How you feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life including at work, in relationships, and as parents. It is the key to success or failure and instrumental to understanding you and others. Self-esteem has two components: A feeling of personal competence and a feeling of personal worth.
It reflects a belief in you ability to cope with the challenges of life and in your right to be happy. It is the ability to value yourself and treat yourself with dignity, love and respect.
The higher your self-esteem, the more resilient, creative and ambitious – and as a result, successful – you are likely to be.
Self-esteem is not a static condition and is always a matter of degree – no one is entirely lacking in positive self-esteem.
One way to measure self-esteem is to evaluate your ability to authentically be your true self.
— Am I generally honest with myself… about what I am feeling: Accepting and experiencing my emotions, without feeling compelled to act on them…
In the process of growing up, confidence and self-respect can be nurtured or undermined, depending on whether children are loved and valued as they are and encouraged trusting themselves and their feelings.
Strict attentive parents who set unrealistic ever-higher goals for children can cause just as much damage as parents who are indifferent and do not demand enough.
The average child has been reprimanded an estimated 150,000 times by the age of 12. As a result, it is not surprising that people become excessively self-critical, out of touch with their feelings, and look outside rather than inside themselves for approval. This can lead to a desperate need for recognition and status from others and an internal pressure to be “perfect”. People who do attain success without developing positive self-esteem go through life feeling like impostors fearing exposure.
Often people look for self-confidence and self-respect everywhere except within themselves. They say, “If only I could get the promotion, the new car, a partner, a lot of money or the admiration of others, then I would really feel good about myself. This quest is doomed to failure because it is only in the way we respond to ourselves… – giving ourselves the love and approval we are looking for – that creates that feeling of peace and success.
Develop Your Self-Esteem with Honesty, Action and Acknowledgment….
Honesty refers to living consciously facing reality (whether pleasant or painful) and confronting rather than avoiding difficulties.
Self-honesty also requires self-acceptance, which is a refusal to deny or disown any aspect of the self, including thoughts, emotions, physical attributes and actions.
Self-acceptance is the foundations of all growth and change. It means thinking independently, valuing your own opinions and feelings rather than relying on what other people think about.
Taking action means taking responsibility for the fulfillment of your own desires and decisions. You set your own goals and then take steps to achieve them. This may mean gathering up every ounce of courage you have and taking the tiniest of bay steps, but that is the key to living actively rather than passively.
Completion – even of the smallest beginning step – is an important part of taking action, because it is the major motivation to taking the next step.
Acknowledging includes observing and evaluating the results of your actions with honesty and compassion. It means giving yourself approval and reward for your success, even if your success only lies in being brave enough to take the action.
By being honest, taking action and acknowledging yourself for your efforts, you are not only behaving with self-respect but are creating deeper self-confidence in yourself and your abilities each time you follow through.