Our Self Esteem Results

I checked the results of the latest poll on Self Esteem, and I feel discouraged….but not surprised. Check this out;

Question: How is our Self Esteem these days?

See full poll results at the right side of the blog. Sorry – only US map available!

Nearly 60% hate ourselves. Hate. That is the strongest word we can use against ourselves, and I chose it deliberately for the poll.

I want to hear from you…

Why did you vote how you did? 

If you didn't vote – do so now and explain your choice.

I could sit here and tell you all the benefits about the power of positive thinking, and try to convince you to put on a happy face, but unless you feel it and believe it, and want it…you'll never get there.

I love myself. I truly do, and I am not afraid to say it.

I'll be 40 this year and I am excited about life! Sure, aging is kinda scary, the wrinkles are starting to show, the body not the same as 20 years ago, but I say who cares! Who cares because I am here to live my life and I am not going to miss one single moment of it on vanity.

I was born with one gift, and that gift is to have a very distinct, constant, awareness of death.

Life can not and should not ever be taken for granted because it can be over in a snap. If I was gone tomorrow, I would go knowing that I lived my best life, I spent everyday trying to be the best person I could be, I tried to give and love to the fullest, and most of all – no regrets.

No regrets…now that's an amazing thing to be able to claim.

How about you?


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20 Responses to Our Self Esteem Results

  1. Michelle says:

    If you were to ask me this a year ago, even 6 months ago, I would have said I hate myself. But, as I grow to know MY likes and dislikes more and stray away from anything my parents have pressured me to do, I have learned to love ME.
    I grew up thinking that all my life would amount to was either the path my mother chose (alcoholism) or the path my father chose (lonely business man).
    I didn’t want either.
    That’s why I hated myself.
    But now,
    I have found out what I like and which path in life I want to take.. and I love it!
    That is what is wrong with our society. Parents pressure their kids to be like what they have always wanted to be. But, truth be told, no one is alike. Maybe some kids love what their parents do and aspire to be like them. But, I can say with more diverse college majors out there, more opportunities in high school that are being presented, and more financial help to get lower class kids to middle class or upper class jobs.. the options are literally endless for children to choose from.
    We are the millennial generation. We were born to be different.
    Problem is, we need the help and encouragement to embrace that difference in the world.

  2. Tracey Z says:

    I haven’t said that I hate myself in a long time. I used to say it all the time. I hated myself so much that I wanted to die, and tried to several times.
    I took this poll minutes after breaking up with my boyfriend, and all those negative feelings that I spent many, many years fighting to overcome came flooding back and all the self-hatred and self-doubt made me feel like I wanted to run back into the safe arms of anorexia once again. I didn’t eat for a couple of days.
    I came out of my funk after a few days and realized that no one should have that much power over me and I’ve worked too hard to let anyone cause me that much pain. The fact is that he didn’t deserve me and isn’t worth suffering for.
    So while I regretted posting that I hated myself that night, it did accurately reflect how I felt at that particular moment, and how I have felt many times in my past! I’m so thankful that I don’t feel that way all the time anymore, and my heart goes out for those who do.

  3. Tracey Z says:

    Oh, and as a post-script to my previous post.
    I’d like to comment, Mama V., I am 44 years old, and like you, every passing year makes life seem more precious. When I was younger and life seemed eternally long, it seemed easy to imagine living forever and I was careless with my life and my health. Maturity has taught me that every day of good health is precious, especially after nearly dying last year from surgical complications. I see signs of aging creeping up, and I don’t really care! Battle scars, my dear. I’ve earned them all! As long as I’m alive and healthy, who cares if I have a few lines on my face or grey hairs? It happens to us all. Health and peace of mind matter so much more.

  4. kay says:

    this is so poignant and right on time…i just saw a film my aunt called and told me to rent it, it is called the women..with annette bening, debra messing, jada pinkett-smith, and meg ryan…and after watching that film, i feel so much better about myself..
    I hated myself for so long that i though all my life would consist of was that eating disorder hell, but as i got to know myself and actually LOVE myself and realize i am a pretty awesome person ( i do not mean that in a narco way..lol)
    is everyday wonderful? no, but i have learned to focus on the positive things about myself. Keep my goals in mind, and know that whatever i want to be in this world i can be. I think back a while ago, when my mother “caught” me on the site, and how i was so mad at you..because my mom made me get the long overdue help i needed…but i do have to say i honestly think that jump started the life i am enjoying now
    and i think we can all learn a thing or two from annette bening or sylvie..in the film when someone asks does she want to buy anti-aging cream…she brilliantly says “this is my face,deal with it” so i say this to all of you..look in the mirror and tell the world “this is me, deal with it” and as i always say ..learn it, live it, love it!
    love you mama v with the warmest of regards,

