My Reputation With Me!

 In Self-Esteem

I was a nerd before being a nerd was a good thing.

In elementary school, I was always the last chosen for the team, made fun of for no particular reason, and had trouble making friends. I never knew why, but for some reason, I was rejectable and didn’t measure up.  Since I assumed that my peers must know the truth, I began to define myself through their eyes, and my negative self-esteem was born.

For most of my childhood, adolescence, and early adult years, I struggled with feeling awkward, less valuable than others, and not liking myself.  The attitude of my classmates became my self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then, in my mid-20s, I became aware of the fact that I had friends who actually liked me and that I was successful in many areas of my life. My self-esteem began to improve as I realized that the kids’ opinions in grade school were more about them and their insecurities than about me.

The wounded little girl, who had been inside of me for so long, saw that those kids from years past were wrong.  There was nothing wrong with me and I wasn’t rejectable after all!  I began to understand that even though I’m not perfect (of course, nobody is), I’m still OK.  I’m a good person with many great qualities. And my self-esteem grew some more.

I learned that it was up to me to look inside of myself and define who I am.  My self-worth doesn’t come from using others as a mirror.  It comes from looking within.  With this new perspective, I began to appreciate the loveable, capable, competent person I am, and my self-esteem continued to grow.

Now, many years later, I’m very happy being me. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.  It means that even with my flaws, I know I’m a loveable, valuable human being.

I’m so glad to be where I am instead of where I was.  Good self-esteem is the cornerstone of a healthy, happy life.  When I didn’t have it, life was difficult.  Now that I have it, I know I’m capable and strong enough to deal with whatever may come my way.

So, this month, I’m reflecting on how painful life without positive self-esteem can be.  I’m hoping that all those who haven’t yet discovered their value as a unique and wonderful person will be able to step away from their negative self-talk and the opinions of others and see themselves as the beautiful people they are.

Sandra Abell
Sandy is a life and business coach, author, speaker, and Licensed Counselor. She specializes in working with professionals, entrepreneurs, and people dealing with life transitions, is the author of Feeling Good About You and  Moving Up To Management for New Supervisors  (available on, and is cohost of the podcast Your Personal Power Pod. Please visit Sandy on her website at  and sign up for her free newsletter, Focusing On Your Success.

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