“Bitches need to stop blaming all your problems on us. Stop tellin’ a nigga,”You fucked up my self-esteem”. Bitch it’s called SELF-ESTEEM! It’s esteem of your mothafuckin’ self. How am I gonna fuck up how you feel about you, simple bitch?” -Katt Williams, Comedian
Okay, while I don’t necessarily embrace all of Mr. Williams’ “terminology,” the man has a point.
I hate the whole Self-Esteem movement. The idea that “everyone is special and unique” can actually be translated as “NOBODY is special or unique, and if they exhibit special or unique traits, well…we’d better stop that crap because it might make someone else feel less special!”
God forbid we hurt anyone’s precious feelings.
The Self-Esteem Movement taught people that all they had to do to be special or unique was tell themselves that they were special and unique. Nothing more. This mindset has turned a whole generation into a bunch of wusses with no gumption or drive, but an extremely inflated ego and sense of entitlement.
Case in point: Trophy Kids, so called because they are the children of Self-Esteem Movement parents who were raised thinking that they are entitled to whatever they want, whether they’ve actually earned it or not. They aren’t allowed to fail. All bad and scary things and experiences are snowplowed out of their way by overbearing parents (who judge other parents who refuse to parent in this way…but that’s another post altogether). They are the kids who ALL got a trophy after every sports event so nobody’s precious self-esteem would be damaged.
Ooh, but undamaged self-esteems must be good, right? The resulting high self-worth will cause them to be confident and happy, right? Never knowing failure or the hard work needed to overcome hardship…not so bad, right? And besides, since little Jonny or Susie is so special and unique they must deserve that trophy!
Wrong. The thing is, it doesn’t work. What actually happens is, that person learns to make excuses for their shortcomings (called “affirmations”) so that they can trick themselves into feeling good about failure. They never actually learn to overcome failure or hardship on their own. They expect mommy or daddy to snowplow that hard stuff out of the way for them and thus exhibit an entitled attitude that everybody must do this for them.
Parents: Empty praise does not give rise to authentic self confidence. Eventually everyone figures out when they are being lied to. Because they don’t understand the importance failure has on potential success.
Over inflated self-worth can only last so long in the real world before repeated failures catch up. In reality, self esteem comes from failure (sometimes repeated), hard work, and resulting success. Drive to succeed does not come from positive affirmations, it comes from fear of failure. If a person is never allowed to fail, they will lack a drive to succeed.
Imagine the emotional upset when a person goes from a childhood of being told that they are entitled to a winner’s trophy (for being a loser) just because they are unique and special; to an adulthood where employers don’t give a crap about how special mom and dad said they were (especially if their work is lacking).
Nothing can deflate an overly and artificially inflated self esteem like a dose of reality.
It’s a vicious cycle that really ought to be stopped.
I see this all too often with young women and men who repeatedly find themselves in destructive romances, and then when they break up they blame the other partner for the failure.
Hello, people? Who is the common denominator in all of your failures?
If you want to be happy and have a real sense of self worth, stop making excuses to cope and start learning how to overcome failure with hard work and resiliency. Self esteem really is esteem of the self. Nobody can just give it to you, it has to be earned.