Encouraging children by reflecting on our own difficulties provides a much needed comfort zone -- we experienced many of their same challenges.
I find solace and hope when reading gems from our rabbinical leaders about their personal challenges and limitations.
Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski shares a very personal and eye-opening essay, "My Own Struggle with Low Self-Esteem" which I highly recommend.
I first became aware that I had a self-esteem problem at age thirty-eight. For three years, I had been director of a huge, 300 bed psychiatric facility with a very busy emergency room. If a nurse could not reach an attending doctor, I was called. Every other night I was on call to the emergency room. On a good night, I was awoken only five times; on a bad night, ten or more times.
I had a vacation coming, and was desirous of getting away from an impossibly hectic situation. I sought a vacation spot that would allow me to do nothing other than vegetate. I wanted no sightseeing or activities. I finally decided on Hot Springs, Arkansas, which promised to allow me total rest.
People assume that low self-esteem is caused by parental neglect, abuse, comparison to other siblings, illness or failures. None of these applied to me. I had loving parents and a nanny who thought I was G-d’s gift to the world. I was a chess prodigy, and achieved excellence in school that enabled me to graduate high school at 16. There was simply no logical reason for me to feel inferior, yet I suffered from low self-esteem and was not aware of it until the incident at Hot Springs.
...That’s the way I felt even after being a psychiatrist for several years. If you find that you have any of the traits I discussed in Life’s Too Short, you are suffering unnecessarily from low self-esteem. Do whatever it takes to get over this.
R' Twerski learned that he had an inner conflict and went about working on it, and that's why he wrote this essay and shared it with others -- to help others do the same thing.
Some might this story and censor it at best or scoff at it at worse, casting out the "insulting suggestion" that a great talmid chacham would have such faults...or if they did accept the the story as true, they would say it would be "insulting to a talmid chacham" to publicize his condition.
Such behaviour would leave this story buried and hidden, and the benifit that R' Twerski wanted to bring by sharing it with others would be lost.