Self-development coaches make a lot of money, and for good reason too. With the goal to improve an individual’s perspective of his self-worth and value, they have made several attempts through different self-help content. Through programs, articles, books and products, they have sought to enhance people’s self-esteem. At this point, one would think they know all they need to know about self-esteem. Whereas, there’s a lot that’s left unsaid about it.
Self-esteem has, over the years, been associated with happiness, well-being and success. People then seek to increase their self-esteem to attain these. However, psychologists are questioning the benefits of raising self-esteem.
Just what is self-esteem?
This refers to your overall perception of your self-worth and value. Simply put, your level of self-esteem is how you think about yourself or how much you like yourself. People with high esteem appreciate and like themselves far more than those with low esteem.
For this reason, there have been many programmes targeted at increasing one’s esteem. Unfortunately, raising one’s esteem is not an easy task, especially when that person already has a default negative view of themselves. Your self-image could stem from your background or experiences. This results in you finding it hard to see yourself from another light as against the already predefined good or bad perspective. Both high and low forms of self-esteem aren’t easy to change, hence the long years of research on better ways to approach it.
Studies have also linked low self-esteem to a variety of problems. It could be the way you view your career, your relationship or yourself. Here are some problems low esteem can cause.
Problems of low self-esteem
- You hate yourself
- Desperate desire to be perfect
- You hate your body
- Trying to please everyone
- Feeling worthless
There are more that can be added to this list. For some, it differs, and there is no one-size fits all in such cases. However, there are ways you can improve your esteem howbeit long it may take. Therefore, to attain a high esteem in yourself, the litmus test for well-being was considered. In this case, you need to evaluate yourself positively to feel and think happier, while doing otherwise would result in a negative outcome.
The complexity of self-esteem
According to an infamous researcher in the field of self-compassion, Kristin Neff, she suggests that “trying to raise self-esteem can actually come with harmful costs.” When you try to increase your esteem through indiscriminate praise or affirmations, it could obscure areas for development. It could also lead to “unproductive or unhealthy behaviours that need to be changed in and of themselves.”
In addition, she stated that high self-esteem has been associated with “narcissism and superiority, bullying, prejudice and an unrealistic view of ourselves.” When you compare yourself to others, you’re indirectly putting them down in order to feel better about yourself. Ironically, this could also make you feel worse if you sense they are better than you.
Contrary to popular belief, those with high esteem are actually also vulnerable. If you base your self-esteem on success in life, relationship, dating, and so on, then you’re actually nursing unstable esteem. Most people who tend to believe they have high self-esteem also experience days of getting down in the rut. Simply getting insulted can make a narcissist feel terrible.
Studies have linked low self-esteem and poor self-image with a variety of problems that can affect anything from the way you view your career to the way you conduct your relationships.
Self-esteem is something everyone has. Everyone deals with one level of esteem or the other, including celebrities. It fluctuates all the time, and knowing this would make you understand your emotions when it fluctuates. What truly matters is how you feel about yourself. What do you base your level of self-worth and value on?