Over the course of my life, I’ve usually tended towards having fairly low self-esteem. However, I do have an idealized view of myself that I try to live up to. Even back in elementary school, at the beginning of each school year, I’d imagine this ideal “perfect, good” self. Getting stellar grades, healing the hurting, never being reprimanded for anything at any time. I’d never live up to it, though, because the standards were just too high. My goals were unattainable. Then I’d become sort of apathetic and let it all go. Repeat every year. (One year I tried to maintain this perfect self through berating myself for every mistake, but my self-esteem really took a hit and it just triggered preexisting depression.)
I still have a “perfect, good” self in my mind, but I guess I’ve just accepted that I can’t attain all of it. I’d love to get straight A’s, learn to drive, write a novel, give all my money to charity, read fifty books in a month, and be an utterly selfless person. But the reality is that I procrastinate, my grades are sub-par, I’ve only driven a car five times, I don’t have the drive to finish a novel, I’m stingy with my savings, I spend too much time on the internet to read all those books, and I fear that I’m appallingly self-seeking. I’ll never be quite good enough for myself. If I ever achieved all that I wanted, there would be something else about myself that wasn’t perfect enough. I just have to learn that I can’t be all that.