Understanding Self-Esteem

by | Jul 14, 2020 | Blog Post, Understanding Series, Wellbeing | 0 comments

What is Self-Esteem?

SELF-ESTEEM refers to an individual’s own sense of value and worth; how a person values, appreciates and approves of themselves. Often spoken as a measure of one’s self-worth, a global recognition that all humans are worthy of love. Self-esteem can be simplified as one’s attitude towards themselves, or how they view oneself. 

Self-Esteem

HOW IS SELF-ESTEEM DIFFERENT FROM SELF-CONFIDENCE, SELF-CONCEPT & SELF-IMAGE?

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SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONFIDENCE:

These two terms are used very often as synonyms; however, there are considerable differences. Self-confidence as a quality involves external circumstances – for example, a person good at a task possesses the quality of self-confidence, whereas self-esteem is more to do with the internal measures of how a person views themselves. It can so happen many times that a person with self-confidence may have a very distorted sense of self.

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SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONCEPT:

Self-concept is the awareness of qualities that a person possesses based on their habits, skill set, temperament, etc, while self-esteem is an attitude based on how a person views themselves on the basis of the qualities present.

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SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-IMAGE:

Very similar to self-concept, self-image is the perception we have about ourselves, it can be a true or perceived image about ourselves and our self-esteem can be altered based on these assumptions.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORS OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM 

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BLOCKING CRITICISMS:

Constructive criticism is a positive way in which one can understand their drawbacks and improvise, if so. Criticism can be a threat for people with low self-esteem and they can view it as being judged or ridiculed. This behaviour however, can be very subjective depending on the personality of the person.

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SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL:

Lack of good self-esteem can make a person fearful of social settings. Due to the fear of being judged by others, people with low self-esteem tend to avoid social gatherings.

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UNRESOLVED PERSONAL PROBLEMS

We all have problems, but the lack of self-esteem can be the reason where those problems are not met with solutions due to the person’s perception of their inability to solve them. The lack of self-esteem can also result in toxic relationships, causing problems.

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CONSTANT COMPARISON:

When one is not aware of their internal qualities, they tend to compare themselves constantly with others and often believe that others are better than them. This also leads them to be socially withdrawn and are hence they are very sensitive to criticism. 

Self-Esteem

TIPS TO HELP SOMEONE WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM:

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UNDERSTAND THEM:

One of the main things that one should be aware of is recognizing their emotions. How they feel about certain situations and life in general can make one aware of their feelings. It is only when you realise their perspective, you can try and get them the help they require.

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LISTEN:

Be a good listener, pay attention to how they talk about themselves, their hobbies and even how they think about others in general (eg- frequent comparisons) this will give you a clear picture of their reasons for low self-esteem.

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ENCOURAGE:

When you are sure and aware that a person around you has low self-esteem, one thing that you can do to try and get them out of their shell is encourage them. This can come from a simple compliment for an accomplishment, asking for their help for something they are good at or are passionate about. This will allow them to understand their worth, while they work towards their own self-image.

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SEEK COUNSELLING:

Counselling can be a good way in which the individual with low self-esteem can help themselves and reduce their burdens of what is causing this issue with professional help. Suggesting counseling would help the individual to pay attention to developing and balancing their self-image and self-worth in a healthy way.

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INCLUDE THEM:

This can be one of the ways in which you could help a person with low self-esteem. Invite them to gatherings or social events like lunch and get together. This will help them explore and mingle with different people and give them a new perspective of life. They will have the courage to explore parts of their personality and will also be of great help when it comes to viewing themselves from other people’s perspective.

KNow THE CYCLE OF SELF-ESTEEM

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EXPLORE:

Exploration begins when one starts introspecting within themselves. Exploring the qualities that a person has in them, i.e. their strengths and weaknesses will make them aware of their uniqueness and resulting in higher self-worth

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AWARE:

Being aware about yourself, your emotions and your actions, can make a huge difference to your perceived sense of self. When an individual is aware of themselves, they automatically start valuing the qualities. This can have an positive impact on their sense of self. 

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SELF-IMAGE AND YOU:

Low self-esteem can come from a distorted self-image; sometimes we perceive ourselves to have certain qualities, which in reality can be completely opposite from our perceptions. Instead of perceiving your qualities, embrace your strengths, and help them grow. This will eventually come in when there is exploration and awareness. Focusing on self-concept rather than self-image will enhance your self-esteem. 

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ACCEPT:

If you think others are better than you, stop right there! Not one single person is similar to the other let alone being better; we all are made of different, just like the two shades of green and red. Accepting that you have certain qualities and focusing on bettering the others, will automatically boost your self-esteem. There is always scope for change and with acceptance one will be able to understand what qualities need to be altered and enhanced.

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INCLUDE THEM:

This can be one of the ways in which you could help a person with low self-esteem. Invite them to gatherings or social events like lunch and get together. This will help them explore and mingle with different people and give them a new perspective of life. They will have the courage to explore parts of their personality and will also be of great help when it comes to viewing themselves from other people’s perspective.

ACTIVITIES TO BOOST SELF- ESTEEM:

 

It is vital to realise that self-esteem is an internal concept and you and only you can be the pillar of strength for yourself can lead to good self-esteem. Here are a few things you can do to increase your self-esteem.

Self-Esteem
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POSITIVE AFFIRMATION POSTERS:

Telling yourself that you are capable of giving and receiving all the good things in life is very important; once you are accustomed to this, it will always be a part of your everyday life, no matter what you do. Create a poster consisting of positive affirmations and read it every day – e.g.: Today I am going to be happy and productive; I am capable of achieving what I set my eyes on.

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“STRENGTH” TO-DO LIST:

As mentioned earlier, each one is unique and the only way you will know your uniqueness is by introspecting. So make a strength to-do list, where you can write on your strengths and try to build them up. You can also make a list of qualities that you would want to imbibe and work on them.

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JOURNALING:

The importance of journaling cannot be emphasized; maintaining a journal will help you track your behaviour and help you realise what are the things that you should pay attention to and also lessen comparisons. 

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SELF-CARE THERAPY - EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL

One should engage in self-care activities such as meditation and grooming, and even therapy; this will heal you both internally and externally. Do things that make you happy, feel good about yourself this will automatically start building your confidence.

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