Self Esteem

An individual with healthy self esteem typically feels good about themselves and can cope effectively when faced with challenging or trying circumstances. They remain resilient enough to adapt and move on successfully.

Build up your self-esteem by surrounding yourself with supportive people, practicing gratitude, avoiding comparison traps, and taking risks to increase growth.

What Is Self Esteem?

Self esteem refers to a sense of subjective personal worth or value and influences how individuals think, feel, and behave. Also referred to as self-respect, self-worth, or confidence, some individuals possess healthy levels of this trait while others can have low or high ones.  People with lower self-esteem often believe they are inferior, while those with healthy levels can take risks without feeling anxious or threatened about trying new experiences.

Psychologists typically view self-esteem as occurring on a continuum.  Some people have high self-esteem that seems disproportional to their achievements and actions, while others feel they lack value and have low self-worth.

High self-esteem is often linked with being resilient, being able to handle failure with grace, setting realistic expectations and accepting themselves as they are. A healthy sense of self-esteem also allows individuals to recognize both their strengths and weaknesses.  People with healthy self-esteem can differentiate between their “inner critic,” who may be critical and judgmental, and “inner coach”, who provides encouragement and motivation.  Using this distinction, they can identify sources of negative self-talk in order to confront or change it.

Numerous factors can impact one’s self-esteem, such as family and culture, life experiences, personality traits and the people one spends time with. Furthermore, they may pick up messages about themselves from media sources as well as friends and colleagues.

An individual with low self-esteem often compares themselves to others and finds it hard to accept flaws or mistakes they made, becoming disillusioned and losing control over their life. If this continues, they could experience depression or anxiety, resulting in them making bad choices that eventually lead them down an eating disorder path or substance abuse issues.

Other symptoms of low self-esteem include feeling powerless, believing no one will help them, and an irrational fear of rejection or abandonment. These symptoms may lead to school dropout, teenage pregnancy, unintended pregnancies or even suicide.

Why Is Self Esteem Important?

People with healthy self-esteem can recognize and value the positive qualities in themselves. While they accept that flaws exist and should be worked on, these aren’t something they dwell upon too much.

A healthy self-esteem can play an essential role in finding success in every aspect of your life, from career advancement to romantic partnerships. A positive self-image allows you to remain motivated in pursuit of your goals, with an increased confidence in yourself and abilities. In addition, self-esteem provides essential resilience against challenges faced in everyday life while helping put negative experiences in context.

Although many factors can impact on one’s self-esteem, the relationship with yourself can play a crucial role. Being intimately acquainted with yourself provides you with resilience, love, compassion and motivation that might otherwise be hard to come by elsewhere.

To build high self-esteem, shy individuals need to practice expressing themselves and breaking out of their comfort zones more. View any failure as an opportunity and move forward with confidence.  People with low self-esteem often fear doing this for fear that others will judge them.  Those with high self-esteem don’t mind if others disagree, and know that everyone has their own opinions that are worth hearing and deserve respect.

An effective way to support healthy self-esteem is taking time out for yourself, be it meditation, exercising or spending quality time with loved ones and friends. Giving back can also boost your mood; volunteering at local charities, tutoring someone in the neighborhood, or walking for causes you support are all great ways of giving back.

Self-esteem is a subjective measurement and will vary for everyone, as it relies heavily on one’s perceptions of themselves, such as personality traits, accomplishments, skills and talents, physical body size, and relationships.  Therefore, some attributes could receive more weight than others.

How Can I Increase My Self Esteem?

There are various strategies you can employ to boost your self-esteem. If your inner voice is full of negative messages, try countering them with positive affirmations statements and practicing gratitude journaling.

Another effective way to increase your self-esteem is by pushing beyond the confines of your comfort zone. People with low self-esteem tend to shy away from new challenges or opportunities out of fear that failure or rejection might happen.  However, by staying out of such situations altogether you reinforce the notion that you don’t deserve to conquer, improve, or succeed.

