What is Self-Esteem and How Does it Help Us?

What is self-esteem? Self-esteem is the positive appraisal of one’s own worth by oneself. It encompasses a person’s beliefs about themselves and their worth to others, including successes, failures, shame, embarrassment, and pride. Such appraisals build a foundation of self-confidence and self-respect in the person and improve their life.

Unfortunately, many people cannot be honest with themselves about their level of self-worth. This prevents these people from telling even the most truthful, self-evident truths about themselves. Such people may engage in self-deception about themselves which causes them to put forth false and untrue beliefs. If you want to know what is self-esteem, you need to look for the signs of the esteem.

One indicator that a person has low self-esteem but is still maintaining a positive mental attitude is the avoidance of criticism and judgment of oneself. Many people who have low self-esteem do not feel worthy of any criticism and are quick to criticize themselves or others. A healthy self-esteem requires one to judge oneself based on factual information about one’s life and not based on the opinions or “flaws” of another. The truth always sets us free.

Another indicator that one has a healthy self-image is the ability to change. People who cannot change their thought process and circumstances quickly learn to accept the fact that their circumstances and thoughts will continue to affect their lives. Individuals who are able to change their outlook experience an increased ability to focus on positive and constructive feelings rather than negative and destructive ones. A lack of self-control can cause a person to focus on the negative feelings of others rather than addressing his own feelings of discontent, unhappiness, or failure.

Self-reflection is another helpful way to discover one’s true self-image. Through self-reflection a person can evaluate his/her thoughts, beliefs, values, habits, character, and other inner voices and see which ones lead to unhealthy self-talk. This process may lead an individual to question his/her childhood beliefs and memories that may have led to unwanted outcomes and relationships in the future. It can also lead an individual to examine past experiences that may have been negative resulting in relationships and outcomes that are negative now.

Achieving high self-esteem involves being committed to high self-image, which includes committing yourself to changing your negative self-talk into a positive, realistic self-talk. Self-respect and self-image are important aspects of human relations, and those who lack these qualities are likely to experience conflict and low self-respect. Achieving a sense of worthiness, success, and personal worth requires accepting that you are actually worthy of success and that others respect and admire you for it. Others who value you, compliment you, and admire you are likely to be attracted to you, and want to be close to you. This approach to getting along with others promotes positive interactions in the workplace and at home.

It is also important to develop and build our sense of humor in order to have successful, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships. We need people who can bring us laughter, and we need them to do so consistently. In human relations, the stronger the bond, the more likely they are to succeed, be loyal, be trustworthy, and form lasting bonds. Having strong relationships with others often helps us to avoid picking fights and ignoring others when we know we are wrong, but having low self-confidence often leads to conflicts, loneliness, and even depression and other emotional disorders. When we are secure in our own self-image, we are less likely to pick fights and are more likely to listen to others and follow their advice.

Building healthy self-esteem requires having a clear set of goals and aspirations. We must feel like we can accomplish these goals. We must feel like we have what it takes to reach our goals. Finally, we must feel confident that we can control our outcome and make changes to get there. Healthy self-esteem and positive expectations can be accomplished by working on daily routines, developing an abundance mindset, having self-confidence, taking regular short-term positive action, having a healthy self-expression, being your authentic self, and having good humor.