by Jem Bacchus
Self esteem is an extremely important factor in life. It is that
innate feeling of high or low self worth you
experience and the
value you attach to yourself. It shapes your concept of yourself and
determines your success or failure in life.
It is well known that there is a positive and a negative side to
everything, and self esteem is not excepted. Every person has a
degree of both low and high self esteem and it is up to us all to
nurture one or the other, either to acquire a destructive and
pathetic state of low self esteem or to build a good character and
self image through the development of a high self esteem.
I believe that self esteem is a factor of your mind which
invariably affects your ability to do what is right.
Your self esteem is that emotion that cannot be experienced or
felt by anyone else, just the same as they cannot think your
thoughts, or experience your joy. However, others can influence your
thoughts to instill in you a feeling of worthlessness, the basis of
low self esteem; also, by their encouragement, positive suggestions
and advice, instill in you a feeling of self worth that can cause
you to develop a sense of high self esteem and eventually a strong
Your self confidence hinges very largely upon how much you esteem
yourself. Having a low self esteem, you tend to believe that success
is out of your reach and you will never develop the necessary degree
of self confidence to attain your goals.
On the other hand, as long as you think very highly of yourself
you will strive to attain your desires, and nothing will daunt your
Life is influenced way back in childhood - by your upbringing,
your surroundings, and your association with others. Parents,
friends, teachers, acquaintances, the Church, television, all play a
role in molding the minds of children who believe what they are
told; and they eventually build their whole life upon the
suggestions of others. These take root in their minds and, once
instilled, it is very difficult to erase those suggestions which, as
a consequence, govern their behavior in daily life.
It is no wonder that children become confused and cannot rightly
discern the truth. So it is important that we as adults "train
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not
depart from it." Proverbs 22:6.
If children are told often enough that they will never amount to
anything, they believe the worst about themselves, that they are
incapable. They see themselves as never being able to achieve
Even through indirect negative suggestions by others, children
can be made to believe that they are of little worth and can never
play an important role in life. Consequently, they lose confidence
in themselves and are afraid to be adventurous. As they grow into
adulthood, they fail to develop a sense of integrity, assurance and
They feel comfortable in the company of people whom they feel
they can control because it gives them a sense of importance and
authority. When they are in the company of persons who they believe
have a higher integrity than they, they become shy and uncomfortable
because they believe that they cannot cope and that they are being
watched and assessed.
We see that self esteem is closely linked to self confidence. The
higher your self esteem, the greater your self confidence. You feel
convinced that you have the ability to succeed in whatever you
decide to do; as a result, you become motivated to improve your
present position or business. By building your self esteem, you
acquire a feeling of self-assurance and you are prepared to take
challenges. A person who has really high (not inflated) self esteem,
by his attitude would gain respect because he would always have
respect for others, be unselfish, compassionate, and honest.
However, you must be careful not to develop an inflated sense of
high self esteem and become overly confident since this could lead
to arrogance and a false sense of high self esteem. You can get so
wrapped up in yourself and feel so superior to others that you
become egotistic and self-conceited.
This is dangerous ground and could lead to your wanting to subdue
others, expecting everyone else to honor you while you show lack of
respect for them, being callous, feeling above reproof, not being
quite true to your words, and feeling good about all these things
believing that you are always quite right and eventually becoming
too bossy. It would not be surprising that you soon would become a
bore and a nuisance to others who would much prefer your room to
It is equally dangerous for your self esteem to be really low as
it is to be overly high. Having too low self esteem you will have
little or no self respect doing things that are base and unbecoming,
and have no qualms about that. You tend to become unkind and even
fail to be quite upright in your dealings.
As is the case of self esteem being overly high, having really
low self esteem you lose respect for others, but in this case
although you want others to respect you, something inside tells you
that you do not deserve their respect anyway.
Such persons can be very abusive, believing that they must do
this to establish their seniority and gain attention. Sadly, this
does not change the nagging sense of inadequacy and inferiority
To overcome a feeling of low self esteem, you must disregard all
negative thoughts about yourself. Do not entertain such thoughts,
make every effort to cancel them out and replace them with as much
positive thoughts as will come flooding in your mind. You must be in
control of your own thoughts and develop the ability to stomp any
sort of negativity.
Do not live a life of misery because of low self esteem and
negative thoughts. Endeavor to entertain positive thinking only;
also, speak positively and those mean negative thoughts will soon
fade away. Give others a reason to think highly of you, because by
your actions they will soon come to the conclusion that you have a
very low opinion of yourself. Remember that if you do not esteem
yourself no one else will esteem you.
Thankfully, there are great measures that can be taken to change
your thought process and re-condition your mind to overcome low self
esteem and build a high self esteem for your ultimate good.