What is self-esteem?

We hear a lot about how we must have ‘High self-esteem’ to thrive in life, but what exactly does it mean and how do you get it? Read on to find out…

What is Self- Esteem?

I define Self- Esteem as the deep relationship you have with yourself. It often manifests itself as an internal dialogue where you mentally evaluate your own worth as a human being. Having a healthy view of yourself is a key pillar of your mental health and wellness, and esteem has long been recognised as a primary human need by psychologists.

Abraham Maslow is famed for his assessment of the hierarchy of human needs and describes esteem as the need for self-respect in the form of self-love, self-confidence, skill, or aptitude’. 

Maslows Heirarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Another giant of American psychology Carl Rogers said that ‘Self-esteem is important because it shows ourselves how we view the way we are and the sense of our personal value. Thus, it affects the way we are and act in the world and the way we are related to everybody else’

What does high and low self-esteem look like?

The key to having high self-esteem is not relying on the opinion of others for it. When you allow yourself to be at the centre of your own worth, life feels more stable. If you have high self worth, you are much more likely to be skilled in the practice ‘self-love’ which will sooth you in challenging times. If you have a view of yourself which is largely defined by the opinion of others, this means relying more on external validation for your self-worth, which can lead to low self-esteem if validation is withdrawn.

What’s the difference between Self-Esteem and self confidence?

I define self-confidence as an external display of how we feel inside, it’s how we manifest our feelings about ourselves to the world. Most outwardly self-confident people have high self-esteem but not always. Most of us are able to sense when someone is truly confident as they tend to be relaxing to be around, are non-judgemental and have an easy air of cheeriness about them. On the flip side, we’ve all met people who we might describe as ‘cocky’, or who dominate conversations, and can create tension in situations and conversations. This kind of behaviour which seems outwardly confident can sometimes be an over-compensation for low-self esteem.

How do you get High Self-Esteem?

This is one of life’s holy grails so here are some of my Top Tips for you on ‘How to get Watertight Self-Esteem’.

  1. Write down your life values and know that they form the foundation of who you are and what you represent in the world
  2. Accept compliments readily. If someone says ‘You were great in that meeting’ say ‘thank you’ and move on
  3. Look at yourself in the mirror and say the following words ‘I am proud of who you are and everything you’re doing in the world. I have love and respect for you’
  4. Write down 5 things you like about yourself and display them somewhere at home where you can see them
  5. Don’t get involved with gossip which belittles others. Focus on people’s positive qualities where you can
  6. Praise others for their accomplishments; it will make you feel strong and powerful
  7. Always see yourself as anyone’s equal
  8. Re-frame the idea of ‘your mistakes‘. Life is full of decisions and choices. So what if you took a ‘wrong’ turn? I bet you will have learnt something from it. Take something from each situation and move forward
  9. Try not to envy others. This is particularly true in the age of boastful social media. Look at what you have and what you’re doing in your life. Focus on building your own healthy foundation and don’t waste time looking at others.
  10. Buy yourself some self-help books on the topic. I highly recommend The Self-Esteem companion by Dr Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

If you’d like more information on my Workshop on ‘How to get Watertight Self-Esteem’, I’d love to hear from you so Email me today and let’s chat. I guarantee you will come out brimming with tips, tricks and positivity.

As always, Stay Well – Natasha x