How do we define esteem and what does it mean to have low self-esteem?
Esteem is defined as follows according to the Oxford Dictionary Online:
As a noun, it means: respect or admiration
As a verb, it means: respect and admire
When you esteem something you respect it and admire it because it has positive qualities which you value. Self-esteem means how you regard and value yourself.
Having low self-esteem would mean that you do not respect or value yourself highly. If you feel like this about yourself you will not feel in control and negativity may take hold of you. Your confidence may be low also and so you will not believe in your ability to be successful. You may be more likely to believe other people’s negative comments rather than trust your own opinions.
It is possible to have too much confidence and pride, but too much self-esteem? I don’t think so. If you do not know your limits and have unrealistic confidence then you may be heading for a big fall. In the same way, pride can result in a large ego and if things do not go according to how you expect, you may really get hurt. As with everything else, you need balance and self-esteem will give you that.
There is more to self-esteem than first meets the eye. On the one hand, someone may clearly lack confidence and have a low opinion of themselves, whereas, some people may appear to have confidence but their efforts to take charge and be in control is a cover for their low self-esteem Many of these people do not admit to themselves that they have any problem and continue to aggressively appear full of self-esteem. There are many people who have leadership positions who deep down have low self-esteem despite pretending to be someone who is in control and who makes decisions confidently. This will lead to a lot of stress and pain as the pretense is covering up the real person inside. You will see the true reality of this kind of person when they face real problems and when things go wrong. They will be unable to accept any criticism and demand others do what they say without question.
True self esteem is always positive and honest. When a person has true self esteem they are never anxious or angry and can always accept valid criticism. The confidence they have will help them most in difficult situations. They will be able to ask others for help if they need and will not be afraid to admit they don’t know everything. Confidence is genuine and is backed up with self-awareness, that is, knowing our own limits. There is no need to be in control of everything and everyone. Allowing others to make decisions for themselves and giving responsibility to others while being responsible for your own life, that is true self-esteem. Everything is in balance.
Blame is mostly pointless and often serves to make you feel better by allowing you to avoid taking responsibility. When you blame someone else you deny to yourself that you have any fault. Taking responsibility for your own self-esteem and confidence means that you need to understand what happens to you is at least partly down to you. Rather than blame, which is very negative, ask what you could do better to improve the situation. What can you change and what would be the result of that?
One way to improve your life is to stop holding grudges and working out ways to get back at someone. You will be so much happier if you learn to forgive
- Tell yourself “I can do”, “I can have” and believe that whatever you want in life, you can have it because you can create it.
- Work out exactly how and when you are not valuing yourself by asking yourself “What annoys me? When do I get most annoyed?” Think about the feelings you experience in those situations and try to understand why you are not valuing yourself in those situations. What can you change about how you think so you can value yourself more in those moments?
- Starting a daily journal may help you to explore the times when you get really irritated as above and will allow you to examine what is happening in your mind and what you should do about it.
Make a real effort to find the real you. If you are not living true to who you are then one result is low self-esteem. The real you is natural and confident and totally unique. You should spend the time to find out exactly who that real you is. This adventure leads to happiness because when you live according to your values and strengths, your life will be fulfilling and meaningful.
Self Development vs Self Improvement
There is quite a big difference between the two. Why is this important to you? Well, if you focus on improvement you may think there are things wrong with you that need fixing and this is quite a negative way of thinking. If you think in terms of self-development you can appreciate that life is all about learning and developing by moving forward, it is not about constantly fixing things. When you are building your self-esteem you need positive changes, not corrections or fixes.
To improve your self-esteem and confidence you need to change. The biggest change is in your way of thinking. Perhaps you also need to make changes in your life too with go with this new way of thinking. You should aim to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and this will enable you to take positive steps leading to your self-development. These changes need time and energy.
Have you ever noticed how confident people have lots of energy? In the same way, those with low self-esteem have little energy. So building up your energy levels is a good first step to breaking the negative cycle. How do you improve your energy levels? Here are a few suggestions:
- Get more exercise – which not only makes you more energetic but helps you to look and feel better.
- Eat well – diet is so important. Don’t skip or miss meals and eat healthy food. You should respect your body by thinking carefully about what you eat.
- Sleep well – do everything you can to get a good night’s sleep. Don’t take sleeping tablets but aim for natural sleep as a result of being tired from healthy exercise.
- Spend time as often as you can with those you love. Make time in your week for activities and passtimes you enjoy.
By the end of the day make sure to:
Take action and stop those negative thoughts!
Feel Good About Yourself