It was a snowy winter night when George Bailey stood on the bridge of Bedford Falls and convinced himself that he was more valuable dead than alive. George made a very common mistake on that cold, fictional night when he determined his worth based purely on his finances. It took a second-class angel named Clarence to restore his self-esteem and show him vividly how valuable his life really was. Although Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is just a movie (and a great one at that), it’s a great example of true self-esteem.
Self-esteem is value or worth that one bestows on oneself. It is the inner feeling one has about oneself. High self-esteem is a character trait of a healthy individual. One cannot have too much self-esteem. Self-esteem is loving oneself, whereas over-confidence and narcissism are being in love with oneself.
Our current level of self-esteem is low, high, or somewhere in between and is always changing. For many people, they go through life with low self-esteem and don't do much to improve their situation in life because they feel deep inside they are just not worth it. Many of these feelings of inadequacy come from childhood and the school system. Adolescents have a seemingly natural ability to be able to lower the self-esteem of just about any individual. Unfortunately, despite their age, some people never mature mentally past adolescence, and the destructive criticism and mental abuse continues to be dished out to their children, employees, and/or students.
As adults, we often give ourselves low self-esteem by associating our self-worth with our bank accounts. We see rejection and failure as permanent, and give in to a negative mental attitude such as “why not smoke, we’re all going to die eventually anyway.”
One of the best things you can do for yourself is love yourself. For those of you who think that sounds too mushy, I will rephrase that to: one of the best things you can do for yourself is build your self-esteem. Individuals with high self-esteem:
It is amazing how much time and money people will spend on temporary feel-good-about-themselves solutions, yet not do a thing to create lasting self-esteem. A new suit will make one look and feel sharp, but that feeling will quickly wear off with the novelty of the suit. The outside-in approach to building self-esteem is about looking your best to feel your best and works well in the short-term, but should be used in conjunction with, and not in place of, the inside-out approach of building lasting self-esteem.
Success without high self-esteem is not likely. People detect low self-esteem in others and will treat them accordingly. Fortunately, building self-esteem is quite easy, especially for those with a positive mental attitude. Here are several ways you can build your self-esteem from both the outside in and the inside out.
Healthy self-esteem is an important part of happiness in life, and high self-esteem is vital to success. You are a unique individual and have it within yourself to accomplish such wonderful things. The moment you realize this, you will possess the gift of high self-esteem.
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