The key to self-esteem is this: “I can do it.” Whether you are two or eighty-two, “I can do it” will build your self-esteem whenever you need it.
Too many of us lean on others for self-esteem. Misguided parents rob their kids of the gift of self-esteem by doing things for them they could do themselves. They don’t want their children to experience failure and heartache. Then when they grow up and the real world hits them, they lack resiliency and their self-esteem is easily crushed.
Baseball is an example of a game that builds self-esteem. It is you vs the pitcher. You either get a hit or you strike out. You feel good when you get a hit, and you learn that no one gets a hit all the time. You feel good when you field the ball well, and you learn that everyone drops the ball sooner or later. Either way, you did it. You get the credit and you get the blame too!
In my local minor softball league, the league managers have tried to make the game “fun.” They don’t want strikeouts so they limit good pitchers to 3 innings. The result is bad pitching and boring walks – as many as 27 in one five inning game! Not surprisingly, the talented kids quit the game. It’s not fun when there’s no challenge.
Are you facing challenges that stretch you? Welcome them. We need these challenges in order to build our self-esteem and self-confidence. We need to believe “I can do it!” This belief comes when we know that we can fail and rise to the challenge again the very next time.
Sometimes, we get self-esteem from doing something we’ve done a thousand times. I still play baseball for example. Other times, we get self-esteem from entirely new challenges we don’t even want. That’s when your past successes will give you the confidence you need to rise up to the present challenge!