Self-esteem Building: How to be serene under pressure
Self-esteem is a state of being. When was the time that you dipped your toes on a lagoon and when you looked up you saw a passing cloud and you heard a birdsong? In this particular situation, it is easy to be serene. When was the time that you ran short of cash and your ATM card had a shrinking maintaining balance and when you got home you got a phone call informing you that a member of your family was in a life-and-death situation because of dengue fever? Without a continuing exercise to achieve a certain level of calm, this second instance is a challenge to your capacity for serenity. A crisis in our lives is a good test of our serenity. Is a healthy self-esteem possible at a time of great emotional upheaval? The answer to this is not an outright yes or no but a process.
Just two weeks ago of this month - February 2009, my family buried our father after a wake of eight days. Death challenges our serenity.
What is serenity then? It is carrying ourselves in a calm manner at a time of great stress. Is it similar to repressing our feelings while we are under stress? No. Serenity is staying calm inside and outside of ourselves. It looks like it’s something unattainable given the rat race we’re in. But it is attainable. If only we give attention to the integration of the different dimension of the self, nothing is impossible.
We can say we have achieved serenity if we can let go of a lot of internal if’s and buts. Here are examples of If’s: If it weren’t for my mother’s harsh language, my boyfriend would have been still around. If it weren’t for my siblings who needed my support I could have done the things that I really wanted to do. Here are examples of the But’s: I wanted to forgive him but he might turn arrogant and despise me. Succeeding in my career would have been the best thing that could happen but I’m just not cut out for success. I can write well and would make a good writer but it’s too risky to be a writer. The list of If’s and but’s is endless.