Is our Esteem Enough?
“We don’t have to wait until we are on our deathbed to realize what a waste of our precious lives it is to carry the belief that something is wrong with us.”
The concept of self acceptance in comparison to self esteem is one we may very well spend all our lives continuously bumping into, brushing up against and perhaps occasionally tripping over (been there). In a barbershop, a great deal of people enter quiet and drawn into themselves and leave with a smile on their face and a swagger in their step. Maybe even momentarily existing in a space that promotes acceptance for who we are, like we hope Bay Barbers does, is what leaves us with that contagious sprinkle of confidence.
What perplexes me is when the people who we see to be successful and who may even describe themselves as confident, also feel undeniably insecure. Isn’t that a paradox? How can both of these things exist at once? Confident and insecure, proud and ashamed? It could be a paradox, but I believe it is a matter of the language we use to define our feelings of confidence. Self esteem is often defined as “the feeling of confidence we have towards ourselves when our successes or achievements are measured up well against our values.” Self acceptance, however, is the embracing of all of ourselves regardless of successes or achievements. The difference in these explanations, I believe, is how confident people can hold deep insecurity. It feels true to me that we can carry both a high self esteem or overall image due to our successes in life, but a low level of acceptance for flaws, faults and mistakes. However, if we know what’s wrong then perhaps we can make our way towards improvement by catching ourselves on our self-talk or our toxic praising. We can begin to stop measuring our self worth with achievement.
All of these things discussed are not necessarily our fault, but it's up to all of us as individuals to decide if it’s our responsibility. Will we be the ones to own our insecure default behaviours, or will we continue with what we know?