To have esteem for someone is to admire them, respect them, appreciate them, to value them. To have esteem for ourselves is to admire, respect, appreciate and value ourselves. It seems much easier for us to have esteem for others, but its most important that we have it for ourselves. It’s called Self-Esteem.

Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities produces self-respect, pride and dignity. There is not much we can do if we don’t believe in ourselves. Our overall sense of self-worth or personal value is necessary for our success and happiness.

I think this starts with how we see ourselves physically. If we look at ourselves and see someone who is out of shape, unkept and not looking their best we devalue ourselves. That is why I think one of the first steps to self-esteem is good grooming and a healthy look.

When we workout, eat right and get enough rest it effects how we feel, how we look and most importantly how we feel about ourselves. When we are in this positive mode we correctly feel like we can do more, accomplish bigger goals.

When we like how we look and how we feel we fall in love with ourselves. It’s like we are attracted to ourselves and like being with ourselves. Bob Marley says, “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”

Alan Cohen puts it like this, “ To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.”

It was hard for me to love myself. Of course, it started with the way I looked. I was short, skinny and had dark skin when it wasn’t popular. I had nappy hair and a big nose. But the characteristic that defined me was my gap, a gap in my smile that I was told was wide enough to drive a Mac truck through.

Nowadays kids get braces on their teeth to correct their smile. But that was not an option for me. I had to learn to live with my gap. And what I learned was that we smile from the inside. We smile with our whole being and especially our eyes. Once I learned that I smiled and smiled, and no one even noticed I had a gap.

When I began to smile and not care about my gap I began to look better. People seem to like me more. It turned out to be my special beauty mark.

I think being able to smile in spite of my gap made me appear confident, sure of myself, at ease.

It may not be a smile that you need to overcome. It may be some other characteristic. But I’m sure that you notice it more than others. You make it a big deal and others see it as an asset.

Whatever it is that diminishes your self-esteem I encourage you to look at it and conquer it. Decide it is just who you are. Decide it is what makes you unique. If it’s something you need or want to change, then change it. The important thing is to begin to admire yourself, to value yourself, to fall in love with you.

Self-esteem is a value that we must have if we are to be successful and happy. Find your “gap”. Appreciate your “gap”. Love yourself that’s self-esteem.

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