  5. m says:

    my vote was that I love myself. I don’t always like myself but deep in my heart there is love. That love hasn’t always been there but after 8+ years with an ED I am really trying to focus on the idea my thoughts can guide my emotions and it’s so easy to find fault, dislike in myself…but lately I’ve tried to focus on my appreciation for my body…sometimes it’s as simple as being grateful that my body carried me through the day.
    the positive thinking is a constant struggle but it’s all a choice and right now I’m able to choose positivity.
    thank you for your work, for caring — you’re words and insight has carried me through tough days! hugs!!

  6. Anne says:

    I chose hate because I compare myself to other young women I see who seem to go through their days without any preoccupation with body or food, and it just makes me feel like such a failure. Why do I have to waste time and energy on something so little, there are people on this planet who are starving because they are impovershed, and I treat a meal like a soap opera. I feel such guilt and shame over the whole thing, not to mention the stress it places on my family, I want to stop the obsession but I can’t. I’m trying and I guess it’s improving, but still the fact that I even need therapy, I am doing great in school but I just feel like I’m failing at my life and I hate how my body looks I fear how it will look, I just hate so much about myself right now and I know my mother thinks its all my fault and she’s so mad at me I wish I could be the nice little girl who eats all her home cooked comfort food and licks her plate clean with a big smile on her face but I can’t.

  7. Jxx says:

    Well there is only one thing I can say and it is I truely do HATE myself and it is only because for 4 years running bullies drummed horrible things in my head about myself. I never used to believe them but after about 2 years things changed and I did start to believe them. Now I defo believe them. If someone walked up to me in the street said what words would you used to describe yourself I would give them these answeres ” A fat, ugly, brainless girl” there are more but they are a bit .long and detailed.
    So I can’t help HATING myself it has been drummed into my head.
    About a year ago and before that I used to comfort eat and I mean comfort. I would have a LARGE jar of chocolate spread like Nutella and eat is all in one day and then I would have another one the next day and so on. So I would end up having at least two or three and week. And that wasnt it I would stuff my face with and the chocolate, cakes, buiscits and any other kind of sweet in the house.
    Well then I thought well if they don’t see me eat at school they won’t think I am fat by my fault. Then I stopped eating dinner and I hadn’t eaten breakfast in years. So I eventually like I am now am living on Pineapple juice and the occasionaly glass of orange.
    Now you may think hang on a minute, this is a bit of the trail, but in actual fact they are just some of the reasons I can say I HATE myself. There was and is no other way of explaining it really. Unless I have hours which I don’t.
    So do you think it is a reaasonable reason for me HATING myself. Being told those things day in day out for 4 years.
    Would you like yourself after that?

  8. Jane says:

    I didn’t vote in the poll, but I might as well add my tupence now. I would have voted “I like myself”. I’ve finally realised that I am capable of doing something with my life, and although there are days (more often that I would like) where all I want to do is curl into a ball on my sofa and hope that I’d fall into a neverending stupor, there are also the intermitent ones, where I am happy, and proud, and excited, and able to laugh, and smile!
    As long as I have these few random days I don’t mind being me. There are aspects I despise, but I’m trying to learn to love them. Yeah, I’m not perfect, I’m not as great as some people are, but I am me. And that’s what matters now.

  9. Lola says:

    The only thing fightening about getting older is an increasing lack of patience with deadweights.
    One thing I have realized with age is that – friendships, much like food which has passed its sellby date,do expire. When friendships expire, you must dispose of them otherwise they take up a lot of space in your head.
    This is the beauty and the horror of maturity – you become more particular about who you surround yourself with.

  10. Niika says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate myself, but I also wouldn’t say that I like myself. I guess you could say I’m lukewarm about myself. Indifferent. Maybe there are some good things about me, but I have a hard time seeing them, because all I can ever seem to see are flaws. But I have some cognition now that perhaps this is a distorted view, and maybe I AM a good person somehow… if only I could learn to see it. This is something I have to work on.

  11. Mer says:

    I don’t really know why I hate myself that much. Its just that everytime I allow myself to think something positive about myself there is a loud voice in my head screaming at me that I’m worthless and that every nice word anyone ever says to me is a lie.
    And I always believe this voice..

