When I was in high school, I projected an image of aloofness. It was a defense mechanism to hide my poor self-esteem. While most of my batchmates found me a self-confident snob, my intimidating aura actually spoke of my inferiority complex.

My poor self-esteem was caused by insecurities and disappointments after comparing myself with others. Even if other people gave me compliments or acknowledged my talents, I would look at it as if they were just trying to console me. It didn’t really matter if I had a talent because even if I had one, I believed that others were better.

Opportunities passed me by but I stayed in my comfort zone, afraid to come out of my closed world. I looked down on myself too much, enough to crush my confidence to audition in talent shows or actively participate in classroom activities. Many times I was hesitant to recite in class even if I knew the exact the answer to a question. I refrained from voicing my opinions because the thought of added rejection or disapproval was too much for me to bear.

My only consolation perhaps was the fact that I was good in disguising my insecurities. I never let anyone see my frustrations. I always presented myself composed and unshaken. But this didn’t, in any way, resolve my problems.

It was halfway through senior year when I realized that I was being too hard on myself. I began to seek solace in God’s love and His reassurance of my true worth. What I thought of myself or what other people said didn’t matter. I am what God says I am, His child, and that’s what I’m going to believe.

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Trusting God gave me meaning in life, made me realize how blessed and unique I am and that I shouldn’t be comparing myself with others. Through Him, I discovered the joys of being me despite my imperfections. I thought of my loving family and wonderful friends who are there to accept me for who I am and who I can be.

I still have feelings of self-pity and inferiority. But unlike before, I now open myself to God and to others. In times when I feel miserable, I unload my burdens and disappointments to Him and to my friends.

Somehow, I can say that I’m now more confident in trying out for what’s in store for me, even in small ways. I am more active in class and I take this for my improved self-image. I was made in the image of God, and that’s the image I am to live.

Prayer: Dear God, Thank You for Your loving care, and for showing how valuable each one of us is, through the individual gifts You gave us. Only You can look inside our hearts and see our real worth even at times when we feel unloved and taken for granted. As I renew myself each day, I pray that other people would also experience Your light that gives eternal assurance and comfort. Amen.

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