Definition: a confidence and satisfaction in oneself; self-acceptance; self-respect
Balancing Quality: Humility
Too Far: arrogant, egotistical
• Self-esteem is crucial for healthy families.
• When you’re playing with your kids, love just happens.
• Self-esteem is the most important building block for emotional health and happiness.
• People who feel good about themselves tend to take good care of themselves and treat others with respect. — Dr. Louise Hart (1921-2020) The Winning Family: Increasing Self-esteem in Your Children and Yourself
Reflection: Notice the questions you ask yourself. Notice the motives which move you. Will I be accepted? How do I make people like me? There is a range of what you can do in answer to these questions. Should I be nice to others because they will like me? Should I be kind to others because it is the right thing to do no matter what they think about me?
Are you giving to get because you feel inadequate? Or have you transcended that need and are giving for the joy of giving? If you have a healthy sense of self-esteem, you will be more likely to act without ulterior motives. You will be motivated by love rather than fear.
We compensate for what we think is our lack, trying to fill the hole in our soul. Since we are potential infinite beings, there will always be a yearning for perfection. This can be experienced as a lack or accepted as a fact. Once you get to acceptance, then you can use the fact as you would any other fact – as a building block.
Reduce the number and kind of internal mechanisms allowing you to believe you are unworthy and undeserving. We are all just growing. Mistakes are part of the process.
Comment: A characteristics of self-esteem is the ability to be misunderstood and not slide into the self-pity mode. Correct the misunderstanding whenever you see the opportunity to do so. All problems are correctable – eventually. And, by the way, holding grudges is the poorest tactic to use.
• One of the causes of guilt is a lack of self-esteem.
• One of the causes of anger is a lack of self-esteem.
• One of the causes of insecurity is a lack of self-esteem. One of the strange things about insecurity is the way it manifests in different people. Some turn in on themselves and feel worthless. Others puff up their ego and become bullies. Still others get caught by the jealousy monster or the depression demon. The antidotes are positive qualities – accomplishment, loyalty, trust, humility, and thoughtfulness.
• Each person can find a self they can esteem.
• True self-esteem comes from doing something worthwhile – usually for someone else.
• If you find something you don’t like about yourself, don’t fall into the trap of viewing your entire self through this fault. The rest of you is still wonderful and growing.
Advice: It is more productive to ask oneself, “What is right with me?” than “What is wrong with me?”