  12. Newt says:

    What I find interesting about your poll is how the votes are distributed. I would have thought that most of the “I hate myself” votes would have been largely on the west coast. Even though it appears most of your readership is from the east those who voted in the west it was about a 50-50 mix of liking vs hating. As well those who voted in Canada had only 1 I hate myself vote.
    As for me I voted I like myself. Hate is too harsh and love seems somewhat narcissistic.

  13. I voted for hate. I’m 48 years old, and those of you who are in your late 30s and early 40s probably felt somewhat like I did then, not too concerned with aging, a few wrinkles and some gray hair. But let me tell you how dramatically everything changes around age 45 or 46. It’s pretty bad. I have the worst body image I’ve ever had in my life. I have never decided what I want to do career wise and it’s getting a little late to think about it now. One kid has left for college and the other is leaving next year. My purpose for the last 18 years was to raise my children, and that is about to end. So now I’m old, ugly and purposeless.

  14. Lola Snow says:

    I voted for like. Although I am sure I have moments which swing to either end of the spectrum, like seems to be accurate. I am learning something more valuable than “to like” myself at the moment, and that is to accept myself. I have always liked myself with a view to being better. Now I accept myself as I am. I am OK, and OK with that.
    Lola x

  15. mamaV says:

    Hi Anne: The comment that immediately struck me from your post was your first sentence “I compare myself to other young women I see who seem to go through their days without any preoccupation with body or food, and it just makes me feel like such a failure.”
    Don’t ever, ever, ever assume that others are not like you. The girls that look like they have it all together, can be and may be struggling just as you are. It’s a female illness.
    I have always been looked at like “wow you have it all together, what a great, perfect life you have.”
    Well, I am here to say there is no perfect life, just like there is no perfect body.
    Life is a beautiful struggle. No one said it would be easy, and each day is a lesson learned. You are going through this phase of life because you were meant to and you will come out the other side wiser, healthier and stronger.
    But YOU must believe this is possible.

  16. mamaV says:

    Hi Tracey Z: You said it. Health is absolutely everything in life. If you don’t understand that now, you will. You will when you watch a loved one die. You will when you yourself see your body failing you in ways you took for granted.
    I had a major health scare one year ago that brought me to Mayo Clinic. I was prepared for the worst but I got the best outcome I could have hoped for. All I cared about at the moment as I walked into Mayo was that I could be able to see my children grow up, hold my husband, and care for my aging parents. That’s it. Nothing, nothing else matters.
    But then we get back to our grumbly old lives and start griping about everything you know??
    Optimism comes with age I think, don’t you?

  17. mamaV says:

    Hi Jxx: You have been brainwashed. Our brains are like a sponge that absorbs everything we are told, the more we are told, the more we believe it, and this cycle will not stop until you choose to stop it.
    It may take therapy, it will take a loved on telling you over and over again that you are not fat, not a loser, not whatever the bullies drilled into your head.
    Don’t let them win. Refuse to let the bastards win. They have gone on and left you damaged goods…but only if you let them.

  18. J. says:

    I voted “I like myself”. Only because when I go to say “I love myself” I think of all the reasons I’m not or haven’t been “good enough” so I don’t deserve to use that phrase. Which is hilarious. And by hilarious I mean sad. Deflect!
    But I am happy to say I no longer hate myself, and even when I’m upset and disappointed in myself I know I don’t HATE myself. Growth…

  19. FreeEternally says:

    I am pretty sure I voted I hate myself. I don’t really know why I feel that way about myself and it seems like an abnormal way to veiw myself, but that is how it is for me. I avoid mirrors and looking at myself in mirrors because I never like what I see. I always wear loose clothes that cover up as much as possible and because I get up so early in the morning and my roomate doesn’t I don’t have to look at myself…ever really. There have been a few days in the last few years where I have been able to look myself in the eye in the mirror and like what I see but who knows where it all started. I have always been very self critical in every area of my life. In school nothing less then perfect grades will do, music is the same, art, building my resume, my different jobs, giving speechs, and making plans for the futures are all the same…and I can control all of that but I can’t really control how I look at myself or how I look.

  20. Liz says:

    I hate myself because I am overweight and unattractive, I’m 21 and I’ve never even been on a single date so I figure I must be a leper and romantically untouchable, and I am an educational and financial failure.
    And in life, at least where I live and who I live with, these are the only things that seem to matter.

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