If you're like me and considered to be a late bloomer, there's good and bad news... The good news is all those additional years of experience have gleaned invaluable wisdom and strength. The bad news... you're late!
So how to tackle this one? The truth will always set us free and my truth began very young in boarding school when I was noticeably the only 14 year old boy whose voice hadn't yet broken and not a single hair on my legs! It was devastating self-esteem decimation!
It doesn't get any worse than being 15 and finally visiting the luxuries of home on a brief reprieve from school, only to be greeted on the phone by "Hello Melanie dear, can I speak to your mum please!" Melanie being my very feminine oldest sister! You get the picture.
On to college in the States (then an 18 year old young man with full hormones intact and maybe requiring a quick shave once a month) and time to declare what to do with my adult life. It seems to me there are two types of people in the world;...
There's no such thing as fear of success... it's the fear of failing once you succeed!
Fear sucks. It literally sucks all our ambition, confidence and trust into a black hole we come to know as our self-esteem.
I was once grocery shopping, pleasantly minding my own business when all of a sudden, I noticed an acquaintance standing at the end of the aisle, pondering spaghetti sauces. How intrusive... this is my supermarket! All at once, I found myself darting down the adjacent aisle, hoping not to have been discovered, just to preserve a few more moments of domestic anonymity.
And all the while, an inner bully taunted me with shudders of rejection and intimate panic at the very notion that I might be 'outed' in an unscripted vulnerable moment of a real life encounter!
As a clinician I was never clear what self-esteem really meant so I looked it up in my Pocket Oxford and it became clear all at once; derived from the Latin verb, aestimare, it means to estimate or compare. Who knew?