Years ago, I saw an illustration that was titled, “It Was Just an Idea.” Beneath the title were nine squares with a picture of a light bulb in each square and a quote above each light bulb.
The first light bulb was brightly glowing and said, “I have an idea.” The second bulb had lost a little of its glow, saying, “A word of caution.” The third bulb was getting dim: “A little too radical.” The fourth bulb continues to dim: “I like myself, but.” The fifth bulb is darker yet: “We tried something just like that once.” The light is almost gone from the sixth bulb: “Let me play devil’s advocate.” The light in the seventh bulb is now so faint you can hardly see it: “It’s just not us.” There is only a trace of the eighth bulb: “I wish it were that easy.” In the ninth and last square, the bulb is gone for good, and the final quote reads, “Oh, it was just an idea.” At the bottom of the page was the caption: “An idea is a fragile thing. Turning it off is much easier than keeping it lit.”
I plead with you not to dim the light of the truth that you have immense worth. If you are working to recover from emotional exhaustion, you must keep your bulb lit and never let it go out or allow others to put it out. If this is a challenge for you, I invite you to take this short inventory to help you see — and self-correct — any areas that may still need attention.
Answer the following questions by selecting one of the following answers: almost always, often, rarely, or never
- Do you sometimes catch yourself exaggerating the importance of your job or role?
- Do you find yourself checking out your behavior and comparing it to the standards of others?
- Are you jealous of the positions, possessions, or opportunities of others?
- Is it hard for you to admit that you make mistakes?
- Do you neglect your own needs and spend most of your time attending to the needs of others?
- Do you put people down so you can feel good about yourself?
- Are you a possessive person — unwilling to give others their place or their space?
- Are you a bully, demanding your own way?
- When a new opportunity or challenge comes your way, does it scare you and make you feel insecure or inadequate?
- Is it hard for you to accept compliments and to say a simple “thank you”?
Almost always or often answers to any of these questions indicate you are very much human and, like all of us, need to admit you have some self-esteem issues that need attention. This may be an indication that you need to seek out help.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.