I Don't Like Myself
I've been struggling a lot with my self-esteem. Frankly, I don't have a very high one, and I find myself depending on what people think of me. I don't want to be a really proud person, but I also need better self-esteem. How can I find it?
Here's a really simple answer for a great question: You'll find your proper self-image in a solid understanding of the love of God. Am I saying it's easy to overcome an inferiority complex? Can you learn to feel good about yourself in 10 simple lessons? The answer is an emphatic NO. God never promised us a life free from struggles.
But I have some great news for you. You can establish your own identity and learn to really like yourself. And better yet, building a healthy self-image is not all your responsibility.
The God who created this world cares deeply about who you are and who you are becoming. This is the way I figure it: To build a healthy self-image in you, God must do his part and you must do yours. God's already done his part. He created you, loves you, forgives you, accepts you, and values you. He's given you unique gifts and talents.
Let's expand on these things God has done for you. God created you, so he knows you fully and loves you. Through Jesus Christ, he forgives you and accepts you as his child. He values your relationship with him enough to sacrifice his only Son for you, so you can have an abundant life on earth and an eternal relationship with God. He's gifted you with abilities that will benefit his kingdom and make you a healthy, joyful person. I've heard it said this way: "God don't sponsor no flops." So you see, helping you learn to like yourself is at the very core of what God wants to do in you and through you.
That's God's part in this picture. Your part is simply to respond to what God has already done for you. You need to accept this incredible love of God in your life and serve his kingdom. All your problems won't go away, but the core of your self-image will be much stronger.
I'm So Stressed!
It seems like everyone expects me to do everything, and saying no would make me feel horrible. I don't have much time for myself, and I'm tired all the time. I like to volunteer at church and help people out, but it's too much. I want to go off to college the year after next, but almost everyone I know is trying to make me stay close to home. I feel like everyone wants something from me, and I want to be my own person.
Some people call what you've described the "overload syndrome." You develop the overload syndrome when your activities stretch you beyond what you can physically or emotionally handle. Because you seem like such a helpful, hard-working person, you'll probably struggle with the overload syndrome most of your life. People aren't going to stop asking you to do things for them anytime soon. What you need to start doing soon is saying no. It might be hard to do, and it's possible you'll disappoint a few people, but that's OK. It's OK to say no! If you don't start setting healthy boundaries and limits now, you're going to burn out completely.