One very tragic aspect of Failure is the toll is takes on your self-esteem. We are all possess with a natural pride about who we are and what we do. Rather big or small, everyone has an ego. It's the thing that often hides our Failures from us. Or perhaps, hide, isn't the correct word to use in this case. It's more like, it puts our Failures off to the side and causes us to refuse to admit a lost cause. It's never easy admitting our mistakes, cause by doing so you're admitting that you're wrong which means you're admitting that you have Failed, and no one wants to admit they're a Failure. The prime reason for this is that people tend to subconsciously measure their worth based on their worst qualities rather than their best. Enter the ego, the ego has a simple fix for this very problem. Our egos refuse to let our peers see our worst qualities so it finds ways to cover it up. We're all guilty of this at some point in our lives, some by projecting their self hatred on others, but the most common way we cover our faults, is by focusing so much on our outward appearances. The way we dress, the way we act, that way we're always trying to assert ourselves to our peers; trying our best to show we are the complete opposite of what we refuse to see in ourselves.
Throughout history we have seen this on many scales, from personal to massive. Jim Jones, infamous cult leader who was responsible for one of the biggest mass suicides in American history. His story is a perfect example of how the ego covers up our true faults. To his followers he was a savior. He would help the poor and the sick. He taught peace and love, and made it known that he was personally responsible for all of the good his organization had done and many praised him for it. Yet few could see the true monster behind his charisma. He was a man who loved the spotlight a little too much. He grew obsessed with power and developed a secret addiction to drugs. He would lie to his followers and fake miracles, in order to build the popularity of his church. All because he was a man who measured his worth based off of how the public viewed him. Therefore everything he had done was for the sake of publicity, the sake of building his follower and raising his ego, which ultimately lead to a tragic end. When people and the media began to question him, and investigate the dishonesty of his nature, instead of admitting his faults he fled to Guyana, taking his followers with him. There he continued his drug addiction and charismatic facade, and had built up his ego to the point of self destruction. Again, taking his followers with him.
The story of Jim Jones is truly a tragic one, and an example of the ego on a personal scale. The best example of this on a massive scale, is one quite similar to an issue we still face today. The issue of racism. Racism and hate groups are an excuse for one to feel superior to those around them, instead of admitting their personal imperfections. I'd have to say that the most prime example of this would be the holocaust. Germany was suffering financially, socially and more importantly its people's moral was low after their epic lost of the first world war. Rather them admitting that they had to change as a society, they blamed the Jews and, like any overblown ego, it ended tragically for everyone.
Now your probably thinking, “But Gabriel I'm not a Nazi or a cult leader, so how does this relate to me?” Well, lets dive deep into our views of society. I've walked many paths and dabbled in many cultures in my life. I can truly say that most people that I have crossed paths with, values their worth on on their worst qualities. For example when I was in the Navy, many of my old co-workers would always give me a hard time about my appearance in term of style. I was always a simple man in that department. I never really cared much about jewelry, expensive cloths or tattoos. My philosophy was always, if it's cheap and looks good I'll buy it. (Hence why I love Walmart, but I digress) I had gotten so much hardships for my choice in style by my peers, but I always knew that it was because they truly valued worth based on outward appearances because as people they had many flaws. Flaws which they never wanted to admit to so they viewed everyone else as they viewed themselves. Wisdom and intelligence was never a factor, to them it was more about what others thought of them rather them themselves. If you would have read my “Happiness” blog post, then you would know that I believe that true happiness comes from contentment within.
Fast forward through my life. Where I work now, my peers show me a lot more respect, because most of them are the type who automatically look past appearance to the person within. Unlike the others, they view my strengths rather than my faults.
So in a nut shell, Failure happens to us many times, therefore you can cannot measure your worth based on your fault because that's what causes the ego to intervene. Your worth can only be measured by looking at your best qualities, the personal aspects about you that makes others smile, and that is how you measure your worth.
As an added bonus to this post, I wanted to give you all a little exercise on how you can get an exact measurement of your worth.
After doing this, you'll have a pretty good feeling as what your true value.