Savvy Self-Esteem Lessons From J.K. Rowling


“It’s our choices that show what we really are far more than our abilities do.” ~J.K. Rowling

Last week we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! In honor of our 8 years of marriage we had a date night to see the 8th Harry Potter movie. Seemed fitting, no?!

Harry Potter, and J.K. Rowling, have been interests of mine for years.  I’ve always thought J.K.’s story was amazing.  For me, she’s a testament to what hard work, self-compassion, faith and living authentically can accomplish.

Lately, I have been totally re-inspired by J.K. Rowling as a person. Specifically many of her interviews and quotes unrelated to Harry Potter have expanded my view of her.  She, my friends, is a glowing example of what Savvy Self-Esteem looks like!

What is Savvy Self-Esteem?

“It’s important to remember we all have a little magic inside us.”  ~J.K. Rowling

Savvy Self-Esteem is just that, self-esteem know-how. 

Self-Esteem doesn’t magically appear.  Nor is it created by wishing alone.  Self-Esteem comes from getting in there, rolling up our sleeves, and uncovering who we are.  This includes what we can do, how we handle things, what feels congruent for us, what we do have, and what we actually want.

Savvy Self-Esteem is understanding and learning the process, or method, for developing self-esteem.  It’s not focusing on the outcome, or basing our definition on how others define self-worth.  Savvy Self-Esteem is learning how to connect with our core-self and determine if something fits for us.  If it’s congruent for us.  If it’s right for us.

Learning the process, or how-to of this, is what empowers us- it shows us where our unique magic is and how to use it.

What do I mean by the process?  Math is a good example of process.  Ultimately, we find our mathematical brawn from learning how to add, not by memorizing 2 + 2 = 4.  When we learn how to add then it doesn’t matter how the numbers change, we always know how to solve the equation because we know the process.

Savvy Self-Esteem is learning the process for developing and strengthening self-esteem.  When we grasp that there is a process for self-esteem, and begin to understand it, suddenly we know how to handle life’s curve balls AND how to use them to increase our Self-Worth.

Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to celebrate our struggles

“It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

The biggest lesson in Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to celebrate our struggles.

They are how we learn.  They are how we grow.  They would not be happening if we weren’t trying something new.  They are the very definition of being alive and personal growth.

Just like working out, or learning a new skill, we have to push past our comfort zone to see improvement, to see growth.  This is what our struggles are.  Now, are they comfortable? No.  Are they fun? No.  Do we have to spend expended periods of time in them? No. But, we have to face them, in order to get unstuck, move forward, and create self-confidence.

Learning to celebrate our struggles means we learn to see them as “mile markers” or signs that we’ve gone farther than we ever have before.  When we define struggles this way, we are able to look forward to them, and be excited by them, because they equal growth.  Once this mental shift happens, and we embrace the struggle, we, not the struggle, have all the power!

Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to focus on what IS instead of what isn’t

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ~J.K. Rowling

I love this quote!  So often when we feel we are at rock bottom it’s because we are focusing on what isn’t there.  What we’ve lost, how we hurt, what’s missing is generally how we define rock bottom.  When we learn to see rock bottom for what it is- a blank slate to rebuild from, self-esteem can’t do anything but grow.

Picture rock bottom as a vacant lot that we want to build a house on.  The first step is examining the lot to figure out create the best plan.  Emotional rock bottom is the same way!  We have to focus on what is there, what do we feel, what do we believe, what do we want in order to rebuild.

I find, rock bottom gets us out of what we”should want” and into what we “actually want” if we let it.  Instead of focusing on “not loosing” or “keeping what we already have” rock bottom allows us to start fresh and figure out what we do want and build a life we actually cherish.

Savvy Self-Esteem is about finding your inner Hermiones not how you look in shorts

“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do.  Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.” – J.K. Rowling

My wish for each of you is to discover your inner Hermione.

To discover your process, your magic, what’s congruent for you, and how you are a shining example of Savvy Self-Esteem! You may not know it yet if you’re using old definitions for self-esteem, but if you apply J.K.’s thoughts on self-esteem, and redefine your perspective of self-worth, I bet you’re a much brighter example of Savvy Self-Esteem than you ever imagined…

(And, when your inner Pansy Parkeinson pops up, which is will- remember to embrace it, celebrate it, say to it, “Yeah, I see you.  I know you are here because I am growing, and I’ve gone farther today than I’ve ever gone before.  Thank you for reminding me of this.  Thank you for showing me my growth.”)