Self esteem is a overall sense of self -worth or personal value. It depicts how much you appreciate yourself and an overall emotional evaluation of your own worth. It correlates well with achievement, good relationships , and satisfaction. Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships.
Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism, in which individuals may behave in a self-centered, arrogant, and manipulative manner.
Self-esteem can influence life in myriad ways, from academic and professional success to relationships and mental health.
Self-esteem, however, is not an immutable characteristic; successes or setbacks, both personal and professional, can fuel fluctuations in feelings of self-worth
AYN RAND—“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
It provides us with belief in our abilities and the motivation to carry them out, ultimately reaching fulfilment as we navigate life with a positive outlook.Various studies have confirmed that self-esteem has a direct relationship with our overall well-being, and we would do well to keep this fact in mind—both for ourselves and for those around us, particularly the developing children we interact with.
Esteem in Maslow’s Theory – The Hierarchy of Needs
The mention of esteem may bring to mind the fourth level of Maslow’s pyramid: esteem needs. While these needs and the concept of self-esteem are certainly related, Maslow’s esteem needs are more focused on external measures of esteem, such as respect, status, recognition, accomplishment, and prestige (McLeod, 2017).
There is a component of self-esteem within this level of the hierarchy, but Maslow felt that the esteem of others was more important for development and need fulfilment than self-esteem. He explained that for one to achieve self-actualization and grow, their need for inner-respect and esteem from others must be met. Self-esteem researcher and expert Dr. John M. Grohol outlined six practical tips on how to increase your sense of self-esteem, which include:
Take a self-esteem inventory to give yourself a baseline.
It can be as simple as writing down 10 of your strengths and 10 of your weaknesses. This will help you to begin developing an honest and realistic conception of yourself.
Set realistic expectations.
It’s important to set small, reachable goals that are within your power. For example, setting an extremely high expectation or an expectation that someone else will change their behaviour is virtually guaranteed to make you feel like a failure, through no fault of your own.
Stop being a perfectionist and acknowledge both your accomplishments and mistakes.
Nobody is perfect, and trying to be will only lead to disappointment. Acknowledging your accomplishments and recognizing your mistakes is the way to keep a positive outlook while learning and growing from your mistakes.
The importance of knowing yourself and being at peace with who you are cannot be overstated. This can take some trial and error, and you will constantly learn new things about yourself, but it is a journey that should be undertaken with purpose and zeal.
Be willing to adjust your self-image. We all change as we age and grow, and we must keep up with our ever-changing selves if we want to set and achieve meaningful goals.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing ourselves to others is a trap that is extremely easy to fall into, especially today with social media and the ability to project a polished, perfected appearance. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
While there is nothing wrong with boosting your self-esteem, keep in mind that in some cases you may be putting the cart before the horse, and commit to developing yourself in several areas rather than just working on enhancing your self-esteem. Remember-Self-esteem is not a panacea—it will not fix all of your problems or help you sail smoothly through a life free of struggle and suffering—but it will help you find the courage to try new things, build the resilience to bounce back from failure, and make you more susceptible to success.
It is something we have to continually work towards, but it’s absolutely achievable.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.Sharon Salzberg: