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What is Self-Esteem?


Some people think that self-esteem means self-confidence. Of course, self-confidence comes into self-esteem – but self-esteem is rather more than self-confidence.


The fact here is that there are many numbers of apparently confident people who can do marvelous things but who have too poor self-esteem. Many people in the public eye fall into this category. Actors, comedians, musicians, and singers, in particular, can seem to glow with assurance ‘on stage’, and yet off-stage, many of them feel desperately insecure – cocooned, shelved.

Indeed, individuals can be stunningly attractive and world-famous, and seem poised and perfect – yet, deep down, find it hard to value themselves. Think of the late Princess of Wales and Marilyn Monroe and you’ll accept my point, I think, that public adulation is no guarantee of self-belief.

So, if self-esteem isn’t quite the same thing as self-confidence, what is it?

Well, the word ‘esteem’ comes from a Latin word that means ‘to estimate’. Yeah, you are familiar with the word ‘estimate’. So, self-esteem is how you estimate yourself.

To estimate [esteem] you, you need to ask yourself certain pertinent questions:

  • Do I like myself?
  • Do I think I’m a good human being?
  • What of been acceptable?
  • Am I someone deserving of love?
  • Do I deserve happiness?
  • Do I feel – both in my mind and deep in my guts – that I’m an OK person?

People with low self-esteem find it hard to answer ‘yes’ to these questions. Perhaps you are one of them. If you can’t answer “yes” to the 6 questions, you have a self-esteem challenge. You need a self-esteemed therapist like Mike Ihezuo. If you’re reading this post and are seeing challenges in you, I think you are. Don’t despair. Just read on!

The concept of self-esteem can’t be summed up as self-confidence in our ability to think and in our ability to cope with the basic challenges of life and self-confidence in our right to be successful and happy, the feelings of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants, achieve our values and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

We also commonly think that self-esteem is merely about how we feel about ourselves at any particular moment. Self-esteem transcends feelings. Can I shock you? Can I? Self-esteem, just like Love is not a feeling. Lust is. Both self-esteem and love are products of decisions based on facts/data seen. Self-esteem is a decision arrived at based on estimations of VALUES and WORTHS you have [commands.]. Love is a decision you arrived at based on qualities, traits, and values you see in a person. Lust is a feeling you develop because your eyes see in a person’s body. While seemingly existing in degrees, we tend to believe that we have positive or negative self-esteem and that we make that determination simply by how we FEEL about ourselves. Again, error!

However [please strive to follow me], our feelings or emotions do not exist alone, in isolation, in a vacuum, or have an independent existence. We do not just simply feel. Rather, for every feeling or emotion that we have, either positive or negative, there is a corresponding THOUGHT that we have about ourselves that generates the experience of self-esteem.

Whether positive or negative, it is merely how our psyche experiences the thoughts that we have about ourselves as a result of self-estimation, self-valuation, and self-worthiness. If a person has positive thoughts about himself he will experience positive or good self-esteem. Kpakam!  On the other hand, if the individual has negative thoughts about whom he thinks he is then he will experience poor or negative self-esteem.

Therefore, to truly understand what self-esteem is all about and more importantly to be able to alter it when necessary for one’s wellness, well-being, or healing, we must first get that self-esteem is really about OUR THINKING, and more specifically about the thoughts that we develop or create ABOUT OURSELVES. The thoughts or beliefs that we have about ourselves are crucial in that they determine or create the structure of our experience of self-esteem and the various emotions associated with it.

We also tend to think of our self-esteem as being something that is shaped by the events that take place in our life, particularly those from our past.

We tend to believe that who we think we are and how we feel about ourselves is merely the product, effect, or caused by the experiences that we have had in the past – it says that we are who we are by what has happened to us as human beings. Another error!

More specifically, we tend to think that the cause in the matter of whom we think we are and our self-esteem is due to circumstances, situations, or others, people, places, and things. We do not tend to think that it is something we developed or created. Our S-E is shaped by our past and the experiences we have had in our lives.

We created our thoughts and with it our emotions from the meaning that we gave to the events that took place in our life, especially at an early age. We give meaning to everything in our life including and most importantly to ourselves. At an early age, the meaning that we give an event tends to be made out to be all about us. While events do happen, it is not the events that are important but rather the meaning that we give them and especially how we made it out to be about our identity.

Living in a state of low self-esteem can be very damaging to the quality of life you lead daily. Your self-esteem is YOUR opinion of yourself, but far too many people allow others to influence them or even make up their opinion for them. It sounds so very silly, but if you think about this, you will realize how certain events, comments, and encounters helped to “make or break” your self-esteem.

How will you do a thorough work in

  • Knowing your level of self-esteem?
  • Dealing with low self-esteem?
  • Enhancing high self-esteem?
  • A lot …?

Contact the Consultant, Mike Ihezuo, for Corporate or Individual attention.

Mike Ihezuo is an uncommon and prolific author, writer, researcher, speaker, and consultant. He is better heard than advertised. He helps organizations and upward-moving individuals to succeed. You can reach him at Ad Inquiry, https://mikeihezuospeaks.net, #LeadershipXcellence.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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