Today's journal activity revolved around the idea of exploring the "WHY" question of our different personality traits. I chose to investigate my low self esteem. I'm sure that it began around the age of 12. I was obsessed with sports from a very young age. Every hour I wasn't stuck in a classroom, at Sunday School, or doing household chores, I was playing sports. Basketball, football, baseball, hockey. I couldn't get enough of it. It was my sole passion at the time. My friends also enjoyed sports, but for them, it was one of many different interests. I fell behind, socially speaking. By the time we were 12/13 years old, they were into girls, and I was still enamored with sports. I liked girls too, but I wasn't in a hurry. I just didn't give it much thought. I remember Friday and Saturday nights during my Freshman year of high school. My buddies would be out at parties, and I would be at the local rec center playing in 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. I went to a small, private school. The school was 70% boys and 30% girls. The competition was strong, as there were maybe 10-15 girls in my grade who were dating at the time. I wasn't all that popular, either. I hung around the popular kids, but was clearly on the low end of the totem pool. Looking back, I would've been much happier hanging around the other, less popular groups. Hanging around the popular kids, I felt inadequate. They knew more, experienced more, and most importantly, they bonded outside of school. I was on the outside of the in-jokes. While I was a good student and a good kid, those qualities don't have much social currency. My high school years would get worse, as my parents divorced when I was 16. That didn't help my self esteem either (big understatement!). I suffered a particularly bad foot injury, which took sports away from me for many months. As I tried to shift my focus into "catching up" to my friends, I started feeling like I was WAY behind them. That's when I really noticed my low self esteem. I've struggled with that feeling ever since, as I'm now in my late 20s. I don't write this as a sad story. I believe much of my TMS problems revolve around self loathing, and I very much want to look forward with a positive attitude. Having spoken to high school friends in recent years, I've realized that we ALL had insecurities back then. It's a part of puberty and growing up in general. For those of you that have low self esteem, did it stem from your early childhood experiences or later (like me)?