This I Believe

Bobbi - Norridgewock, Maine
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

I believe that parents and friends build a person’s self-esteem.

At the age of seven, I started competing in gymnastics. Although I was excited, my very first State Competition in Level 2 was also nerve racking. Many people were there watching their children, which put more pressure on me. My parents and grandparents gave me a hug and said, “Go get ‘em. I know you will do great. Go out there and do your best; we will be proud of you no matter what.” When it was my turn to compete, my family was hooting and hollering, “GO BOBBI!” As I tumbled and danced across the floor, I could still hear my family cheering me on over the sound of the routine music. My family’s enthusiasm made me relax and do a better job performing the routine.

After the competition was over, the gymnasts gathered for the award ceremony, and to my surprise, I won– taking first place. My friends and family bought me flowers, gave me big hugs, and told me how proud they were, all of which boosted my self-esteem. With their support I moved up through the levels, and I won the State Title three years back-to-back. I had never felt so good about myself before.

I remember at one of the competitions my teammate, Courtney, whose parents have never really been great supporters, worked hard to get first place, but ended up placing second. A shy person, Courtney always looked down instead of catching a person’s eye. At that meet she had performed well, but she still thought it wasn’t good enough. I wrapped my arms around her and said, “Courtney, second place doesn’t mean you aren’t good. You did great. Just keep your head up, work a little bit harder, and never give up.”

I believe that self-esteem grows as a person grows. It is like a plant’s influences, water and sunlight. Without water and sunlight a plant can’t grow. Without certain elements, such as encouragement, support and guidance, it is hard for a person to grow.A parents’ job is to make a child feel good about him/herself and to teach the child to be proud of achievements. With getting the “proper water and sunlight,” I have gained much self-esteem and believe in myself.