What is Self Esteem?: Psychological Meaning of Self Esteem

Self-esteem is the assessment, perception of positive or negative judgment that a person makes of themselves based on the evaluation of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

It is a Psychology term studied by various experts in the area; however, it is used in everyday speech to refer, in a general way, to the value that a person gives to himself.

Self-esteem is related to self-image, which is the concept one has of one’s own, and to self-acceptance, which is the self-recognition of qualities and defects.

How a person is valued is often influenced by external agents or the context in which the individual is so it can change over time.

In this sense, self-esteem can increase or decrease from emotional, family, social, or work situations, even by our positive or negative self-criticism.

Types of self-esteem.

In a general way, one can speak of two kinds of self-esteem, although they are not exclusive ideas since they can refer to different aspects of the human being.
That is to say; a person can have, for example, high self-esteem in terms of intellectual capacities but low self-esteem in other areas.

1) High self-esteem.

People with high self-esteem are characterized by high confidence in their abilities. In this way, they can make decisions, take risks, and face tasks with a high expectation of success; this is because they positively see themselves.
As our high self-esteem increases, we will feel better prepared, with higher capacity and willingness to perform various activities, we will have greater enthusiasm and desire to share with others.

2) Low self-esteem

People with low self-esteem may feel insecure, dissatisfied, and sensitive to criticism. Another characteristic of people with low self-esteem may be the difficulty of being assertive, that is, of claiming their rights appropriately.
Low self-esteem can derive for various reasons such as, for example, the valuation we make towards ourselves, the opinion we have of our personality, our beliefs, among others.
In the same way, sometimes they can try to please others to receive positive reinforcement and, in this way, increase their self-esteem.

Self-esteem in adolescence.

During adolescence, it is common for young people to have self-esteem problems. It is a period of growth and personal development in which the peer group, the family, and the media have a strong influence on the self-esteem of each individual.
It is not only about the value given to physical appearance, but also to one’s capacities and abilities, such as, for example, sports, intellectual, social, among others.
The expectations of others, comparisons, and personal references can exert intense pressure and generate insecurities in the adolescent in this time of change. Anorexia and bulimia, for example, are related to a person’s image and value.

Self-esteem and valuing.

Self-esteem is based on the value a person places on himself, which can be modified over time and requires adequate knowledge and personal acceptance.
A positive motivation when facing a specific task, emphasizing one’s qualities, increases the chances of success and therefore, self-esteem.

What If My Self-Esteem Is Low?

You can do things to feel better about yourself. It’s never too late. Here are some tips to raise your self-esteem: Be with people who treat you well. Some people act in ways that tear you down. Others lift you up by what they say and do. Learn to tell the difference. Choose friends who help you feel OK about yourself. Find people you can be yourself with. Be that type of friend for others.

Tune in to the voice in your head. Is it too critical? Are you too hard on yourself? For a few days, write down some of the things you say to yourself. Look over your list. Are these things you’d say to a good friend? If not, rewrite them in a way that’s true, fair, and kind. Read your new phrases often. Do it until it’s more of a habit to think that way. Accept what’s not perfect. It’s always good to do the best you can. But when you think you need to be perfect, you can’t feel good about anything less. Accept your best. Let yourself feel good about that. Ask for help if you can’t get past a need to be perfect. Set goals and work toward them. If you want to feel good about yourself, do things that are good for you. Maybe you want to eat a healthier diet, get more fit, or study better. Make a goal. Then make a plan for how to do it. Stick with your plan. Track your progress. Be proud of what you’ve done so far. Say to yourself, “I’ve been following my plan to work out every day for 45 minutes. I feel good about it. I know I can keep it up.”Focus on what goes well. Are you so used to talking about problems that they’re all you see? It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong. But unless you balance it with what’s good, it just makes you feel bad. Next time, catch yourself when you complain about yourself or your day. Find something that went well instead.
Give and help. Giving is one of the best ways to build self-esteem. Tutor a classmate, help clean up your neighborhood, walk for a good cause. Help out at home or at school. Make it a habit to be kind and fair. Do things that make you proud of the kind of person you are. When you do things that make a difference (even a small one) your self-esteem will grow.

Phrases about self-esteem.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will spend its life thinking it’s stupid.” Albert Einstein.
“Self-esteem is not as vile a sin as self-disregard.” William Shakespeare.
“Loving yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Oscar Wilde.
“We all know that self-esteem comes from what you think of yourself, not what others think of you.” Gloria Gaynor.
“There’s something worse than death, worse than suffering… and that’s when you lose your self-respect.” Sandor Márai.
“Do not live for your presence to be noticed, but for your absence to be felt.” Bob Marley

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