Self esteem is a person’s general sense of their self-worth or value. It basically means the measure with which a person approves or values his or herself. Morris Rosenberg simply described it as a person’s favorable or unfavorable attitude towards themselves.
Different factors contribute to influence our self esteem such as: Genetics, personalities, life experiences, thoughts, age, health, comparing self to others, social circumstances and the reaction of others.
Why is Self Esteem Important?
Self-esteem is very crucial in life as it is one of the determinants of success or failure. It is very important because it influences a person’s life choices. It plays a significant role in one’s motivation in life. Having a high self-esteem can help you navigate through life with a positive attitude and outlook. On the other hand, having a low self esteem might hold you back from achieving to your goals and hinder you from maximizing your potential as you will navigate through life always having the perception that you are not good enough or you don’t have what it takes to succeed both at school or work. Self esteem is also very important for mental health.
Types of Self Esteem
There are three (3) types of self esteem. They are inflated self esteem, low self-esteem and high self-esteem.
LOW SELF-ESTEEM: People who have low self esteem, think of themselves as below average. They do not believe in themselves, they do not trust in their abilities and they do not place value on themselves. Low self-esteem can affect a lot of things in one’s life. Some of the effects of low self-esteem are poor relationships, addiction, depression and anxiety.
- Poor relationships: Low self-esteem causes poor relationships because of self-doubt and the belief that one is not good enough for anything of value and going to unbelievable lengths to please the wrong people.
- Addiction: People who have low self-esteem mostly tend to use hard drugs and substances to ease the negative feeling they have about themselves. They see the use of hard drugs or alcohol as an escape and thereby exposing themselves to detrimental effects.
- Depression and anxiety: Low self-esteem also causes depression and anxiety which is the feeling of sadness and worry or fear. Low self-esteem brings a lack of confidence that leads to anxiety and intense sadness.
HIGH SELF-ESTEEM: People who have high self-esteem tend to love and accept themselves. They believe in themselves and their abilities. They have the confidence that whatever challenges might come, they will be able to surpass it. Some of the benefits of high self-esteem includes being able to be yourself without the fear of being judged, readiness to accept new challenges, not always searching for approval from other people, readiness to learn new things as you accept that you do not know everything and also take corrective criticism. People who have high self-esteem have enhanced initiatives and pleasant feelings and they are more pleasant to be around.
INFLATED SELF-ESTEEM: People with inflated self-esteem tend to think of themselves as better than other people and are always ready to underestimate others. This is actually a very negative type of self-esteem because it prevents people who have it from forming meaningful and healthy relationships. They always want to be ahead and most times do not mind hurting people to achieve the success they desire, thinking that will bring them happiness.
People with inflated self-esteem do not have the ability to listen to others . Rather, they constantly blame others and undervalue them and also adopt a hostile attitude and behavior toward others. They are always ready to brag to hide their incompetence and they have a great fear of rejection and failure hence the reason they feel the need to camouflage. People like this can change but it has to start with them accepting it. They need to realize that they are humans who are prone to fail and make mistakes.
Generally, self esteem is one of the determinants of excellence in life.