Call It What You Want—He’s Right

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago. No, I was talking to my children in front of someone.

He made the comment that it shouldn’t matter what other people think of you, happiness comes from the inside

I responded “Kids, he’s talking about healthy self-esteem.”

(Yes, my kids hear me talk about this stuff all of the time.)

He said “I don’t really buy into the concept of self-esteem; I think it’s pseudo-science.”

(stay with me and keep reading to see why I agree with him and how what I teach is different)

I honestly don’t remember what I said next.

I moved on. 

His comment did not bother me at all.

At. All.

Later on, in the car, my husband said to me “I’m surprised you didn’t talk more to him. I’m surprised you didn’t go after him about healthy self-esteem.”

I told my husband that it didn’t bother me. I wasn’t fazed by it. 

I’m also not sure I disagree with him. 

So I thought about it. 

And thought about it. 

And thought about it. 

Call it what you want—he’s right. 

The only source of healthy self esteem is from the inside and it looks like this:

  • I am enough and I matter, in spite of my flaws and imperfections. 
  • I have worth because I was born. Period. Nothing I say or do adds to that, nor detracts from that.

The current focus is so much on what other people think of you, or what you achieve, or what you have, or what you’re able to overcome. . . (Remember EASA: E: Esteem, A: Achievements, S: Society, and A: Attributes & Assets)

​These are all outside sources of self esteem… 

Unhealthy outside sources. 

And none of them truly affect who you are on the inside.

I’ll be cheesy and quote my parents when I was little, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

There’s such truth to that!

Today’s movement revolving around healthy self esteem in children isn’t working. It’s not effective. Children are losing their resiliency. 

Coming back to that man we were talking to: 

I could be very wrong, because I did not engage with him, but I’d like to think my perspective is what he was really implying.

Want to get to work on embodying this lens? Contact me to book a free call to see if we’re a good fit! I offer therapy in Norwood, MA in my office or online virtually anywhere!