Friday, February 6, 2009

The Value of Self-Esteem

I came across this great talk and couldn't resist posting it here. Self-Esteem seems to be such a universal problem and I thought we all could benefit from Elder Fausts great words. This was a CES Fireside given by Elder Faust in May of 2007, titled "The Value of Self-Esteem".

I will share a few excerpts here or you can click on the link above to read the talk in it's entirety:

"Tonight I would like to talk about self-esteem—what we think of ourselves, how we relate to what others think of us, and the value of what we accomplish...Self-esteem goes to the very heart of our personal growth and accomplishment. It is the glue that holds together our self-reliance, our self-control, our self-approval or disapproval and keeps all self-defense mechanisms secure. It is a protection against excessive self-deception, self-distrust, self-reproach, and plain old-fashioned selfishness."

He goes on to share Six Keys for Healthy Self-Esteem:

First: Keep Your Agency
This means that we must not surrender self-control nor yield to habits that bind, to addiction that enslaves, nor to conduct that destroys. To keep our agency we must avoid the deadly traps and pitfalls from which there may be no escape.

Second: Humility
I mean the humility that comes with inner strength and peace. It is the humility that allows us to accept and live with our own warts, without cosmetics to hide them.

Third: Honesty
Being true to one’s own self is the essence of honesty and a keystone of self-esteem.

Fourth: Love of Work
While there are those who are gifted, most of the world’s work and some of the greatest contributions come from ordinary people with a talent which they have developed.

Fifth: Ability to Love
The commandment given by the Savior was to love others and yourself.3 Am I secure enough in my love of myself to laugh at myself, to admit mistakes, to graciously accept a compliment? Am I secure in my love of others to smile and say hello to a perfect stranger?

Sixth: Love of God
The sixth and most essential key to self-esteem is the love of God. King Benjamin reminds us, “How knoweth a man the master whom he has not served . . . ?” (Mosiah 5:13). In Paul’s epistle to Titus he reminds us that there are many who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him” (Titus 1:16).

Here is a portion of his closing remarks, "...Nobody is a nobody...I testify that God loves each of us—warts and all. I testify that he knows each of our names. I testify that each of us has a potential in this life and beyond the grave that exceeds our fondest dreams. I testify through the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are engaged in His holy work."

I've always loved lists in talks. They help me to have a direct plan of how to acheive the objective hoped for, in this case better self-esteem. Along with these six keys one of my favorite lines was that "Nobody is a nobody." I think we all have moments when we forget that.

This talk also reminded me of a small portion from a talk given by President Benson called "Beware of Pride". He addresses a different side of pride that we don't often think of:

"The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.”

If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem."

What powerful messages from President Faust and President Benson. Let us strive to see our individual worth and let us strive to see the worth in others because "nobody is a nobody".


Stephanie said...

I love both of these talks. I just read the Faust one recently and thought it was great. I've said many times that confidence is the greatest gift I can give my kids, the "confidence in the presence of God" kind. Great post.

pam said...

Great post, something I need to work on it a little bit more. I'm goingto copy your thoughts if you don't mind and share it with my girls, I worry about them in this big crazy world.

Pokemon said...

Thanks for both of your comments.

It really can be hard to maintain great self-confidence and esteem and probably harder to instill these qualities in our children in this crazy, judgemental world.

I had never thought of this being a gift to give my children or a characteristic that I would nourish in my children but now you both opened my eyes. Thanks for both of your comments about the need for lifting our children and helping them to see their own worth and potential. It is now something I think I will remember as I teach my little boy and future children.