Can you remember the first big thing you bought WITH YOUR OWN MONEY? Perhaps you saved up birthday and holiday money and got yourself a certain toy that your parents simply wouldn’t purchase or maybe it was an expensive clothing item you didn’t really need, but you had to have. Maybe you took your first paycheck and took your friends out to eat and paid for everyone or you took a girlfriend out to a fancy restaurant that no one takes teenagers to. Maybe your first ‘real’ purchase was your first car or a totally kick-butt stereo system, a drum set or a prom dress, a digital camera, computer, or X-Box. For some, your first independant purchase may not have even happened until the loss of a spouse. The purchase may have been rummage sale furniture for a new, “divorced” apartment. Whatever it was, though, I bet you remember.
It doesn’t matter if your first difficult purchase was two dollars, two hundred dollars, two thousand dollars, or two hundred thousand dollars, you remember.
You remember because your self-esteem gets a big boost when you realize you have figured out how to get yourself the ‘big’ stuff. That means you are starting to be less dependant on others and whenever that happens, self-esteem gets a rise.
You do not get self-esteem from other people telling you how great you are, although that always feels nice and is appreciated, but where self-esteem really comes from is from earning it. When you learn things, tackle projects, overcome obsticles, heal from injuries, figure out a new way of doing things, and just fend for yourself, you feel better about yourself.
Oh, it can be easier to take from others and to let others provide for you, but ultimately, all you have is stuff. The stuff is all outside of you and none of the material goods can help fill you up inside. Inside, you will be empty and lonely and not value yourself.
So, when someone steals from you, all they get is money or objects. They can never take from you the self-esteem you got by earning it through your work. You can always make more money, but you can’t buy self-esteem. Have you ever met a happy thief?