Good Self-Esteem Comes from a Job Well Done

July 4, 2019
How can you achieve a good self-esteem? Discover how in this article!

One of the pillars that has a tremendous influence on our behavior is self-esteem. How we feel, based on the image we have of ourselves, determines the goals we choose, the relationships we maintain, and the intensity of our emotions. But how can we achieve good self-esteem?

Self-esteem stems from a job well done. It isn’t a lottery that we might win one day – it’s the fruit of our own personal efforts. When we look for definite results, we have to understand that that entails a process, and that process requires time.

Self-esteem is also 0ne of the pillars that makes up the human personality. In 2009, Abraham Maslow said that we need the esteem and respect that are born inside of us in the form of self-esteem. He also said that we need it from others, in the form of status, recognition, or social success.

When we lack self-esteem, we feel inferior, helpless, and discouraged and don’t trust our ability to handle things. We often waste our efforts and look to external comparisons. We focus our thoughts and actions to try and balance out our personality.

Creating a Perception of Ourselves

Considered an attitude (García, Cermeño, and Fernández, 1991), self-esteem is the way that we can create a perception of ourselves. We use it to judge how we think and feel about ourselves, and how to treat ourselves as well. It has a lot to do with how we handle and evaluate our own identity.

First of all, in order to speak about the cognitive component in self-esteem, we need to make a distinction between what’s understood by self-esteem and what’s understood by self-concept.

Self-concept is defined as the image we have of ourselves in the cognitive, perceptual and affective dimensions. Self-concept would be associated with the representation that people have of themselves.

Self-esteem, on the other hand, is understood as the positive or negative assessment that a person makes regarding their own self-concept. This includes the emotions associated with them and the attitudes the people have towards themselves.

A woman looking in the mirror.

Self-Esteem Comes with Time

Having goals to pursue, setting goals, and fighting for them is very closely related to well-being and mental health. Setting goals in a positive way affects other areas of our lives and allows us to control important psychological aspects such as attention, self-confidence, or motivation.

One of the main reasons or symptoms of depression is the loss of hope and interest in our objectives. Dr. Ellis states that self-esteem problems arise from certain ways of thinking. These can either be irrational, illogical, or self-destructive.

Sometimes, our way of thinking contains illogical phrases that undermine our self-esteem. Some of these generic and irrational beliefs are:

  • Believing that we must be competent and effective in everything.
  • Thinking that people have to love us and that we have to have the approval of all the important people around us.
  • The things that happened in the past decide our current and future behavior because they’ll always have a definitive influence and will happen again.
  • It’s easier to avoid the responsibilities and problems of life rather than facing them.
  • Human misfortunes stem from external causes and we can do nothing, or almost nothing, to avoid or control the pain and suffering that they cause us.

Changing our self-esteem isn’t simple. It’s dynamic and sensitive by its very nature, and so modifying it to benefit ourselves isn’t an easy job at all. It’s the result of a series of actions, habits, and aptitudes and it’s something that’s acquired.

“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”

-Nathaniel Branden-

A woman with her arms up.

Low Self-Esteem is Like Driving through Life with the Parking Brake On

What’s ahead of us and behind us isn’t more important than what we carry inside of us. Neither is it more important than our perception of what we carry inside us, and how we define ourselves. Our quality of life is influenced by self-esteem, and this implies how each person perceives and values ​​themselves. That, as a result, controls their behavior in their family and social circles on an individual level.

A low or high level of self-esteem affects our relationships with others and reflects in our social lives, and in the skills that we deploy to face the different challenges in our lives.

In conclusion, having low self-esteem makes us feel totally incapable. We enter a negative vicious circle of self-destructive mechanisms, such as negative feelings, obsessive ideas, and misconceptions in how we interpret others’ thoughts and feelings. In short, it makes us less functional and less precise.

  • García, N., Cermeño, F., & Fernández, M. T. (1991). La tutoría en las Enseñanzas Medias. Madrid: Publicaciones ICCE.
  • Gracia, J. C. L. (1995). Autoestima.
  • Maslow, A. H., & Răsuceanu, A. (2009). Motivaţie şi personalitate. Editura Trei.