What is Healthy Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is the sense of our overall value and confidence level in our abilities and attributes. Self-esteem influences motivation, mental well-being, and overall satisfaction with life. In a nutshell, an individual with a healthy self-image can make the life choices that are likely to take them further in life. At the same time, someone with lower self-esteem would refrain from taking steps toward the goals they could achieve. When our self-esteem is higher than it should be, it could put us in danger of being in situations we cannot handle.
A Magic Amulet
An amulet is an ornament or a piece of jewelry believed to protect against evil, danger, or disease (Oxford Dictionary). Healthy self-esteem is the psychological amulet that protects us from potentially hurtful situations. A person with healthy self-esteem will walk away from toxic relationships and not allow others to treat them poorly repeatedly. At the same time, someone with lower self-esteem may not recognize that they are currently in a toxic situation.
Our Self-Esteem Changes
While a big part of our self-perception roots in our childhood experiences, our self-image is also highly affected by the people and situations around us. Being mindful of our self-esteem levels can help us navigate through life and determine the situations where we may need to practice self-care or seek support from others. The social factors affecting our self-esteem are critical situations at work or school, crises at home or challenging situations with people around us.
Ways to Develop a Healthy Self-Esteem
We all experience moments of self-doubt time-to-time. But if you are having these thoughts often, try taking these steps:
Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Write down 10 of your strengths and 10 of your weaknesses. This can help you start developing a realistic image of yourself.
Set realistic expectations. Start with small, attainable goals that are within your abilities. For instance, setting an extremely high goal or expecting someone else to change their behaviour will likely make you feel like a failure.
Reject perfectionism. No one is perfect. Acknowledge both your accomplishments and mistakes. Trying to be perfect will only lead to disappointment. Being realistic about yourself can help in having a positive outlook on yourself and will help you grow and learn from your mistakes.
Explore yourself. This can take some trial and error. But in the long run, knowing yourself and being at peace with who you are can not be underestimated.
Adapt your self-image appropriately. We all change as we age and grow. Be willing to recognize the change in yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others. It is a trap that is easy to fall into. The only person that you should compare yourself to is you.
What Is Self-Esteem? Your Sense of Your Worth or Value. Retrieved on Feb 26, 2023. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868
Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.) Oxford University. PressPrint 2010.
15 Best Self-Esteem Worksheets and Activities. Retrieved on February 28, 2023. https://positivepsychology.com/self-esteem-tools-activities/