|01-21-2007, 08:48 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
I'd like to discuss with you the problem of self-esteem. I personally want to
get to the bottom of the matter because this question has bothered me
during all my life and all my other problems just fade in comparison with this
At school we were told that there's a formula for defining self-esteem:
self-esteem is to divide success by claims.
So, either you get more success or lower your claims.
I guess first I strove to achieve many goals and though in most cases I
succeded, still I almost didn't respected myself at all and feared much. Then I tried to do just the opposite - accept myself by no means and never try to change myself. I began to respect myself (at least I learnt what it was for the first time in my life), but the fear remained, I felt my self-esteem wasn't high enough and I after some time I wanted to grow and achieve goals and
change my personality again.
So first I tried to grow to booster my self-esteem, then I switched to
Steve's article "Self-Acceptance vs. Personal Growth" resolved my inner
conflict and I understood that both personal growth and self-acceptance are
important. However, I still don't see that the solution is living beyond linear
mindset and having a stable system of values.
For example, Steve says a lot of criticism will do him nothing - he'll just play
with his kids or go for a walk and his self-esteem won't suffer. I think he will
feel good after criticism poured at him not because his system of values is
stable, but because he has people who love him much. Going for a walk? It
can be pleasant also because in some place of this planet there are people
who love him. I think it would be very hard to have high self-esteem set on a
stable system of values, when a person is in prison, has no relatives, no
friends, only enemies, a lot of humiliation and offense (really sorry
for such dissapointing thoughts, but I'm just trying to get to the bottom of
this problem). It seems to me that our self-esteem totally depends on other
people, on the correlation of love and humiliation we get, on the amount of
our friends and enemies (if a person lives alone in the forest... let me
think...). I personally don't like this conclusion but it seems close to the truth.
So, I still can't find the answer, maybe together we smart people will solve this problem.
|01-22-2007, 02:54 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Origin of self-esteem
Self-esteem is based on your view of yourself. How you see yourself can be positive or negative depending on how you assess your self-image, feelings and your experiences. Self-esteem isn't supposed to depend on what other people think. It grows or shrinks based on your pride and level of self-respect. Esteem is sort of like confidence. Whether or not you trust or believe in yourself is often based on proving to yourself you can do things.
As a child, I read a series of "value tale books." These were stories written about lessons learned by people who lived meaningful lives helping others. Each inspirational person in these books and in my life has taught me the value in learning to be myself and love myself. Self- esteem is grounded in loving myself regardless of how other people judge. I learn to rise above it.
Your example of "a prisoner with no relatives, no friends, only enemies, a lot of humiliation and offense" assumes the person committed a crime and feels guilty. This person's level of self-esteem would still begin inside. We each have a choice to allow our esteem to be highly-influenced by people outside ourselves or not.
Think of an individual like Anthony Robbins. Back in the 1980s, he was an obese janitor with little money, low self-worth and low self-esteem. At one point, he decided in his own mind that he didn't like his life so he acted to change it. He took the first step. Then, he reached out to find people who encouraged him. As he proved he could lose weight and get healthier, this helped him build confidence. He develoepd a business based on his attitude it was possible, his desire to learn and share knowledge with others. You might check out some of his books.
|01-22-2007, 03:35 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney Australia
You spoke about fear. Fear is always with-holding love from yourself, and from that (amongst many other things) comes low self esteem. Sometimes whilst it appears all we want is to be loved, we sometimes forget that we need to love ourselves.
|01-22-2007, 04:18 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
When concerning self-esteem, a valid support system like family and friends can be a worthy asset to have on your side. If other people also believe in you, it is a gigantic confidence booster. But it is not a necessity. If you believe in yourself and believe that you can accomplish anything, then you are all you need. Perhaps doing some motivational reading can boost your spirits. Know that you are an individual with amazing powers and can accomplish (almost) anything you set your mind to. It's just a matter of doing it. Accepting yourself vs. making yourself better is something else. I'll have to read that Steve Pavlina article again.
|01-22-2007, 06:44 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Thanks for your post.
Firstly on the issue of defining self esteem: is it more important to you define self esteem or to have self esteem? Perhaps it's impossible to havea n all encompassing universally accepted definition of esteem, or any other word for that matter.
So then it becomes important to ask what does self esteem mean to you? That's the first question I ask my clients when they come to me: what does _______ mean to you?
They'll start off with a fuzzy definition and I'll help them clear it up. When you get really clear on what you want, getting it becomes easier.
I have my own definition of self esteem, which fits into my definition of self confidence.
Finally I'd like to ask is self esteem an end in itself for you? Or merely a means to an end? For example do you want to feel valuable inside or do you want to have self esteem because you feel you need it to accomplish something? It might be worthwhile looking at what exactly you want, you maybe caught up in a how.
I trust this helps, lots of love,
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