Our Self Esteem and Us | Part 1

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3 years ago

Self Esteem


Self-esteem has ceased to be a topic of academic interest and has now become a subject which impacts our life. Let’s take a closer look and understand how it impacts our life. 

We have heard a lot and spoken a lot about self-esteem, from Maslow’s Hierarchy to our neighbor’s child’s high school project. Therefore, the inference is that we know what self-esteem is all about, and hence we know how to reach that stage in Maslow’s Hierarchy, don’t we? Then the question is, why are so many people suffering from what psychologists term as ‘low self-esteem? Let’s explore the answer together.

Does It Hurt to Have a Low Self Esteem?


No, the answer is a resounding NO. 

Definitely not, unless a person’s low self-esteem pushes him or her to the extreme ends of depression and, therefore, harms his or her life. If these cases are anyways far and few, then what is the fuss all about? How does it matter if I have high or low self-esteem?

Well, the difference is in the way you live your life. A person with high self-esteem has a healthy personality, is more open to the world, sees friends wherever he or she goes, appreciates all that he or she has, feels that they can achieve anything, and will achieve it. Most of all, consider most of the things in life as a blessing. On the other hand, a person with low self-esteem is cautious, worried, angry, does not have many friends, does not have an appreciation for the things he or she owns, and even if they win a grand lottery of $10 million (highly unlikely with their frame of mind!) will soon lose the excitement and start worrying about new things.

Besides, a person with low self-esteem would never realize his/her real potential; forget potential, the person may not even know he/she is capable of anything more than what his surroundings have taught them to believe. There are enough and more studies to relate health conditions to low self-esteem. Can we imagine what low self-esteem could do to our health? Constant anger, resentment, and worries all lead to something we so fondly call “stress”. And coronary disease, cancer, and many other deadly ailments have to stress as one of their root causes. So, can we see the relation between low self-esteem and ailments?

Let’s Step Back | What Is Self Esteem?


Self-Esteem, in simpler terms, means Self-Appraisal. What is self-appraisal? Self-appraisal is how we rate ourselves. Remember that annual appraisal cycle in our workplace? We rate ourselves on the work that we had done in the past year, and that value is used to appraise ourselves. This rating further impacts the money we earn. Simple, right?

Similarly, our sub-conscious constantly appraises us on what we can do or what we can’t do, and from that appraisal, we rate ourselves as “good” or “bad”. The information that our sub-conscious has is something that is picked up from our surroundings. It includes the views of everyone from our family, friends, teachers, and even strangers in many cases. So, long as this information from the sub-conscious is positive, the person leads a life of high self-esteem. However, if it is negative, then the person lives a life of low self-esteem and constant friction.

Circling Back | Low Self-Esteem


Now that we understand self-esteem, let's go a bit deeper into low self-esteem and understand how it works. In other words, how it inhibits us from working well.

1. A child’s brain is responsive to all the stimuli it receives from its environment. So, if we had a childhood where our friends, family (inadvertently), or others constantly told us why we were not good or why things are bad out there, then our subconscious, which is like a sponge, absorbs these things and stores it


2. Now, the problem with the subconscious is that it not only stores but also relays


3. As the child grows, the sub-conscious starts relaying the message back to his conscious mind


4. So, what does that do? Let’s assume that the child was brought up believing that all opportunities are with strings attached and that he/she should be cautious. The chances are that when a real opportunity is presented to that person, he or she may simply run away from that opportunity thinking that it is evil or it will harm them


5. Also, the sub-conscious is so powerful that it emits these messages constantly to us, without us realizing. This is what we call self-talk or inner voice. Can we now hear our inner voice telling us – “don’t take up that numbers job, you are bad at numbers”, “don’t talk to that sweet talker, he is here to take your job”, “they don’t appreciate your work” and “no matter what you do, they are not going to give you a good salary”


6. So, when the negative inner voice keeps telling us that we are not good at something, we can imagine the consequences. A life of regrets, anger, and a lifetime playing a victim. A feeling that the other person has an advantage over us in life; even if the person does not have an apparent advantage


7. This, therefore, is the way a person leads a life of low self-esteem

But What Is The Point of Discussing Low Self Esteem?


The discussion shows us that we may subconsciously live a life of fear and regret, which we don’t deserve. Low self-esteem is nothing but mediocre programming of our minds that can be changed when we want to change. But without knowing that a change is possible, people tend to live their entire life hoping to make ends meet. That’s not how we have to live.

Each one of us is a piece of art when we are born. But only 5-6% of that art becomes a masterpiece. In other words, 5-6% of the human population are the only ones achieving unthinkable heights of success. Why is that? This is not because of the incapability of the rest of the 95%, but because of their incorrect appraisal of themselves. This incorrect appraisal leads to just one outcome – low self-esteem.

When you know that your life is not etched in stone, but something you can erase and write again, then low self-esteem becomes just another chapter to be rewritten. But how will you rewrite if you do not know about your self-esteem to start with? That is the whole point of our discussion.

Parting Thoughts


To a good extent, our self-esteem is a reflection of what we had picked up from our environment and what we keep reasserting to ourselves. All we need to look at are ways to undo this unhealthy inner-voice. Once done, we relieve ourselves from the non-helpful chatter. And then we are free to create a healthy life!


*Remember, the shift from nothingness to awesomeness is quite quick! 😊*



Image Courtesy: Master Isolated at Freedigitalphotos.net || Yassay at Pixabay


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Written by
3 years ago


It is a very good article to recommend. Self-esteem is a mental process that can be learned. The most important thing is for the person to realize their low self-esteem and start working on what is important and great about themselves.

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3 years ago

That's true @gertu13. There are people going through life on autopilot without realizing that they can be better than they are. About time people realized and changed.

P.S. - Thanks for the tip! That's a lot! :)

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3 years ago

It is nothing. Keep going with these good articles for self-improvement.

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3 years ago