Love Yourself
Love Yourself
  • Reporter Song Geun-seok
  • 승인 2021.11.13 22:53
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

Self-esteem refers to an act of self-respect, acknowledging the worth, ability, and value of oneself. It is such an important quality in life that shapes one’s mindset and attitude towards life. Those with high self-esteem have the confidence to challenge themselves and take risks. Their views on the world are filled with positivity and hope. On the contrary, those with low self-esteem view the world through a negative lens. Their pessimistic attitude towards life may ultimately lead to depression. The thing is, we all acknowledge the benefits of having a high self-esteem, and that we must maintain a high self-esteem for well-being.
Yet these days, many people, especially those in the younger generation, exhibit low self-esteem. According to a survey in 2018 conducted by an app called Alba Cheonguk on the level of self-esteem targeting people in their 10s and 20s, 47.9% of the respondents rated their level of self-esteem as low or very low, while only 17.4% rated it as high or very high. In fact, this survey was very relatable to me, as I also used to belong to that group of people with low self-esteem. However, I overcame this ordeal to become who I am today, a person with a much improved self-esteem. I would like to share my story for those who suffer from low self-esteem.
My life goal has always stayed the same from a young age: make everyone remember me as a good person. In my mind, other people’s impressions of me were the most important thing in my life. I often imagined that one day everyone would think badly of me and turn their back on me. With these kinds of anxieties growing in my mind, I became more and more obsessed with my surroundings, until it became my habit to compare myself with others in everything I did, even for trivial things like my external appearance. Every time I found myself left behind compared to others, I doubted myself, continually questioning myself, “Why am I like this?” This self-reproach made me lose confidence, and a sense of inferiority replaced my self-esteem. As this cycle persisted, I found myself sinking into a deep depression. I desperately needed a change in my attitude towards life.
First, I adopted the “who cares?” mindset. Often, at times, I refused to expose my inner self based on other people’s standards just  to look good in front of them. However, the more I hid myself, the more I felt that I was losing my identity, and I realized that showing my true self was of the utmost importance. At first, of course, I worried that my reputation might get worse, but they diminished as I repeated to myself, “Who cares if some people hate me? If that happens, just let it be.” By doing this, I learned to respect myself and build up a strong ego with confidence.
Then, I pondered where I felt an inferiority complex, and I knew right away that it mostly came from social media. Watching other people’s joyous feeds, full comment sections, and a high number of likes and followers, I felt a sense of deprivation since their lives seemed to be so much different from mine. However, with a new mindset, I simply accepted the difference between myself and other people and deleted the apps to stop feeling a sense of loss. 
Lastly, I turned all self-reproaches into self-encouragements. Especially in the case of failure, instead of feeling despair, I tried to remember some good takeaways from the experience while shaking off all the bad parts. The “You can do it” mindset helped me to stop being afraid of new challenges ahead, and I could gradually become a risk-taker. Also, I nourished my self-esteem by complimenting myself for what I did well, which led me to become more confident in my actions.
To those reading my column, if you have low self-esteem, take the time to look back on yourself. Keep in mind that the way you treat yourself is the most important thing. Do not care about how others think of you; instead, focus on yourself. Do not blame yourself; instead, love yourself.

Reporter Song Geun-seok
Reporter Song Geun-seok