Ego comes before self-esteem in a philosophical sense of the two being identical. In reality, it is only in perception. What we see as self-confidence and self-esteem is but a small part of who we are. This also includes our interactions with others. A person with a high self-esteem is, in all reality, just as capable as a person with low self-esteem, if not more so, in dealing with life’s situations.
High-esteem people are also better able to concentrate, focus, and learn. They are better problem solvers, can solve problems creatively, and can problem solve without a lot of unnecessary thought. They also put their own feelings and emotions on the back burner when they don’t need to. They generally take pride in themselves and their abilities and are not threatened by the opinions, ideas, or judgments of other people.
In contrast, those with lower self-esteem tend to focus on their mistakes more than their accomplishments, often getting stuck in a “I am sorry for what I did” rut. They also tend to have a poor opinion of themselves and frequently compare themselves to other people. When these feelings get to a point, especially if they’ve been hurt in the past, their ego tends to take over, and they feel like they’ve been victimized. Those with a higher self-esteem learn to look at these things as opportunities and deal with them rather than as something to be ashamed of.
Those with higher self-esteem are also less concerned with relationships, because they feel like they already know the best there is to know about those subjects. They worry less about having to replace someone, because they don’t see it as an investment. They also tend to value their intelligence more than others do, because they don’t view intelligence as something that can be replaced. Those with higher self-esteem have more confidence in themselves and their abilities, and they don’t let trivial issues like not having the right outfit on a date get in the way of living their lives to the fullest.
These qualities are not limited to physical appearance – improving your outward appearance is great, but only if you’re doing something you’ll enjoy. For those of us who aren’t naturally gifted in this area, it’s important to spend time doing things you’ll find enjoyable, even if you feel like you’re just working to keep up appearances. In addition, it’s equally important to do things you’ll find interesting, regardless of how it comes across on the physical front. That way, you’ll be working on building skills you’ll use later in life when you have to deal with people on a deeper level.
One area where a higher self-esteem often shows itself is in the way we handle stress. It’s been well documented that increased stress levels hampers our immune system and can contribute to depression, which can then lead to more serious health issues down the road. Yet, when we work to control stress through practice and education, we can learn to handle it better, thus reducing the negative impact it has on our bodies and minds. And by developing a high self-esteem, we can also be sure that we’ll be able to live longer lives full of both physical and emotional health, as well as strong relationships.
So, how do we get a good balance between these two sides of ourselves? It’s not as hard as one might think – it’s simply a matter of making some adjustments to our thinking and our behavior. For instance, instead of always thinking that we need to impress others, we can start to think that we can impress ourselves. If we’ve ever had a situation in which we felt totally out of place and not a complete or total success, we know how easy it is to get discouraged when things don’t go the way we hoped. By changing the way we think about ourselves, however, we can change the way we act and feel about ourselves, thus gaining positive momentum as we improve our confidence levels and our self-image.
The other problem that frequently occurs with this issue is that we don’t recognize that we have a lot of control over this aspect of ourselves. So many of us let ego control everything from how much we cook to the clothes we wear. Sometimes, even controlling those tiny little decisions such as what we put on our mouth, is more stressful than we realize. In order to effectively evaluate ourselves, we need to take a look at how ego affects us and how we can effectively combat it. Self-esteem and self-image are integral aspects of who we are, and it’s important that we work to keep them strong – not weaker. So, consider all this in 2006.