what is self esteem?
Confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.
Respect? a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Many psychologists think that high self-esteem has a positive effect on health, while low self-esteem has a negative effect on health.
It is on a spectrum, only you can really know how you feel. Accept yourself where ever you are at the moment and then treat yourself well, with self- compassion.
Self-esteem refers to our sense of self-worth, perceived value, or how much we like ourselves.
While there is little doubt that low self-esteem is problematic and often leads to depression and lack of motivation, trying to have higher self-esteem can also be problematic.
Attempts to raise self-esteem may result in narcissistic, self-absorbed behavior, or lead us to put others down in order to feel better about ourselves.
We might get angry and aggressive towards those who have said or done anything that potentially makes us feel bad about ourselves.
The need for high self-esteem may encourage us to ignore, distort or hide personal shortcomings so that we can’t see ourselves clearly and accurately.
Our self-esteem can be connected to our latest success or failure, ups and downs are normal, it is ok to remain balanced and not judge ourselves harshly
We are constantly working to be better than ourselves, better than we were the last time we tried and work towards goals, knowing that we are doing our best.
Self-compassion is extending compassion to one's self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering.
"Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?" -- Dr. Kristin Neff
Self-Compassion is not self-pity
three elements of self- compassion
Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment: Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.
Common humanity vs. Isolation: Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation – as if “I” were the only person suffering or making mistakes.
Mindfulness vs. Over-identification: We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Acknowledge it, feel what you feel, and let it go. The pain does not define you, the experience does not define you.
how do we comfort a friend?
Validation: let them know that their feelings are justified
Believe their experience
Ask them how you can support them
why is it so hard to love ourselves when that is all we need?
Some say that we give ourselves what we think we deserve, not what we actually deserve, we each deserve the best.
Sometimes we are taught that we don't deserve to be treated well and we need to unlearn that.
Oppression dynamics can lead us to believe that we don't deserve as much happiness as other people and we end up with internalized oppression
fleas in a jar
Sometimes the past and limitations of the adults in our life lead us to hold ourselves back
Remember that everything is constantly changing and the experience of the adult is at lead over a decade old, there is still a lot you can learn from them, by remember that you might have more opportunities than they did, or live in a more loving world, thankfully
We walk around with other people's beliefs
People do things from their own level of rationalization, they feel justified in how the feel and say and do based on what they learned. Not your fault.
We might think that other people will only love us if we do certain things and feel that we are supposed to fit someone else's expectations .
All bodies are beautiful, capitalism just tells us to buy things to feel "better".
Yes, movies, magazines, and media have literally and consciously been emotionally abusing us to sell us stuff this whole time.
how self esteem develops
we are on a quest for self- actualization
Personality traits of Self-Actualized People according to Maslow's studies: