March 14

What Is Self-Esteem?

Confidence Builder, Self Image

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Where are you in the self-esteem scale? Do you self-defeat with shame or do you self-defeat with pride? Or maybe you are similar to me, and have been on both ends of the test, at some point of your life. If you are anything like me and many others, there have been many times I felt I was inferior to everyone around me, mainly because of old false self-beliefs that I thought I was stupid and everyone else was smart. However, years ago, when I first started my business, and saw a little bit of success. The success when to my head, and for a period of time I thought I had all the answers, and everyone else was wrong. Without realizing it, I started carrying an energy that I was better than everyone, which was a quick way to NOT have a business anymore. Since learning this self-esteem scale, Its easier to identify if my thoughts are coming from self-esteem, self-defeating shame, or self-defeating pride. 

What Is Self-Esteem? 

In principle, self-esteem is generally stable, but it can fluctuate, even from day to day, according to thought patterns, which can be influenced by, among, other things: physical health, chemistry, appearance, and relationships. The fact that self-esteem can fluctuate is reason for optimism because it suggests that self-esteem can change.

The Definition of Self-Esteem is Central to Our Journey

Self-esteem is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. Realistic means accurate and honest. Appreciative implies positive feelings and liking. Some speak of high and low self-esteem, but this makes self-esteem seem like a numbers game that is competitive and comparative. It's preferable to say simply that people posses self-esteem when they have a realistic and appreciative opinion of themselves.  

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”
– Deborah Day

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Self-esteem is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. Realistic means accurate and honest. Appreciative implies positive feelings and liking. Some speak of high and low self-esteem, but this makes self-esteem seem like a numbers game that is competitive and comparative. It's preferable to say simply that people posses self-esteem when they have a realistic and appreciative opinion of themselves.  

The figure below clarifies the meaning of self-esteem. Self-esteem is squarely between self-defeating shame and self-defeating pride.

Self-Defeating Shame

Self-esteem


Self-Defeating Pride

People with Self-Defeating Pride 

People with self-defeating pride are trying to be more than human. They are arrogant, and narcissistic, which means that they think they are better and more important than others as a person. Their view of others is vertical, or comparative, which is to say that to be on top means others must be below them. Self-defeating pride is often rooted in insecurity. Explore the lives of famous dictators, and you often find a complete lack of parental antecedents. 

People with Self-Defeating Shame

People with self-defeating shame, or self-defeating humility, believe that they are less than human. They view people vertically, and see themselves as the dust of the earth. They hold an unrealistic and unappreciative opinion of themselves. 

People with Self-Esteem

By contrast to the above views, people with self-esteem believe they are neither more or less than human. Knowing their faults and rough edges, they still are deeply and quietly glad to be who they are (Briggs 1977). They are like the good friend who knows you well and likes you anyway because they recognize the goodness, excellence, and potential that coexist alongside imperfections. People with self-esteem view others as equals , on a level or horizontal plane. 

About the author 

Denette Marie Covarrubias

Denette Marie Covarrubias shares everything she's learned about becoming a highly effective connector of personality to the soul's deepest desires to manifest what you want with determination & clarity. She's the Author of When Ant Turns Elephant , a book about self-awareness & self-deception. The creator of www.Dennector.com , a place to get connected with your needs and goals. She's also the co-founder of Thrive Theme Website, a Digital Marketing company specializing in conversion-focused websites and SEO.

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