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Guest articles > Self-Esteem
by: Margaret Francis
Self Esteem is the opinion of an individual about himself and appreciation of his worth and importance. It depends on his attitude especially how he values himself as a person. It also depend on other areas particularly job, the purpose of life, independency, Place in the world, potential success, strength and weaknesses, Social status, and how he relate himself with others.
Self-esteem is basically depends on an individuals confidence and satisfaction about his skills and abilities, and it is usually achieved through experiences of personal success. Self-esteem facilitates an individual to cope up with difficult challenges when it arise and give a faith to overcome it.
Some people have low self esteem. Low self esteem is the result of having a poor self image caused by the unhealthy attitude. Instead of the above, some people have high self esteem. They will be confident and able to tackle problematic situations in their life. They will be always happy and sure about themselves. They have lack of anxiety and able to say no when ever required. They are highly motivated and have the right attitude about their life and they will succeed. Self esteem is the corner stone of success. However low self esteem has two faces. One is the personality that seems to always be the under achiever with a negative attitude about their life. The other face is the person who seems very confident, very control, very opinionated, positive feature, and often has high leadership qualities. Self esteem always depends upon the personality of an individual. People who have high leadership skill, independence, self reliance have high self esteem. They are able to say kind “No” when ever required. They will be relaxed and happy due to their positive attitude about their life.
An individual develop his self esteem from his family. Family members play a very vital role in the personality formation of an individual. High parental self esteem influences the personality of a child. The school environment also plays an important role in the development and the creation of self esteem among the children. People who have high self esteem have low self destructive behavior. Self Esteem can be improved through proper socialization.
Some people always feel inferior and unable to face the obstacles in their life. They always be submissive and accept what ever others are saying. This kind of attitude will loose their self respect and confidence. Others will take advantage of their demerits. In this situation they need to avoid the company of such people and should be able to find the people who will support them and give value to their abilities.
A global feeling of self-esteem is widely recognized as a central aspect of psychological functioning and well-being (Jahoda, 1958, Kaplan, 1982; Rosenberg, 1985). Self-esteem has been shown to be related to many psychological as well as behavioral variables. Compared to adolescents with low self-esteem, high self-esteem youth are less depressed, are more satisfied with life, and they rank lower on psychological and psycho-physiological measures of anxiety, on overt aggression, irritability, and anomie (Rosenberg, 1985). It reveals that, self-esteem is interrelated to important aspects of psychological well-being. In addition, global self-esteem seems to be a relatively stable characteristic that does not change very easily (O'Malley and Bachman, 1983). The importance of self-esteem implies that it can be expected that unfavorable living conditions will have implications for feelings of self-worth.
There is a general agreement that self-esteem and academic achievement is closely related, even though there is considerable disagreement as to the specific nature of this relationship. It has been argued that students have to do well in school in order to have positive self-esteem or self-concept; another position is that a positive self-esteem is a necessary pre requisite for doing well in school.
Covington (1989) reported that as the level of self-esteem increases, so do achievement scores; as self-esteem decreases, achievement scores decline. Furthermore, he concluded that self-esteem can be modified through direct instruction and that such instruction can lead to achievement gains.
Specifically, students’ perceived efficacy to achieve, combined with personal goal setting, has been found to have a major impact on academic achievement. Holly (1987) compiled a summary of some 50 studies and indicated that most supported the idea that self-esteem was more likely the result than the cause of academic achievement. He did acknowledge that a certain level of self-esteem is required in order for a student to achieve academic success and that self-esteem and achievement go hand in hand. They feed each other. Conrath (1986) states that the best way for a child to sustain a sense of confidence is to acquire and demonstrate competence. He found that self-confidence will emerge with success in skill development and learning. Thus, the key point is to help students set meaningful and realistic goals.
However, the debate about which comes first a positive self-concept or academic achievement is more academic than practical. The most important thing is to appreciate the interaction and the reciprocal dynamics between self-concept and achievement. They are mutually reinforcing. While there may be little justification for embarking on a program to raise the level of self-esteem with the intent of raising academic achievement, there are various justifications for raising self-esteem among students.
To improve self esteem, an individual need to practice thinking about his/her good moments. Also hearing music and memorize a person’s face who gave positive experience in his life will improve his self esteem. Life experience and its memories influence a persons self confidence. It is important to avoid over self consciousness and learn how to keep your attention off yourself. To avoid self conscious in a social situation try to make business contacts, make others feel comfortable, collect some information.
