What is self esteem? When in doubt, look it up – so here is what ‘google’ and some of the other search engines say:
Self esteem is : “how much a person likes, accepts and respects themselves overall as a person.”
Self esteem is : “what our unconscious believes to be true about how worthy, lovable, valuable and capable we are.”
Self esteem is : “generally considered the evaluative component of the self concept, a broader representation of the self that includes cognitive and behavioral aspects as well as evaluation or affective ones.”
So what does all of that mean?
Well, in my opinion there are two types of self-esteem. The one type is a widespread, general type of self esteem and there is self esteem that is related to or about a specific situation. Clearly a lack of self esteem is the opposite. So for example, you may be a person who has little or no self esteem in general. These are people who are naturally shy or even introvert, who try and melt into the background. They are people who do not excel in anything – not necessarily because they can’t, but because they don’t believe that they could excel in anything or indeed that they believe that they are not worthy to excel in anything.
On the other hand a person who has self esteem issues that are related to a specific situation, may be for example, a person who is bright and energetic and who, generally speaking is successful. That person may, for example have a fear of public speaking. That person would find it excruciatingly difficult to give a speech and their fear of talking in public may be related self esteem issues around how that person thinks that they are being perceived by crowds of people.
There are many myths about how your self esteem is manifested. Some of these are (but not limited to):
• “Your level of self esteem is fixed, it is a given.” This would then mean that you, as an individual, are not able to change your mind set or that you cannot change how you feel about yourself. Quite honestly, this does not work for me at all. I really believe that we are who be are and we can become who we want to become. Yes our mindset would need to change around the issues of our own self esteem, but it is definitely something that we can change.
• Another myth is that is quite common and that is that “only poor and uneducated people suffer from low self-esteem issues.” What a load of absolute poppycock! Bad self esteem is not about money, it’s not about possessions, its not about where you were born or when you were born. It’s not about your background, or how your parents thought about you. It’s not about how other people see you.
What it is about, is how you see yourself, it’s about your interaction with yourself. So open your eyes – see you for who you are and not how you think other people see you. In fact, see yourself as others do actually see you?
Be kind to yourself and stop beating yourself up. Change your mindset and rather start praising yourself. Start patting yourself on the back for the things that you are doing right.
Start looking for the rainbow in the storm, rather than the storm clouds
Start looking for the sunrise rather than the darkness.
Start seeing yourself, for who you are – an extraordinary person, living an extraordinary life.