Posted by: Greta Jaeger | September 2, 2009

Self esteem

There are many ways to talk about self esteem and self confidence, I want to talk about the message Women hear growing up “be humble”.

When I grew up girls had to be humble, nobody fully defined it for us other than the occasional reprimand, “don’t brag” or statement “be humble”. We knew almost instinctively that if you bragged, wore short skirts and flirted a lot with the boys then you were definitely not humble. Many of us still have the mental loop “I must be humble and modest”. Oh, I know in church they talked about being humble to everyone I’m not suggesting the men did not get some of the same messages. Here is the difference boys get the message be humble and then they practice bragging with each other and witness their fathers bragging.
I want to know when and why saying good things and thinking good things about your self got such a bad wrap. The most generous, caring and giving people I know are confident have high self esteem and don’t hesitate to say positive statements about themselves. In fact I would venture to say if we measured a confident person against someone who lacks confidence that the confident person would have more space and ability to give. I won’t say more motivation because women are motivated to give and care and love.
Why are we asked to be humble I am going out on a limb and say because if your humble you may also be meek and more controllable. I am not a conspiracy theorist I don’t think there is some big plan to get women to be controllable but I do know that that is exactly what happens when we feel week, meek and self-effacing.
Are you tire of hearing yourself say or think “if everyone would just get out of my way I would be ok”, or “I just feel overwhelmed”, or “I’m spinning my wheels”, or “their getting on my nerves”, or “I’m over committed”? I remember the day I got sick and tired or being sick and tired. I wasn’t free yet but I was on my way. On that day I was complaining about my job for the thousandth time to myself, and all of the sudden I snapped out my depression and said out loud if I keep complaining about this job it will never get better and I will keep getting what I’ve gotten and I am not happy. I decided in that moment that I wanted to be happy at all costs and if that meant I had to learn to love my job that was what I was going to do. I became one of their top case managers within a couple of months. I learned in that moment that what I thinking was causing me great pain and I had better change it quick, I was inspired.

Being humble has its place but that place is not in our heads and hearts!! Acting humble when you know this will benefit someone is good. Believing you are meek, week and out of control is not good. In our hearts and souls we are full and loving being, we have confidence, high self esteem and the ability to give, give and keep on giving.

How you ask? Well, that is a fabulous question. It starts with two things:
1. learning how to present
2. learning how to stay in your spirit

We will go more in depth on both of these in the next two blog entries.

Greta Jaeger, PLC, LPC


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