It is a studied fact that having little self-regard leads people towards depression and prevents them from realizing their true potential. It mentally conditions them to tolerate abusive situations and blameful relationships.
Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in Narcissism, an enhanced sense of self where people feel entitled to success and think the world owes them for their efforts. It results in an inability to learn from failures. Successful people know how to walk this thin line between entitlement and depression, which we call – self-esteem.
Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself after judging and defining your beliefs. Self-esteem encompasses both beliefs ("I am an efficient manager.") and emotions (victory, grief). People assess their self-esteem with questions such as −
- “Am I worthy of this designation?”,
- “Am I living a fulfilling and happy life?”,
- “What is my worth in the eyes of my relatives?”.
People with low self-esteem tend to have a false, inferior evaluation of their own that makes them experience shame, dissatisfaction and guilt even after they perform well. People with low self-esteem should understand that they are better than what they rate themselves as.
People with low-esteem often feel helpless and powerless to take a stand. They don’t encourage new ventures and remain dissatisfied even after getting success. They tend to blame people for their mishaps and always compare themselves unfairly with others and resent in isolation.
This tendency to always stand in the line of fire, even if the blame should lie with someone else is called self-trap. People with low-esteem trap themselves deliberately in abusive relationships, so that they can continue a steady interaction with those people whom they admire and want to stay connected to.
While the cause of low self-esteem may vary from person to person, the underlying reasons for many people having low-esteem are abusive childhood, bullying, failures in relationship, loss in business, and the inability to live up to the expectations in domestic and professional life.
People with low self-esteem end up having a very negative and critical way of viewing themselves. It can even go to extent where people actually find solace when others find faults in them, because that reinstates their negative self-evaluation.
What can be clearly seen as a case of severe undermining of one’s own abilities, low self-esteem goes hand in hand with low self-confidence, although both are not the same thing − low self-esteem is a negative self-evaluation, whereas low self-confidence is a negative self-belief.
Do It Yourself Activity
Before we begin to practice self-esteem values in our life, it is necessary to realize where we stand on the positivity scale. The following exercise is designed to present a clear idea on how we view ourselves and how much improvement we need to bring in our thought process. You are requested to be as honest in your answers as possible.
A small tip − Write the first answer that comes to your mind.
Fill in the blanks with phrases that you would use to describe yourself in the following areas −
Download Try-it yourself sheet.