Guidelines to Building Self-Esteem
There are certain steps to build self-Esteem.
1. Avoid negative attitude and to be always positive
2. Change the self-limiting attitudes.
3. Examine our self-concept.
4. Identify several self-limiting attitudes or images and challenge them.
5. Determine that you can do every thing.
6. Utilize every opportunity to succeed
7. Develop self-respect and courage.
8. Avoid negative talk.
9. Learn new techniques to deal with obstacles.
10. Be persistent. Think about the occasions that provided you with a solid sense of self-esteem.
11. Observe and imitate the behavior of people with high self-esteem. Study the way self-assured people stand, walk, speak and behave. Stand tall, speak clearly and with confidence, shake hands firmly, look people in the eye and smile frequently. Your self-esteem will increase as you notice encouraging reactions from others.
Your self esteem shapes your choices of mate, choice of career, choice of friends, and the choice of leisure activities. A good positive self image is accepting yourself as the person you are. That means the unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step of building positive self concept. A positive self-image can give you the character to face any obstacle that stands in your way. With high self esteem, you can meet the most disappointing and discouraging situations with faith, hope and courage. Act positively and you will become positive. Also need to seek people who have positive mental attitude, and spend most of your time with them, which will reinforce your positive attitude about life. People who respect themselves and their abilities help you feel good about yourself and your abilities. You need to find some people who are positive and supportive. When you are surrounded by negative people who constantly put you and your ideas down, your self-esteem will be lowered. On the other hand, when you are accepted and encouraged, you feel better about yourself in the best possible environment to raise your self-esteem. It is better to remember “Nobody can make you inferior with out your permission”
Research reveals that the following attributes characterize self-confident, assertive people:
The more you stand up for yourself and act in a manner you respect, the higher will be your self esteem.
Self Esteem = Success/ Pretensions (William James)
The above formula contains two parts. The first concerns the doing of what you have to do in order to achieve success and involves acquisition of work and social skills necessary for the purpose. Retention concern about the goal and it involves choice and decision.
Most of the people assume they were so effective because of their superior talents, but in reality it is because of their willingness to persist, frequently against all odds. If you develop perseverance you will master the habit of victory. Identify your dreams and try to fulfill it. To enhance your self-esteem, start thinking and saying positive things about yourself. Developing self-confidence that lasts - because of the way emotions 'attach' themselves to memories.
Learn how to develop your self-confidence and notice the small differences as they happen. Studies has shown that people with self-confidence and good self-esteem tend to be happier in general, therefore they live a more enjoyable life and are more successful at what they do. On the other hand, people without self-confidence and a low self-esteem tend to live a life filled with depression, anxiety, stress and many more problems that can affect both their mental and physical well-being. The best way to build your self-esteem to come at it from the direction of purpose. When you find your unique purpose in life, you begin to build your self-esteem. What you build will last with this approach because it's in line with the original design. You need to stay focus on what you want to achieve.
Tips to improving your self esteem and improve the quality of your life!
1. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
2. Don't keep putting yourself down!
3. Using affirmations is an excellent way to raise your self esteem.
4. Accept all compliments graciously.
5. Take advantage of and use life coaching programmes, workshops, and develop a more positive attitude.
6. Mix with positive and supportive people. Who you associate with influences your thoughts, actions and behavior - another form of learning. When you are surrounded by supportive people, you feel better about yourself, which helps you in improving self esteem. Learn how to develop your positive personal support network.
7. Acknowledge your positive qualities and skills.
8. Stop putting up with stuff! Not voicing or acknowledging your needs means that you are probably tolerating more than you should.
9. Make positive contributions to others.
10. Involve yourself in work and activities that you love.
Self esteem is related to your self worth and your value. Building self esteem is a first step towards your happiness and a better life. Self esteem increases your confidence. If you have confidence you will respect yourself. If you respect yourself you can respect others, improve your relationships, your achievements and your happiness. Low self esteem causes depression, unhappiness, insecurity and poor confidence. Forget your past mistakes and focus on your successes encouraging yourself to greater achievements in the future.
Boosting Your Self-Esteem
By focusing on the good things, you do and all your great qualities, you learn to love and accept yourself - the main ingredients for strong self-esteem, realizing that you're valuable and important helps your self-esteem to shine.
6. Self-Esteem, Self-Concept Stability and Aspects of Ethnic Identity among Minority and Majority Youth in the Netherlands, Journal article by Maykel Verkuyten; Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 24, 1995
Contributor: Margaret Francis
Published here on: 26-Aug-06