In our Men’s Class this fall we are looking at a book by John Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Maxwell is one of the most respected and popular authors and speakers on leadership in our nation. A recent chapter covered in our class made this statement: “You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself.”
Maxwell says that self-esteem is the single most significant key to a person’s behavior. He says that this is partly because low self-esteem puts a ceiling on our potential. When we fail to see value in ourselves, we are failing to see value in part of God’s creation. Scripture affirms from the outset that God created humanity (in His own image.” That should be the source of our sense of value and self-esteem, and not the external circumstances and situations and experiences that we go through, some of which are good, some bad; some ow which are our own doing, some the work of others or just the random nature of this world.
He makes this important statement in this discussion: “If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured the world will not raise the price.” Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Maxwell would say that nothing is so important as a healthy self-esteem when it comes to our behavior and potential.
So what can we do to develop a more positive sense of self-esteem? Maxwell indicates that there are some habits that we can learn and develop that will help here. Perhaps one of the most significant ones is how we talk to ourselves. Of course most of the time that’s not meant in an audible sense—we don’t want others to question our sanity! But it applies mostly to how we talk to ourselves on the inside, because we can be pretty convincing. If we continually tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, that no one appreciates us, that we are inferior, we will act on those beliefs. Maxwell illustrates this by the person who said, “When it comes to believing in myself, I’m an agnostic.” We should not be unbelievers when it comes to our faith in God, and we should not be unbelievers when it comes to faith in ourselves.
So Maxwell tells us to guard our self-talk, stating, “Few things impact a person’s self-esteem more than the way they talk to themselves on a day-to-day basis.” Recognize what “tape” you play in your head, and be vigilant about regulating what you say to yourself.
One of the many helpful suggestions offered is to create a “turnaround statement” to replace some of the negative, unhealthy self-talk. Find or make up a statement that affirms you and helps you to feel and act in a more positive, godly way about yourself. Repeat that turnaround statement several times every day.
Our self-esteem is based in our Creator and Savior. Remember that you are created by God, in His image. Remember also that “it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect….Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)