This I Believe

Amanda - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the power of self-esteem.

Growing up, I have learned that self-esteem is essential to being happy. If I constantly look down on myself and always feel that I am worthless, then I cannot live a happy life. Self-esteem is the combination of self-respect and self-confidence, which are both vital qualities to have. If I do not have respect for myself, then it is almost impossible for me to respect anyone else. A teacher of mine once said that every person has a pot of self-esteem and self-confidence; however, the level of which the pot is filled fluctuates constantly. There are some rough days that test you immensely but the only way to get through them is to believe in yourself. Throughout my life, time after time, many people have grabbed my pot of self-esteem and dumped it all on the ground at my feet. Instead of giving up, however, I continuously sought to replenish my pot. A very wise woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I was not going to allow my soccer coaches to put me down.

I love to play all kinds of sports, but my favorite is soccer. I have played soccer for as long as I can remember on a recreation team close to my house. Playing on this team made me realize that having confidence in myself is one of the most crucial assets one can have on the soccer field. My team was unbeatable. As a result, my self-confidence and self-esteem were always high. Then came the time for my team to part, and each player continued on to play for High School.

When I arrived at Judge Memorial High School and began to train with the school soccer team, I experienced a major test of my self-esteem. All the other girls had played competitively and had a huge advantage over me. Consequently, I had to work extra hard. Initially my efforts paid off when I made the freshmen team and joined a club team with my fellow teammates. However, the following spring I was cut of the club team. I was crushed. My pot was slowly tipping over. I had to use all of my strength to hold it up so my self-esteem wouldn’t spill out. Even though my self-esteem was very low I did not allow my pot to remain empty. I overlooked my coaches’ negative comments and joined many camps. In addition, I practiced constantly to improve my skills. As a result, my skills improved tremendously and when sophomore tryouts approached I made starting Junior Varsity.

It’s very hard to maintain confidence in myself or to improve when people are constantly putting me down. There are times when I just want to give up and not try any harder. Those are the times when you have to believe in yourself the most. Whenever I am put down, my self-confidence allows me to stand back up again and prove to everyone, especially to myself, that I can accomplish anything I want.