The Concept of Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a term used to describe self-image and one’s attitude to self. There are many benefits associated with having a positive view of the self. Those who have high self-esteem are psychologically healthy, and, as a result, they tend to lead a happy life. On the other hand, those who have low self-esteem are considered to be psychologically unhealthy (Baumeister, 1999, p. 680).
I have been struggling with low self-esteem since childhood. I attribute my situation to the fact that certain child experiences negatively influenced my attitude and view of myself. Besides, social comparison and the judgments people developed and held regarding me led to my low self-esteem as well. During my childhood, some of my peers and teachers often made negative remarks about the ways in which I acted or studied. Consequently, I lost confidence in my abilities since I was convinced that I could not accomplish anything (Cacioppo & Freberg, 2013, p. 34). Therefore, the area of self-esteem is challenging for me because I often think that I am unable to perform a certain task and I do not believe in myself.
There are many ways of enhancing self-esteem. For example, I may employ the six pillars of self-esteem to deal with my challenges (Branden, 1994, p. 16). I may overcome my distorted sel-image by practicing how to assert my boundaries and learning to effectively communicate with other people, since these skills are essential tools for healthy social relationships. Further, practicing volunteer work, I believe, will help me construct a better self-perception since it will be difficult for me to despise myself for helping other people. In addition, I may discover some hidden talents due to this strategy. Further, another strategy is to associate myself with people I admire (upward social comparison), so that I may reflect on my capabilities, which will help me improve my attitude towards myself (Coopersmith, 1967, p. 43).
Another strategy that I am planning to employ is reviewing my beliefs and values. In the process, I may find out that my values have changed since my childhood, and they may not have a negative influence on my self-esteem anymore. Additionally, acknowledging that taking action is the best way of boosting my self-esteem, I want to make sure that my actions match my belief and value systems (Branden, 1994, p. 12).
However, the most important strategy for increasing one’s self-esteem is actually loving oneself despite all the shortcommings. If I learn to love myself, I will develop a positive mindset. The strategy of the evaluation of the positive criticissm about myself will enhance the effect of the previous strategy even further. In most cases, self-esteem is associated with success that one achieves (Baumeister, 1999, p. 34). In this regard, I plan to set some tasks to accomplish, as well as short-term and long-term goals. The strategy will ensure that I do not overburden myself with tasks that are impossible to accomplish, but it will provide me with enough growth opportunities (Coopersmith, 1967, p. 3).
Finally, I will try to ensure that I accept the mistakes that I make. Besides, I will continuously work on my weaknesses in order to perfect my abilities to succeed in those areas that I am not bright at (Cacioppo & Freberg, p. 41).
In conclusion, self-esteem, both low and high, significantly influences people’s lives. The judgements individuals develop about themselves are not always accurate. As a result, persons may despise themselves or become too confident in their abilities. Thus, it is necessary to learn to evaluate oneself adequately. Since this area is challenging for me, I have to employ certain strategies of raising self-esteem. The most efficient ones include loving oneself, volunteering, setting and accomplishing goals, associating with the people I admire, acknowledging mistakes, and working on my weaknesses.