Self-Esteem By Alexis Sprung

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the social and psychological reflection of a person's emotional evaluation of their own self-worth. It is our sense of personal value. Self-esteem is the incorporation of both beliefs and emotional states of a person, as well as positive and negative self-evaluations. Self-esteem is closely related to self-worth and self-image.

Why is Self-Esteem Important?

A person's self-worth is vital for social and mental well-being. One's level of self-esteem should be balanced, as self-esteem levels are a factor in physical and mental health. How someone sees themself, whether it be as not enough or borderline narcissistic, affects their self-esteem, influencing their goals, aspirations, social behaviour, and mental and physical well-being. Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem.

"What matters the most is how you see yourself." -Anonymous

What Affects Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is affected by many factors:

  • Society/Social Media -Society creates the "perfect image" and impossible standards, lowering self-esteem. However, social media can also boost self-esteem with publicity.
  • Body Image/Self-image -Studies suggest that appearance is the primary basis of self-evaluation. So believing oneself doesn't have the perfect body is a leading cause for low self-esteem.
  • Beliefs -What a person believes about themself as well as their personal belief or faith can affect self-esteem levels. Knowing who you are, why you're here, and where you're going plays an important role in your self-worth.
  • Parents/peers -The environment one grows up in and how they are treated by parents and peers can have wither a positive or negative affect on self-esteem.
  • Age -A notion that self-esteem moves with aging process; increases into adult-hood, decreases during old age.

The Levels and Types of Self-Esteem

High Self-Esteem:

  • Believe in certain values
  • Trust their own judgement
  • Don't dwell in the past, but learn from it
  • Consider themselves as equal to others, not superior or inferior
  • Understands and accepts others
  • Confident in their abilities

Secure vs. Defensive

Someone with secure self-esteem is confident and does not need assurance from others, or let others bring them down. However, someone with equally high self-esteem can be defensive, so their positive self-views are fragile and subject to what others say and do.

Low Self-Esteem:

  • Self-criticism and dissatisfaction
  • Fear of mistakes
  • Dwell in mistakes made in the past
  • Hostile, defensive, and irritable without immediate cause
  • General negative outlook
  • Holds resentment
  • Little to no confidence in their abilities
Steps of Self-Esteem

Why is Self-Esteem an Issue?

Low self-esteem is a growing concern in our society. Low self-esteem is connected to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, as well as eating disorders, substance abuse, and violence. Studies suggest that people with higher self-esteem are more likely to have academic success and are overall, happier.

People don't realize that low self-esteem is more common than they think, and how their words and actions affect those around them. Instead of tearing each other down, we should be building each other up, despite our differences.

Measurement of Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem was first popularly measured with a 10 question self-esteem scale, the RSES (Rosenberg, 1965). Another method of measurement is the Coopersmith Iventory, a 50+ question scale.

Try these tests to measure your self-esteem:

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