Self-Esteem: Healthy or Not?
“Everybody is unique. Compare not yourself with anybody else lest you spoil God’s curriculum.”
-- Baal Shem Tov, Jewish sage
Self-esteem is a desirable trait, except when it derived from comparisons to others. If your self-esteem is dependent on how well you measure up to others, you are eventually in for a big crash. Some day your looks will fade, your abilities will deteriorate, and that promotion you wanted will be given to a younger co-worker. If your self-esteem depends on comparisons to others, you will be devastated when these events occur. But, if you are only focused on being the best you can be, you will be largely unaffected.
To get and maintain healthy self-esteem, keep this thought in mind: recognize that any gift you have, anything that you are good at, exists only because God made you that way. Instead of filling your head with thoughts about all the many truly great things about you, dwell on why God made you the way He did. If you figure out the reason, you will feel far greater joy than you ever felt by just being more ‘whatever’ than everyone else.