Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day 5: Self Esteem Issues

Positivity is going well today. I have had some challenges, but they were not big challenges, and I did well.

This evening, I was thinking about goals and success, and I had a revelation. I feel like I have never really succeeded at anything difficult that I have set out to do. I know that I have had short term successes, and I know that lots of others would say that I have been very successful at many things. The point is that I don't feel that way. I am wondering if my feelings accurately reflect reality.

Perhaps I undervalue things just because I am successful in them. This could be a self esteem issue. If I succeeded, then it must not have been that hard. Perhaps I expect too much of myself. I know that I can hold myself to perfectionistic ideals.

This is all interesting for me to think about. You see a lot of my negative thoughts take the form of: "So many bad things have happened in my life because I am not good enough, don't work hard enough, am in some way flawed, etc." Being honest with myself, yes a lot of things that I didn't like happened in my life, but I know that that is the way it seems to lots of people.

In one extreme, I can take the view that I am 100% in control of my life, and that everything that has happened to me that I didn't like was because of choices I made, mistakes. In the other extreme, I can say that I have no control over what happens. I was born who I am with my particular set of traits and whatever happens is fate either determined by a Creator figure or my genes; it doesn't really matter in the end with a deterministic point of view. A world with no real choices is worse that a world were every bad thing is a sum of my mistakes in my opinion.

Where is the truth? I like to think somewhere in between. I am who I am, but I can learn and make choices also. The positive way to look at it is that I do my best, and if bad things still result, then find the joy as best as I can in the moment and move forward.

I want to keep pondering this topic. The habit of positivity is my goal for this month. I will be making more goals for upcoming months. Perhaps I can manage to succeed at something big. We shall see!

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