christ,
I mean so much to Jesus,
Scriptures like 1 pet 2:9 have helped me in these few months.