Self Esteem

What is the nature of self-esteem? The manual, Self-Esteem, states the following, "One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of the self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it."

Further, Webster's Dictionary defines self-esteem as: "to think highly of; consider favorable opinion; highly respected."

This shows that self-esteem comes from an individual's thoughts, and depending on those thoughts, self-esteem is raised or lowered. A person's assessment of themselves is a serious matter.

Dr. Wayne Dyer a notable expert in human behavior says that, "Our beliefs about ourselves are the single most telling factors in determining our success and happiness in life".

Self-esteem connects with children, adolescents and adults, and is a vital tool in obtaining happiness and success.

Low self-esteem in children and teenagers causes serious problems. One main problem area far too often overlooked is the education system. Unfortunately some school boards don't enforce what Child psychology, second edition believes:

If an individual’s self-concept, his attitude toward life, himself, and school affects his adult achievement, and experience of success or failure in childhood affects his self-concept, then schools must provide an opportunity for success to all children if all children are to continue to be expected to experience school.

Schools determine self-esteem because it is the first place a child "passes" or "fails". If children and adolescents underachieve in school, it limits their self-esteem, which can eventually lead to their dropping out.

Other problems arising from low self-esteem are shyness, anxiety, and lack of confidence, low self-respect, and lack of enthusiasm for life, all symptoms of unhappiness. In situations of prolonged sadness, suicide may occur.

Yet, it is important to realize many problems can be avoided by instilling a thought process conducted to positive self-esteem in early childhood.

"Teach children to understand that self-worth cannot be validated on the basis of performance”. Secondly he stresses that people "Reduce the emphasis on external measures of success”.

The relentless pursuit of grades, rewards, money, merit badges, being number one and material objects is a sure way to lower a child's self-esteem." Last, and most important, Dyer believes we should, "Remind them that failing at a task is not equivalent to failure as a person."

As an adult we must tech self-esteem by "first of all caring yourself in a way that gives you personal dignity. If you want your child to respect himself, give him an example of a person who does the same." The last important aspect to mention is to discipline.

Creative Parenting states some interesting opinions. To begin with, "Any form of effective discipline must consider the self-esteem of the child. Point out the errors of his ways not the errors of his personality."

First, is important to realize as an adult, people take the responsibility for themselves and not blame others for their present condition. Next, they must understand their problem. The book, Conceiving The Self, states,

"The individual with high self-esteem considers himself to be a person of worth, though he does not necessarily believe he is superior to others. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, implies self-rejection, self-dissatisfaction.


It is important for people to know that every person is born with the same value. No one is worth more than the next because of the their income, education, nationality, or social status.

The ideal goal for everyone is to have a thought process that doesn't allow for change in his or her assessment of themselves.

This means that a person owns the belief that they have value, despite what they come up against in life.

Barbara Miller

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