Embracing self-worth and overcoming low self-esteem

What you need to know:

There was a time in my life when lack of confidence overshadowed every aspect of my effort and I would look in the mirror and see someone incapable of achieving anything significant

A famous writer, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. I would like to share with you my journey from low self-esteem and disbelief in my abilities to a place of self-acceptance and confidence, it’s a story of struggle and success. There was a time in my life when lack of confidence overshadowed every aspect of my effort and I would look in the mirror and see someone incapable of achieving anything significant.

This belief wasn’t rooted in reality but rather in a deep-seated fear that I wasn’t good enough. Every setback, every criticism, seemed to reinforce this negative self-image. I allowed those thoughts to dictate my actions and inactions and I didn’t take risks nor pursue my dreams, due to fear of failure. Living under the shadow of low self-esteem was exhausting, it was like carrying an invisible weight that held me back from experiencing life in full. I missed opportunities, not because I wasn’t capable, but because I was convinced I couldn’t succeed and the fear of failure paralyzed me. The irony was, in trying to avoid the pain of failure, I was failing myself by not trying at all.

My journey of self-belief began during my internship where I was given many opportunities to write articles and editorial opinions. Seeing my work published in newspapers was truly validating. I could see that my words finally had a place and a purpose. The positive feedback I received from readers and colleagues also boosted my confidence immensely.

Moreover, the internship experience provided me with chances to conduct interviews. Initially, I was nervous, doubting my ability to engage effectively with people. However, as I conducted more interviews, my confidence grew. I began to believe in my capacity to communicate and to connect with others meaningfully. Michelle Obama was once quoted saying, “Your success will be determined by your confidence and fortitude” This came true when each article and interview affirmed my abilities and I began to see myself as capable and contributive which helped me overcome insecurities and reinforced my self-worth.

Self-compassion was key in my journey. I learned to forgive myself, treat myself with empathy, recognize my strengths, and appreciate my unique qualities. It wasn’t about arrogance, but finding a healthy balance in my capabilities. If you find yourself in a similar place of self-doubt, I urge you to take that first step towards self-compassion. Surround yourself with positivity, seek support when needed, and remember that you are capable of more than you realize. The journey may be long, but it is incredibly rewarding. A famous author Christopher Robin Said “Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. Self-worth is inherent, believe in your abilities, embrace your imperfections, and know you can achieve greatness. Your journey can lead to unimaginable places. All it takes is the courage to believe in yourself.

Oyera Annabel,          Bachelors in Mass Communication and Journalism 2024  Communication majorUganda Christian University