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The Importance of Self Esteem

Updated on March 10, 2013

Self Esteem and Self Confidence

Self esteem is related to self confidence.
Self esteem is related to self confidence. | Source

About Self Esteem

What is self esteem?

Self esteem is related to our self perception, our self worth, and our value, our confidence, the respect we have for ourselves and the way we let others treat us.

Every aspect of our being is connected to our self esteem, our trust in others, the relationships we have, our career choices, and the pride we take in ourselves and how we value who we are.

People who have a good self esteem feel like they have some ability in their lives to take charge and grow from their good and bad experiences. A person with high self esteem will have confidence, be self directed. They generally do not look to blame others and have an awareness of their own positive attributes and strengths.

People with a good self esteem learn from their own mistakes and are accepting of others. They are optimistic, problem solvers, cooperative, and independent. They are comfortable with their own emotions, trusting of others, and have an ability of their own personal limitations. They have good self care and can say no when other people make requests of them.

Self Esteem

A good s.elf esteem begins in childhood.
A good s.elf esteem begins in childhood. | Source

You and Your Self Esteem

What does it mean to have a good self esteem?

  • trusting your own judgment
  • feeling secure in your values, principles, and choices
  • living in the moment, learning from the past, and seeing a positive future ahead.
  • the ability to solve problems and deal with failures and difficulties as they come.
  • asking for help when you need it.
  • feeling equal to others, not inferior or superior.
  • being able to accept differences in talents, skills, abilities, knowledge and income.
  • feeling that you are a valuable and interesting person to people close to you.
  • not being manipulated by others.
  • the ability to work with others.
  • accept feelings for what they are.
  • enjoy a variety of activities.
  • being sensitive to the needs of others.
  • respect rules.
  • not intending to prosper at the expense of others.
  • be assertive without demeaning others or yourself.
  • not looking for reassurance from others for a positive self view.
  • not being vulnerable or reacting negatively to criticism.
  • not needing constant positive feedback to feel okay about yourself.

Feeling Unworthy

People with low self esteem stop themselves from being able to achieve their full potential. They feel unworthy, and incompetent, and bad about themselves. It becomes a self perpetuating feeling, because these feelings cause more bad feelings. People with low self esteem generally have a negative view of things. They tend to be perfectionists, mistrust others. They look to blame others, are afraid to take risks, and feel unloved and not lovable. They will look towards others to make decisions, and fear being ridiculed.

Choices and Your Self Esteem

Higher self esteem leads to better choices.
Higher self esteem leads to better choices. | Source

Low Self Esteem and Poor Choices

We make poor choices when we have low self esteem.

When we don’t regard ourselves well, we can even get depressed, fail to achieve our full potential, and will tolerate abusive relationships and situations. When we love ourselves too much, we may feel a sense of entitlement, and won’t learn from our shortcomings and failures.

We are constantly evaluating ourselves and our self worth. We judge ourselves by our belief statements, believing we are competent, or no good, smart, or not smart, worthy or not worthy. How much self respect do you have? How much do you feel you are deserving of love, of happiness, of good things for yourself?

Self esteem is part of our personality. Self esteem is related to our self respect, self integrity, self confidence, self worth, self regard and self love. Self esteem is a basic human need.

Our thoughts and our perceptions shape our self esteem. Other people react to us based on how we feel about ourselves. The interactions and experiences we have in every aspect of our life affect our ego. Our overall health,injuries, illnesses, disabilities, and mental and emotional well being also play a part in our self esteem. Our environment and culture, religion, and social status are also factors that influence how we value ourselves. The close relationships we have with our families, co workers, peers, supervisors or for students, teachers we have, and of course our romantic relationships have a strong influence on our self esteem. Additionally, our beliefs about ourselves and others, and the messages we have received from others affect how we value ourselves. Having strong and close relationships with people who are supportive and give us positive feedback, reinforce a healthy self esteem. When we are devalued by others, when we feel criticized, we may struggle with lower self esteem.

Self Esteem and Experiences

Our thoughts affect our self esteem. Our thoughts are within our control. When we tend to focus on our weaknesses and flaws, our negative view leads to lower self worth. But if we reframe these thoughts, we can achieve a higher self esteem.

We develop a good self esteem or poor self esteem based on our life experiences. Whether these experiences have been positive or negative influences our self esteem. Our attitude towards ourselves can affect our feelings of self worth. In our formative years of growing up, parents contribute significantly to our self esteem.

Parenting styles have a lot to do with developing a good ego. Caring and supportive parents are related to high self esteem development in their children.

Unconditional love is an important part of a child being able to develop a secure feeling of being cared for and feeling respected. As we grow older, these feelings transfer to the way we apply ourselves academically, and again we gain a feeling of negative or positive self worth.

It is Never Too Late to Build Your Self Esteem

Higher self esteem is associated with better health, lower levels of depression, and feeling greater satisfaction and success from efforts achieved. Self esteem changes over time. Young adults may have a lower self esteem, increases in adulthood, and peaks in their 60’s, and then begins to decline. Researchers, in a study done by the American Psychological Association, did four studies between 1986 and 2002. With over 3,600 participants of adults living in the U.S., self esteem was measured by rating how they felt about themselves with directed questions.

