So what is self-esteem? And how important is it in a persons life? Is it OK to occasionally feel down and think negative about yourself or is that a sign of low self-esteem? What can you do to improve your self-esteem?
Self-esteem is all about how you see yourself as a person.
It's not about telling yourself and others about how good you are or trying to prove yourself by putting other people down. It's not about putting yourself down and feeling that you are no good.
Most people have times when they feel bad about themselves, but that's the time to start the positive thinking going and to work out how to learn from mistakes and be happy about the good things that are still happening in their lives.
People who have high self-esteem are not only happy in themselves but are fun to be around, have friends, can be trusted, are full of life and care about themselves and others.
So talk yourself into inviting high self-esteem into your life.
Here's an excerpt I found quite informative that sums it up nicely:
Creating a secure base
The California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility found that families have a strong influence on self-esteem, and the early years are especially important in creating a strong foundation for self-esteem. They also found that school climate and achievement at school play important roles, and that high self-esteem leads to less teenage pregnancy and personally harmful behaviours.
Along with other researchers, the task force noted that strategies for building self-esteem need to be related to real activities, attributes and achievements rather than centring on self-esteem as the goal—praise and encouragement needs to be meaningful to be effective.
They conclude that:
'Writers and researchers show general although by no means complete agreement on the preconditions necessary for someone to demonstrate high self-esteem. Among the commonly used terms are: security, connectedness, uniqueness, assertiveness, competence and spirituality.'
All of these attributes come initially from a child's home but can also be encouraged by carers in the different settings of child care, preschool, school etc.
Security and connectedness come from knowing that there is someone who is a 'safe base'; someone who can be relied on for warmth, support, comfort and help. It is important for very young children, who don't understand concepts such as time and separation, for there to be one or more people they know they can depend on to be there for them.