What is self-esteem? Self-esteem
is an individual's ability to "esteem" or value him
or herself. A person's sense of self worth may vary
from day to day, influenced somewhat by the events
and the people around them, but, like the weather
which may be variable, rainy one day and sunny the
next, one can discern a pattern of summer or winter
high self-esteem or low self-esteem.
What does high self-esteem look
like? Persons with high self-esteem
feel their power and know their
. They have enough confidence to act
independently and assume responsibility. They can
express a broad range of emotions, spontaneously
and appropriately. They can claim their
accomplishments and be humble at the same time.
They enjoy new challenges. Just like a prized
possession, they value and take care of themselves.
At the same time they are tolerant of others and of
frustration. They feel capable of influencing
What does low self-esteem look
like? Persons with low self-esteem
feel powerless and have no
. Low self-esteem may clearly be reflected in
a person's appearance both through body language
and a neglected unkempt person. Or low self-esteem
may be masked by externalizing: when a person bases
their values not on their intrinsic worth as a
person but rather on things or people outside of
themselves such as designer clothes, six digit
incomes, or by being the "perfect student" or the
"perfect spouse." Persons with low self-esteem will
downplay their talents and feel insignificant. They
are often insecure in their relationships and are
easily influenced and manipulated by others. They
will avoid new opportunities that create stress.
They may be easily frustrated, become defensive and
How can I build my self-esteem?
Celebrate your strengths and achievements.
Acknowledge and forgive yourself for your
weaknesses. Use your mistakes as learning tools. A
balanced self-assessment, which recognizes and
accepts both one's strengths and
, is the foundation for strong healthy
self-esteem. Connect with others, compare and
compete with yourself. Use
thinking. Trust yourself and the process of