Part 1-How’s Your Self-Esteem?
July 26, 2020
Many of us have struggled with self-esteem issues at some point in our lives. In my thirties, despite being successful professionally, I suffered from low self-esteem. I felt that I was not good enough. Despite all the professional growth I was experiencing, somewhere deep down, I felt I did not deserve it. Through introspection and the support of mentors, coaches, I overcame my low self-esteem before it became chronic.
Looking back, I realize, none of the self-esteem issues were rooted in any reality. It was all the play of a stretched imagination and a faulty belief system.
Today, I’ll give a quick overview of two important facets of self-esteem-Self Efficacy and Self Respect. In my post tomorrow, I will share some thoughts and ideas about personal practices to enhance your self-esteem.
First off, what is self-esteem?
Self Esteem is the attitude or mindset where I see myself as being competent to cope with the challenges of life AND being worthy of experiencing happiness and contentment in life. Implicit in this definition are the two sub-elements called Self Efficacy and Self Respect.
Self Efficacy is my ability to think for myself and managing my own life. Do I feel competent to take care of myself and those who depend on me? Do I feel in control of dealing with and managing elements of my life that I need to manage to experience a good life?
When I am high on self Efficacy, I FEEL Competent. I feel like I can go out and create a life I want and desire for myself. I don’t feel like a victim who has to depend on others for my survival and I feel empowered to do whatever I want. Yes, there will always be tough situations in life. Bad relationships, Bad job, trouble with health or studies, etc.- No matter the problem or challenge I may encounter, I feel I have control and can deal with the issues. I am the master of my own life.
On the other hand, If I were low on self Efficacy, this is how it would feel. I would feel like I can’t do anything. My life would feel hopeless, where I am the perpetual victim. It’s as if the world is hemming me in. I feel like my hands are tied, and the people around me are working against me.
Its good to ask yourself where you see yourself on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being very low self-efficacy, and 5 being very high self-efficacy.
The second building block of self-esteem is Self Respect. How much do I respect myself? Do I feel deserving of happiness? Do I believe I have value “inherently” as a person, right now?
In a way, self-respect is my current opinion about myself and what I feel I deserve.
Do I have a deep conviction that I have the right to be happy? Do I believe that I deserve to be happy and don’t have to compromise for anything less in life? I don’t need to take things lying down. I can fight back because I can be selfish about my self-interest in being happy and fulfilled.
Again, ask yourself. Where do you see yourself on a scale of 1 to 5?
If you are at one, you have no self-respect. One means you don’t value your happiness. You are a doormat, and you let people walk all over you. You allow others in your life to take advantage of you.
On the other hand, if you have high self-respect, you believe you are valuable. You feel like you are at the center of everything that happens in your life. It feels like you have a birthright to be happy and don’t need to pamper anyone to experience life the way you want. You are comfortable in your skin.
If you do not respect yourself, no one else will respect you. Getting the world to respect you starts with you respecting yourself.
Self Image is introverted and a reflection of one’s internal mindset. It is one’s psychology at play through the subconscious mind.
Most low self-esteem issues stem from dented self-efficacy or little self-respect or both. This problem gets accentuated when one encounters a failure that challenges the sense of self. A vulnerable mind is a breeding ground for low self-esteem. It starts as a small problem, but like a typhoon, It gathers momentum, if not managed early enough.
The reasons for low self-esteem will be unique to every individual. Whatever the root causes, there are a set of powerful personal practices, if adopted and followed through correctly, to help one overcome low self-esteem issues.
I will address those in tomorrow’s post.