Self esteem is probably the most important ingredient necessary for success, along with self love. Read on to know everything about it.
Self-esteem is nothing but what one thinks or feels about oneself.
If you think well of yourself, it means you have high self worth. If you don’t value yourself much, it means you have low self-esteem. It is thus closely related to self love.
In other words, if you respect yourself, your self-esteem is good. If you don't, it is not.
The following story shows how much difference positive self-esteem can make in a person.
There was a village in which lived a very simple, plain looking girl. As her looks were very ordinary, she had no suitors. Thus she remained unmarried for many years.
At long last, a young man arrived in the village and proposed her. Her parents happily and hurriedly married her off.
After about a year, the girl returned to her village to meet her parents. On seeing her, the entire village, including her parents, was stunned. The simple, plain-jane girl had changed entirely. She actually looked beautiful. The way she walked, the way she talked, the way she dressed, the way she behaved-everything had changed. What had happened?
The girl later explained her transformation. Her husband had treated her like a beautiful, cultured lady. He gave her respect, talked with her as if she was a lady and loved her as if she were his true soul mate.
It was this treatment that transformed her. As she changed from the inside, this change reflected in her personality and on her face. She ‘became’ beautiful!
This is what self esteem can do to a person. It can either raise you to the top of a mountain or fling you to the bottom of a valley. It all depends on the type of self worth you have.
Our opinion of ourselves influences everything in our life. Our performance at work, how we make love, what kind of life partner we choose, our financial status, our friend circle, the way we treat our children, family and friends, our outlook toward life, absolutely everything is dependent on how we evaluate ourselves.
Self esteem can be said to have two components: a feeling of personal competence and a feeling of personal worth. It is the total of self confidence and self respect.
It is important to note that our opinion of ourselves is transmitted unconsciously to others and they treat us accordingly. As Confucious says, ‘Respect yourself and the world will respect you.’
Psychological survival and development is impossible without self esteem. If we do not value ourselves, we will simply ignore many basic needs of life, turning life into hell.
In life, we have certain likes and dislikes. We may not like a certain color but like another one; we may dislike a certain type of food and may prefer another type; we may hate a type of music but love another type. All this is okay.
The problem arises when we dislike or hate a part of our own personality. This results in a loss of self worth which creates problems in our life.
Suppose you have a physical wound. One natural reaction is to favor and protect it. You would avoid any aggravation of the wound. In the same way, we find ourselves avoiding anything that might aggravate the pain of self rejection in any way.
This results in you taking fewer social, career risks. You find yourself avoiding people, postponing or canceling interviews and rejecting projects where the chances of success are not very bright.
You might try to avoid attention, run away from intimacy, refuse to hear criticism, shy away from asking help and may not give your best in solving problems.
Somewhere inside, you don’t want these painful self judgments and consequent self rejections. So you end up erecting defense barriers. You play the blame game, make excuses, become short tempered.
Sometimes such a person wants to shut off the world. This can result in drug and/or alcohol abuse.
In the following pages, you will learn: