Self- esteem is important to your mental and emotional well-being. One of the problems is we often don’t take much thought about how it works. Here are 3 things to consider about self-esteem.
1. The way you see yourself
• You are influenced by your parents (or lack of a parent), siblings, extended family, teachers and others. These images are often distorted or presented with biases presented by those individuals.
An example, you mother always wanted to be an athlete, she pushed you to excel in sports, and you are not good at it. The message becomes you are a failure because you are not good at sports. These images are obviously distorted by her bias.
• Messages you received from people in your life become part of the scripts play out. It could be said you feel most comfortable with people where scripts they follow match the ones you are most familiar with from the past.
• Looking into a good quality mirror the image seen represents you. Some of the messages from childhood are more like looking into a fun house mirror. The person in the glass is distorted. In the same way the fun house mirror represents some truths about what you look like, the messages from childhood may shed light on some truths about you. It is the distortions that lead to developing a poor self-image.
2. Concept- What you believe about yourself
The beliefs you form from self-images are the components of self- concept. This is what you actually believe to be true. This does not mean it IS true
• Belief is a strong part of who we are at any moment in time. It provides structure to understand self. You’re your beliefs are distorted self-concept will be skewed. Some parts may seem true and others do not fit or make sense.
• The more accurately what you believe is based in the truth about yourself the more likely you are to have a healthy self-concept.
3. Value- What you decide is important
To value something means simply we attribute significance or worth to it. I hope you see how it is a function of your choice to attribute worth to who you believe yourself to be. It cannot be someone else actually making you have self-esteem. It has to come from within you.
• The way self-esteem works is not simply based on emotions. It must be built from having a clear image of self. It helps to have people who will accurately reflect what they see honestly and openly.
• From this healthy image comes an accurate belief not rooted in distortions. This belief is then the foundation for attributing value to who you really are at this point in time.
Yes, self-esteem changes over time. There are times you may feel your esteem is high and others low. Remember YOU decide what value you put on what is believed.
The way you see, believe and value yourself makes a significant difference in how you approach most things in life. Take the time to consider these 3 things about self-esteem. It can really make a difference.