Women tended to have lower self esteem than men throughout adulthood. Women and men in their 80’s and 90’s had equal self esteem. Education, income, employment, health, and relationship status were all factors in people’s self esteem.

A higher self esteem is correlated to those who have fulfilling relationships that are supportive and satisfying. Even people in satisfying relationships had a drop in self esteem as they got older.

It is believed that the constancy of work and status, steady income, reliable relationships, and a stable family life helps keep self esteem high during the mid adult years. During the retirement years and beyond, people are experiencing new life positions, and adjusting to different income, changing parenting roles, outdated work skills, and declining health.

Self esteem is an integral part of everything we do. Our thoughts, our relationships, and our experiences mold and shape the essence of our self esteem. Feeling like you are deserving of respect, and respecting yourself are part of having a healthy self esteem. Building a good self esteem is children is important. Even for adults, it is never too late to develop a good self worth. Everyone’s self esteem could use a boost.

High Self Esteem of an Inflated Sense of Self

At times we feel better about ourselves than other times, depending on what is going on in our lives.

Some people have an inflated sense of self. They feel superior, a sense of entitlement, and an arrogance about themselves. They believe they have special privileges and have an unrealistic higher view of themselves. They may be self indulgent and a feeling of superiority. They think of themselves as better than others and this leads to a person having an overly higher self esteem.

On the other spectrum is the people who have lower self esteem. These people have a negative self regard. They have a lesser value of their own opinions and ideas.
They perceive themselves as weaker and focus on their faults and flaws. They don’t give themselves credit for their skills and talents.

They look at others for being more capable and more successful than they are. People who don't feel good about themselves, with a low self esteem are not able to accept compliments and feedback that is positive. Having a low self esteem leads people to fear failing and hold themselves back from knowing success for their efforts. People with low self esteem are usually underachievers.

Your Self Esteem

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Feeling Good About Yourself

A healthy self esteem is what we all strive for. A person with a healthy self esteem looks at themselves in a balanced and pretty accurate way. They are able to give themselves credit for their abilities and accept their flaws. They understand their own self worth and are able to receive respect from others.

The most important thing to understand about self esteem is that having a healthy self esteem is important to your happiness and well being. Having a good self esteem will help you have more satisfying relationships and positive interactions with others. Feeling confident in who you are and your abilities will help you achieve in all aspects of your life. Students do better in school. Adults do better in their work and careers. Healthy self esteem helps you learn and accept feedback, acquire new skills and grow emotionally and intellectually. Self esteem will help you be more assertive when you need to express your opinions, wants, and needs.

Feeling more positive about yourself and your world will help you trust in yourself and in others. You will be more confident in your decisions. Your relationships will be more honest and you won’t stay in unhealthy relationships. A good self esteem helps you accept criticism, and to forgive yourself and others a little easier. Your expectations of yourself and others will be more realistic.

Resilience is an important aspect of dealing with stress and disappointments. When you have a better self esteem you will naturally have more resilience. Resilience also gives you the strength to avoid destructive behavior such as drug and alcohol abuse, and less likely to feel depressed for extended periods of times.

When you feel good about yourself, you want to take care of yourself, and not hurt yourself, or others. You will tend to feel less guilt and shame, have eating disorders, or anxiety.

Boost Your Self Esteem

Boosting Your Self Esteem

A good self esteem means valuing yourself in a realistic and balanced view. None of us are perfect With a good self esteem you will like yourself and respect yourself, with your imperfections and all.

You will look at the world more positively. You will feel like you have the power to make things happen. A gift of a good self esteem is being able to be creative enough to make things turn out in a successful way. And you appreciate what you can do and who you are.

With a more positive attitude, you feel an inner calm and certain sense of yourself that no one can take away from you. You feel a sense of energy, and are open to be communicative. You can work independently, responsibly, and get along with others.

If you would like to boost your self esteem, start with talking positive to yourself each and every day. Tell yourself good things. “I can...”, “I am...”, “I believe...”, I am grateful for...’’, “I think...’’, ‘’I will...”, “I have...”. Compliment yourself for the little ad big things you do. You have the choice to help your self esteem flourish. Change your thoughts, change your world.


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    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      It surprises many people to learn that being able to ask for help when you need it is one of the traits of good self esteem. It's hard for teens in particular to believe that.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Learning starts at home as self-esteem should but most parents don't realize this and their children in the process are affected in this way.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Torri, Thanks for stopping by ad adding your input. I also appreciate the up votes.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      I think self esteem is important because it helps you to be a better person

      and to express yourself the want.

      great article

      Voted up

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Tom, I have been missing you! I am so glad you stopped by and I am glad you have a great self esteem and such a positive outlook. It makes me that much happier to know you. Thanks for the up votes and sharing my hub too.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great well written article, when i was growing up i had a low self-esteem, but today i have a very high self-esteem and great positive outlook about myself and life . Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Thanks Bill for stopping by and adding your personal experiences. You are proof anyone can build up the self esteem.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have lived both ends of this spectrum, from terribly low self-esteem to a very healthy and positive self-esteem. The difference as it affects general lifestyle and attitude is enormous.

      Very useful information and a must-read for anyone suffering from low self-esteem.