What is the magic of self-esteem in our lives – when self-esteem goes up, our performance will goes up too. Simply put, self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. Our opinion of ourselves critically influences everything, from our performance at work, our relationships, and our role as a parent to our accomplishments in life. Self-esteem is a major component in determining success or failure. High self-esteem leads to a happy, gratifying, and purposeful life. Unless you perceive yourself as worthwhile, you cannot have high self-esteem. All great world leaders and teachers throughout history have concluded that one must be internally driven in order to be success.
We transfer our unconscious self-appraisal to others and they respond to us accordingly. People with high self-esteem grow in conviction, competence, and willingness to accept responsibility. They face life with optimism; have better relationships and fulfilling lives. They are motivated and ambitious. They are more sensitive. Their performance and risk-taking ability go up. They are open to new opportunities and challenges. They can give and receive criticism and compliments, tactfully, and with ease. Self-esteem is a feeling which comes from an awareness of what is good and having done it.
Self-esteem is our self-concept
There is a story about a farmer who planted pumpkins on his land. For no reason, he put a small pumpkin, hanging by the vine into a glass jar.
At harvest time, he saw the pumpkin had grown, equivalent only to the shape and size of the jar. Just as the pumpkin could not grow beyond the boundaries restricting it, human beings cannot perform beyond the boundaries of their self-concept, whatever it may be.
Some disavantages of high self-esteem
There is a direct relationship between people’s feelings and their productivity. High self-esteem is evident in respect for one’s self, others, property, law, parents, and one’s country. Self-esteem:
- Builds strong conviction
- Create willingness to accept responsibility
- Building optimistic attitudes
- Lead to better relationships and fulfilling lives
- Makes a person more sensitive to others’ needs and develop a caring attitude
- Make a person self-motivated and ambitious
- Make a person open to new opportunities and challenges
- Improve performance and increases risk-taking ability
- Help a person give and receive both criticism and compliments tactfully and easily
How do we recognize poor self-esteem? What are the behavior patterns of a person with poor self-esteem? The following is a brief list, which is not all inclusive but is indicative.
- They are generally gossipmongers
- They have a critical nature. They criticize as if there is a contest going on and they have to win a prize
- They have high egos – they are arrogant – and believe they know it all. People with low self-esteem are generally difficult to work with and for. They tear down others to get a feeling of superiority
- They are closed minded and self-centered
- They constantly make excuses – always justifying failures
- They never accept responsibility – always blaming others
- They have a fatalistic attitude – no initiative and always waiting for things to happen
- They are jealous by nature
- They are unwilling to accept positive criticism. They become defensive
- For more detailed behavior patterns of people with low self-esteem, ref to page 96.
Low self-esteem could lead to extremes of behavior. Person with high self-esteem could choose identical behavior for different reasons: he may be alone because he prefers solitude, whereas a person with low self-esteem prefers to be alone because he is uncomfortable in groups. Some characteristics of people with:
|High self-esteem||Low self-esteem|
|Talk about ideas
Courage of conviction
Concerned about character
Willing to learn
Discuss believes in self-worth
|Talk about people
Rebel against authority
Goes along to get along
Concerned about reputation
Blames the whole world
Know it all
Believes in net worth only
Distorted sense of freedom
Looks down on others
The objective of this list is to provide a basis for self-evaluation rather than produce guilt. It is not necessary to have all the traits. Some characteristics may be present to a greater or lesser degree. So long as we are able to recognize them, we can make an effort to correct ourselves.
They put on a mask
A young executive with poor self-esteem was promoted but he couldn’t reconcile himself to his new office and position. There was a knock at his door. To show how important and busy he was, he pick up the phone and then asked the visitor to come in. as the man waited for the executive, the executive kept talking on the phone, nodding and saying, “No problem, I can handle that”. After a few minutes he hung up and asked the visitor what he could do for him. The man replied, “Sir, I’m here to connect your phone”.
What is the message?
Why pretend? What are we trying to prove? What do we want to accomplish? Why do we need to lie? Why look for feelings of false importance? All of this comes from insecurity and poor self-esteem.
Our character can be judged by everything we do or don’t do, like or don’t like, such as:
- The kind of movies we enjoy
- The kind of music we listen
- The kind of company we keep or avoid
- The kind of jokes we tell or laugh at
- The kind of books we read
Every action of ours gives us away anyway, so why pretend? I believe that if a person lives with conviction, sensitivity, and cooperation, he can move others with his effort. That person becomes worthy of self-respect.
|Positive self-esteem||Negative self-esteem|
Self-esteem does not mean having a big ego. Unless a person is at peace with himself, he cannot be at peace with others. Just as we cannot give to others what we don’t have. Unless we posses the components of self-esteem, we cannot share it with others. We need to first get in touch with ourselves and put ourselves in order. Even in aircraft, the safety instruction tells you to put on an oxygen mask on yourself and then your child. We are not talking about selfish.
Self-esteem can be defined as the way we feel about ourselves. Self-image is the way we see ourselves. When we feel good our productivity goes up.
A Little Black Pen