A couple of days ago, I had the privilege of counselling a young woman in her mid twenties; it was over the phone. The phone rang; I heard a young lady’s voice. I answered, ‘Hello, this is blah! Blah!! Blah!!! How may I help you? The voice goes, ‘There’s something bothering my mind, I need someone to talk to’. Well, I said, ‘That’s why I’m sitting here’. ‘Excellent’, she responded. The story begins, ‘Two days ago, I was on my way from work. While sitting at the back of a bus, I saw a £5 note at the other end of the seat. The monetary note and I kept staring at each other until I was tempted to help it into my pocket. When I got home, I was convicted within my conscience that I’ve done something wrong. Rather than spend the money, I decided to give it to a friend who was in need. Despite that, I still feel guilty that I’ve done something wrong. What should I have done?’ My response was, ‘You were wrong for picking the money. You should have handed it over to the Driver. Since you decided to assist the note by pocketing it, another option should have been to
donate it to charity. In conclusion, I would advice that you give the equivalence of the amount to charity; forgive yourself, forget about it and do the right thing next time’. My advice was appreciated by the caller, and I thought it was mission accomplished. I was about to say a few words of prayer with her when she interrupted me. Minister! Pastor!! As an uncrowned royal priesthood, I wondered who she was referring to. Since there was no one else she was talking to but me, I decided to cooperate with my new but short-lived title. The next statement she made was, ‘People are always looking at me. I don’t know why they keep looking at me? I prefer having male friends because ladies always envy me, maybe because I’m beautiful’. I was shocked by what she said. My response was, ‘What gave you the impressions that ladies always envy you, and why did you conclude that they always look at you?’I tried all I could to find out what the real problem was. After over half an hour of engaging me in a ‘looking at me’ discussion, I discovered that the main issue with her was self image problem.
Whether in the past, present or future, self esteem issues will continue to be issues. Academic qualifications, money, fame or talent cannot eradicate the problems of self esteem. There are two ends to self image problems; the people are either hypoactive or hyperactive. I have met people who use aggression to cover up the weaknesses of self esteem issues; I have also met people who withdraw from people because of self induced incapability. Self image issues bury true talents. Self image issues maim true relationships. Self image issues produce missed opportunities. Lots of people who would have excelled in life, careers and callings have relegated themselves to the background because they can’t deal with self image pests.
Like the word goes, image is an isomer of imagination. Imaginations are pictorial; pictures are products of conceptions. Self image problems begin from childhood. If parents are not sensitive to spot the issue in
their children, they grow with it, live with it, and if care is not taken; die with it. There are lots of people who have died with the problems of self esteem; there are also people that self esteem issues have killed. When my daughter was 4, I discovered that issue; I responded immediately to attack it because I know how much it stole from me; I also know how much damage it can inflict on someone if purposeful actions are not taken. There are adults who can’t look straight into the eyes of people to make statements; they keep looking down even when they’re speaking to their subordinates. If some of these people don’t look down, they sometimes become aggressive. There are leaders who can’t stand to deliver lectures in conferences, in spite of their immense level of intelligence. I once mentored someone who was top personnel in the oil
ndustry about the significance of having a good self esteem. Some of the questions he asked gave me insight into reiterating that a person can be educated and be uninformed. In a nutshell, how can you deal with self esteem issues?
The first thing I did in dealing with my self image problem was to read good books that major on self esteem. I read them over and over again to make sure that I become conversant with the principles recommended in those books. Secondly, I made a conscious effort to practice the things I read. I would deliberately make a contribution during discussions even if I had nothing extra important to say. Thirdly, I learnt to speak the truth before people without winking or feeling guilty. I made a deliberate decision not to be a man pleaser if I must deal with my self image problem. The decision to love the crowd against all odds improved my desire to step out of the chains of self esteem issues; it wasn’t comfortable but I got used to it. Today, I can speak to a million people without any iota of fear; the more the people, the more I get positively excited.
I believe that one major way that creativity can become reality is through the process of imagination. I advice anyone with self esteem issues to keep beholding on their minds the picture of standing before a multitude of people, and speaking to them. See yourself in conferences delivering lectures, speeches, or mentoring people. The more you picture it, the more you achieve it. Everyone ends up becoming his picture; everyone ends up becoming what he sees in the inner recesses of his mind. Take positive and deliberate steps to start a discussion even when you feel uncomfortable. The more you do it, the more you become it. Everyone can get out of the infections of self esteem issues if they really want to. Boldness is a deliberate action, not a gift.
God bless you!