Friday, December 9, 2011

SELF ESTEEM - How to Build Your Self-Esteem

How to Build Your Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem is much more than Self-Confidence. The word “esteem” is derived from the Latin word aestimare which means “to put a value on”. Thus, your “Self Esteem” is the “value you put on yourself”.

Your self-esteem is your conviction that you are uniquely valuable.

When you have high self-esteem you will have the capacity to live creatively, stand by your values, beliefs and principles, and you will have the competence to accomplish something vital to your individuality.

Is it possible to assess self-esteem? How do you recognize whether a person has self-esteem.

It is easy.

Persons with high self-esteem do not need to prove themselves.

Yes, if you have high self-esteem you do not feel the need to prove yourself to the outside world – you do not need to prove yourself to others.

Conversely persons with low self-esteem will be observed trying to prove themselves – they boast, put others down, show off, drop names, speak excessively and always talk about their themselves and try to hog the conversation, they keep telling you about their achievements and display snobbish behaviour. People with low self-esteem are extremely self-conscious about their appearance and desperately fish for compliments and are worried about what other people think about them. They may talk in an imperative tone of voice, pull rank and try to emphasize their authority and show-off their status, position or wealth, act in a boastful manner, always seem “keyed up” and move around in an excited manner as if in a perpetual hurry “to get the job done” and try to “dominate” others. Look around your workplace and among your friends. If you observe someone behaving in this way be sure that he or she has low self-esteem.

Close your eyes and recall some of your own interactions in the recent past, professional and social, at work and with your friends. Imagine as if you have gone outside your body and you are watching yourself from the outside as you interact and converse with others. 

Reflect and Introspect: Did you display any indicators of low self-esteem? 

Remember, an important internal indicator of low self-esteem is that you feel excessively self-conscious as you try to "prove yourself" to others around you wondering what they think about you and this sometimes causes you to feel internally stressed-out.

You can recognize an individual with high self-esteem by his body language. When they speak to you they make good eye contact and are relaxed, calm, measured in movement, yet firm and decisive. A person with good self-esteem will exhibit a quiet confidence and will not fish for compliments, but if you do compliment them they will say “Thank You” and accept your compliment with politeness and humility. They are honest, humble and modest and are genuinely interested in other people and their achievements. They do not bother about external recognition as they have confidence in their own abilities.

Persons with high self esteem are always genuine and never “fake it”.

The bedrock of self-esteem is self-acceptance. If you have high self-esteem you will accept yourself as you are and you will not indulge in “image management”. Hence you will never be afraid of being “found out” since you will always project what you actually are since you don’t have to “prove yourself” to others.  

People with low self-esteem who are always desperate to “prove themselves” and impress others often fall prey to image management techniques and since they try to project an exaggerated or contrived (fake) image of themselves they always live under the fear of being found out.

Do you want to enhance your self-esteem? It is simple. Just start liking yourself. First accept yourself as you are and then learn to like yourself. Don’t bother about proving yourself to others. Take pride in your individuality. Be your own hero. Start enjoying yourself, be proud of yourself, and when you feel you have done something good, don’t seek praise from others but reward yourself for what you do and praise yourself. Remember to do this in all aspects of your life – at work and in your personal life as well.

Continual self-evaluation, self-acceptance and self-reward will produce a paradigm shift in your behaviour from being other-directed to being inner-directed. As you build up your self-esteem you will develop a strong sense of self. You will start liking yourself and will start believing in yourself.

If you do not learn to reinforce yourself and if you succumb to the temptations of image management to seek approval of others and get obsessed with “proving yourself” you may fall into the downward spiral of low self-esteem.

I will end with a quote from Samuel Butler: The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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Unknown said...

Very nice article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Thank You Mr. Unknown

Sarah Mathews said...

Hi Vikram,

I enjoyed what you wrote about self esteem. From your description of people with low self esteem, they seem to be either arrogant or self conscious.

You said "liking yourself" is the key to self esteem. My self esteem did not improve until I made positive changes in my life. I did not like myself much when I was making bad choices as to how I lived my life.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Sarah Mathews - Thanks for your comments. I read your blog too. You are right - one starts liking oneself when one makes positive changes in one's life
All the Best