What does the term self-esteem mean to you? How important is it to develop one’s self-worth and attitude towards themselves? Merging various definitions, self-esteem is defined as ‘how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how important we think we are to others, it reflects a person’s overall subjective enthusiastic evaluation of their worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self’.
Usually, you’ll hear the terms low self-esteem or high self-esteem being used to describe the character/personality of an individual depending on how they react in any given situation. The characteristics of a person with a high or positive self-esteem include confidence, optimism, trusting, ability to accept mistakes from others and themselves as well as to learn from them. While the characteristics of an individual with low self-esteem include a pessimistic outlook on life, fear of taking risks, mistrusting others and a blaming behavior.
Having listed those characteristics which category would you place yourself? In comparison, to fall under the spectrum of having a positive self-esteem would be ideal. However, there are ways in which you may boost your self-esteem. For some it won’t be a walk in the park as the presence of low self-esteem would have accumulated over a lengthy period and set deep roots and may even require counseling to help boost their self-esteem. Creating an attitude to overcome low self-esteem is to be assertive in all areas of your life, breathe and speak positivity into your life. Do activities like taking a minute or two to self-appreciate; that is to compliment yourself on your outfit, hairstyle or for a job well done, you may also try being kinder to other people; when you treat people well, you feel better about yourself, and that is how they will end up treating you.
There is a slight battle that the individual with high self-esteem must face at times, where in they should balance being confident versus being too cocky or being too kind versus being over sincere or fake. Sharing your attributes of a high self-esteem is a key function in remaining in that sphere as well as to improve the lives of others.
The self-esteem rollercoaster is a difficult process. It might be emotionally and physically draining at times. Persons with low self-esteem often suffer from depression or anxiety which in some cases leads them to self-harm, be violent to others or even engaging in criminal activities. Be sure you have a tight rein on the input that others have in your life, having fewer people to validate the decisions you make in your life often makes things easier. Individuals who are giving an opinion on how you should live your life may be pushy and allow you to do something that in the long run won’t help you. You must develop an attitude where you have control over what is right or wrong for you.
Lead by example, help those who are struggling and always remember to be cognizant of your attitude toward self and others at all times.
Carolyn Ehrlich LCSW, CGP specializes in Relationship Counseling Tribeca