Elements of Self-Esteem

happymanBy Garry Jameson –

One cause of low self-esteem is guilt. Sometimes we feel too guilty to be lovable. If you done something you haven’t forgiven yourself for or feel in some way responsible for someone else’s pain, part of you may have concluded that you don’t deserve to be loved. If you believe that you’re unworthy of love, then any relationship you have will reflect this belief. If you feel that you don’t deserve the best in life then, without doubt, you won’t get the best. The quality of your life depends largely upon the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself.

Self-belief is the cornerstone of self-esteem. If I believe that I am worthless, no good and incapable, then my feelings about me will be reflected in my thoughts. My behavioral patterns will reflect my low self-opinion and so my whole experience of life, especially my love life, if I have one, will be low on quality and satisfaction.

When we are so lacking in self-esteem that we simply criticize and blame others or ourselves instead of doing something constructive to improve things, our behavior will always be ineffective.

If, however, my thoughts about me are supporting and validating and I believe that I am intrinsically a worthy person who deserves self-respect, then my feelings about me will be correspondingly positive. Hence my behavior will be creative and effective and I will succeed in making things happen in my life. Our self-belief, our thoughts about ourselves, directly affects our feelings that cause our behavior. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for things to change in the outside world. We can improve the quality of our lives by changing the way we think about ourselves. In so doing, we lay the foundations to bring our love life alive.

Self-esteem rests on self-acceptance, regardless of what we look like and what we are capable of doing. Liking comes after self-acceptance. Your liking for yourself will increase dramatically when you learn to accept yourself, the good bits and the shaky bits.

What are the main elements of self-esteem? People with high self-esteem have respect for themselves, they like themselves and they have a dear sense of purpose.

In order to facilitate further self-development it is important to differentiate between self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem is more than just self-confidence. Self-esteem, quite literally, is the value we put on ourselves, whereas self-confidence relates primarily to action and the completion of tasks.

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  1. Ashlee Stalling says:

    I have been trying to stay away from self help books lately as I really don’t think they can help me until I really learn to change how my brain sees things and my beliefs. Mae Chinn Songer has a great blog, and she teaches about changing the chemistry of your brain to get out of old habits and train your brain into having new habits. She talks about how self help books won’t really help until your mind is ready to not go back into old ways. It’s a pretty interesting concept I think, has anyone ever heard of this? If you have I would love to hear what your thoughts are on it, here is her blog addy, it is a great read…http://chinnsonger.com/mae-chinn-songer-blog/. Thanks!

  2. “The quality of your life depends largely upon the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself.” I totally agree with this. My question is what makes someone intrinsically valuable? If their worth is based on being human, then evolution tells us we’re nothing more than the result of random chance. Also, if it is a personal belief, and we’re all equal, then someone who says that person is not valuable is equally right. Is there something outside of human beliefs that makes a person valuable? If there isn’t, it seems like a happy hope to tell ourselves that might fail when our world collapses around us, when the world is screaming to us that we’re not valuable.

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