Why do we develop our self-esteem? How could this post change the course of your life?
How we feel about ourselves affects all aspects of our lives, including our job, love, or sex life, how we behave as parents, and how we relate to God.
The influence that events in life will have on us will depend on the way we see ourselves. This means that a person’s self-esteem can determine, to a great extent, his/her success or failure.
If you are not convinced yet of how important it is to learn and to grow in this area of your life, putting the biological problems aside, there is not one psychological difficulty, from anguish and depression, fear of being intimate or succeeding, alcohol or drug abuse, poor performance in school or job, to mistreating women or men, or raping children, sexual dysfunctions or emotional immaturity, even suicide or violent crimes, that cannot be attributed to low self-esteem (Nathaniel Branden). William James, a psychologist, said about self-esteem: mental distress frequently follows people who think they are insufficient and worthless.
Importance of the self-esteem
Now, after starting to understand the magnitude of the self-esteem problem, consider that 85 percent of the world’s population suffers from self-esteem related self-esteem-related problems. Seventy percent of the population has a poor concept of themselves, saying they are not good enough, ugly, or inadequate. Forty-five percent of men are not happy with their bodies.
Then, let us see what self-esteem is. It is the way you perceive yourself: “It is about the emotional part of your mind, it values the most intimate part of the self, your value as a person”, “It is the concept you have about yourself” -Brian Tracy.
In other words, as Branden said, self-esteem is the sum of confidence and respect for oneself.So, it reflects the implicit judgment each person makes about his/her ability to face challenges in life.
How do you develop your self-esteem?
How do we develop our self-esteem? This question is important because if we understand the root of how self-esteem forms, we can work on it more efficiently.
Self-esteem is developed from a very young age and never stops evolving, changing, improving, and even deteriorating. That is, it moves continuously. Besides, as a product of our sinful condition, it is not voluntary, spontaneous, or natural, but it originates from what each person experiences in life.
For example, when we are approximately five or six years old, we start shaping an idea of what being ourselves means. This idea will be influenced by the attachment style our primary caregivers develop with us. If they develop a secure attachment, we will feel loved, we will feel that we are special and have value. But, when our primary caregivers are not emotionally present to give us love or acceptance, we develop an insecure attachment. Thus, it leads us to feel unworthy, not validated, and, as a result, we lack self-worth.
Later, during adolescence, we start to value ourselves according to the relationships we are building with our parents and the cultural criteria in the beauty, value, and intellectual fields. And, when we get to adulthood, self-esteem is based on the life script we developed during our childhood and that may be shaping the course of our lives. This way, self-satisfaction or dissatisfaction grows, along with security and insecurity.
How do you know if you have positive self-esteem?
A person with positive self-esteem…
- Firmly believes in certain values and principles, and is willing to defend them.
- Does not waste time worrying excessively about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future.
- Fully trusts in his/her ability to solve his/her problems, without feeling intimidated by his/her failures or difficulties.
- As a person considers himself/herself and feels equal to others, not inferior, nor feelings superior, just equally dignified. The person acknowledges the differences and specific talents, professional prestige, or economic status.
- This person notes easily manipulated, although is willing to collaborate if it is convenient or appropriate.
- He or she is capable of enjoying several activities.
- This person is sensitive to other people’s feelings and needs, and respects generally accepted sound rules of coexistence. He or she also understands that he or she has no right to – nor wishes to – thrive or amuse at the expense of others.
How do you know if you have negative self-esteem?
A person who has low self-esteem has the following characteristics:
- Rigorous self-criticism: tends to create a normal state of dissatisfaction towards himself/herself.
- Hypersensitivity to criticism: he/she feels easily attacked and experiences stubborn resentments towards people who criticize them.
- Chronic indecision: not due to the lack of information, but due to the exaggerated fear to be wrong.
- Excessive desire to please people: it is hard for the person to say “no,” due to the fear of displeasing or losing the person’s benevolence.
- Perfectionism: or demanding that they do things “perfectly,” no mistakes allowed in almost everything he/she does, which can lead the person to feel very bad when things do not turn out the perfection demanded.
- Neurotic guiltiness: the person condemns himself/herself due to behaviors that are not always objectively bad, exaggerates the magnitude of his/her mistakes or offenses, and/or indefinitely regrets them, without fully forgiving himself/herself.
- Floating hostility: they are irritable just above the surface, always about to explode, even due to things that are not important; characteristically found in supercritical people who think that everything is wrong, who dislike many things or everything upsets them. Nothing satisfies them.
- Defensive tendencies: generalized negativity, everything is perceived as dark: his/her life, future, and, mainly, himself/herself. Poor generalized appetite for the joy of living and life itself.
- Is critical of others: sometimes, a person who has low self-esteem may use criticism when things go wrong, especially when it comes to defending themselves in the face of an awkward situation, pretending to prove one’s innocence. It may even happen that the person with low self-esteem is unaware of his/her behavior. The person does not do these things with bad intentions.
What type of self-esteem do you think you have?
Have you thought about the way you see yourself? As we said before, the main value you must give yourself is the one that God has given you. Such a big value that He gave His only son to die in your place, so eternal life could be offered to you.
So, it does not matter if your family has sown doubts in you about your value as a person. It also does not matter if your friends or partner do not make you feel like an equal. It does not matter if your co-workers do not acknowledge your hard work or your value as a part of the workplace. You have immeasurable value before the eyes of God.
See the goodness in you, acknowledge your qualities, your good principles, and the knowledge you have. Value the good features of your personality, those good things you have inside you to offer. Look at yourself in the mirror and realize you are unique and have a purpose, goals, and dreams. Give yourself the value your Creator has given you, and you will be happy!
Have you done something that has helped you improve your self-esteem during your life? Share it with us in the comments section. It will help others improve their self-esteem to start their path to happiness and self-worth. God bless you.