Self esteem is a funny one. You’re born without any concept of it. You simply exist, with no worries or pressures.
Then slowly, as you get older, little anxieties start creeping in:
“Will they like me?”
“Will I fit in?”
“Am I good enough?”
Once these seeds of doubt have been planted, they slowly grow into you, so you can no longer just exist, but instead are introduced to years of torturing and second guessing yourself, in a desperate attempt to be what you think society wants you to be.
The longer these anxieties are with you, the more ingrained they become. The damage they do over the years is incredible. They take an innocent person, someone who is perfect at being themselves, and turn them into a shadow of who they once were.
Things you could previously do without thought or worry, become challenges. You doubt your skill. You doubt your taste. You try to please the critics you imagine are judging you, all the while destroying tiny pieces of your soul.
Relief does come though. Eventually.
In my case, it came in my mid 30s. I finally realised that the only opinion I wanted was my own. Why way time wasting time worrying about why other people were thinking about me? In all honesty, they were probably caught up in a similar struggle in their own heads – far too busy to worry about my life.
The only person I want to please is myself. And if some people think less of me for anything I may say or do, then so be it.
They can say what they like. I’ll be having far too much fun to even notice.