Practice healthy lifestyle habits such as getting enough rest and physical activity. Surround yourself with supportive people as their presence can have a direct effect on your self-esteem.

Avoid making comparisons to others, which can reduce feelings of pride and self-worth. Remember that everyone makes mistakes.  Don’t judge yourself too harshly when something goes wrong, being human involves mistakes!

Finally, it’s crucial that you learn how to say no. Being too accommodating with others can be detrimental to your self-esteem.  Furthermore, learning how to say no can improve your ability to set realistic goals for yourself.

Be mindful that chronic low self-esteem could be a telltale sign of something more serious. For these instances, consulting with a licensed therapist is advised. 

Being confident about yourself can help you meet all your personal and professional goals, no matter the field in which they lie. Unfortunately, however, not everyone finds this easily.  Some struggle with low self-esteem throughout their lives. To overcome such feelings, it’s key to know what actions to take and when.

Signs Of Low Self Esteem?

People’s self-perception and confidence tends to fluctuate daily depending on their experiences. An exam grade, an argument with a friend or changes in a relationship can temporarily alter one’s perceptions about themselves.  However, when their self-esteem remains consistently low, it can have serious ramifications on both mental and physical wellbeing.

Low self-esteem symptoms often include feeling like you don’t deserve good treatment, that your problems are too big and no one will ever love or accept you. With these feelings in the mix, it can be impossible to be truly happy in life.  Low self-esteem can lead to motivation issues when setting goals, or giving in to addictions or unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating.

Another sign of low self esteem is being critical and abusive toward yourself. Scolding yourself when making mistakes or calling yourself names are both damaging to mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s essential to recognize and defy your inner critic in favor of more positive self-talk.  One way is to pretend like talking with a friend instead!

Other symptoms of low self esteem can include an inability to accept compliments, finding it hard to trust others, and overfocusing on negative aspects of life. These could be symptoms of anxiety disorders, depression or eating disorders.

If you find yourself suffering from symptoms related to low self-esteem or confidence issues, seeking professional guidance could help immensely. Therapy or counseling sessions could identify the source of low self-esteem while teaching you techniques to boost both. Therapists or counselors could help identify causes for low self-esteem, as well as teaching effective techniques that increase confidence and opinion of oneself. Therapists or counselors could also teach how to set realistic expectations of yourself while creating healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress more effectively.

Self Efficacy

Self efficacy refers to your belief that you can accomplish any task at hand; noted social psychologist Albert Bandura called it “a person’s sense of personal agency.” Self efficacy can be strengthened through various experiences, positive feedback from others and physiological arousal.  Its strength also depends on your belief system.  Those with an internal view see their actions determining outcomes, while those with an external view see other people or chance events as the sources.

Individuals with strong self efficacy tend to be more successful at work and other aspects of life, including creativity and risk taking. Individuals who lack a healthy sense of self efficacy may suffer anxiety and find tasks more challenging, according to research conducted by Julian Rotter. 

When we possess a strong sense of self-efficacy, we are more likely to be motivated and take proactive steps towards achieving our goals. Believing in our ability to succeed increases our drive and determination, enabling us to overcome obstacles and persist in the face of setbacks.

Self-efficacy acts as a protective shield during challenging times. Those with higher levels of self-efficacy are better equipped to bounce back from failures and setbacks. They view these experiences as learning opportunities and are more likely to persevere and try again, rather than giving up.

The key distinction between self-esteem and self-efficacy lies in their focus and scope. While self-esteem relates to our overall perception of self-worth and acceptance, self-efficacy is more specific, revolving around our belief in our ability to perform particular tasks or succeed in certain domains. Self-esteem encompasses our general sense of self, while self-efficacy pertains to our confidence in accomplishing specific goals or challenges.

Another crucial difference is that self-esteem is more stable and less susceptible to change, while self-efficacy can be developed and enhanced through various means. Building self-esteem often involves addressing deeper emotional issues and developing a positive self-concept. On the other hand, enhancing self-efficacy requires identifying specific goals, acquiring relevant skills, and gaining experience in the desired domain.

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