There are plenty of definitions available for self-esteem. Generally what they all have in common is the concept of esteeming yourself. This means loving and respecting yourself, putting yourself first, and meeting your own needs. Self-esteem is thinking of yourself in high regard. People with self-esteem not only love themselves, but act lovingly toward themselves. Imagine that special someone that you’re always thrilled to see and talk with; that’s self-esteem. Self-esteem means that you always want to spend time with yourself, and think lovingly of yourself. Self-esteem means you would do anything to make sure you are ok.
But loving ourselves and meeting your own needs are the opposite of what we’ve been taught. We’ve been taught to focus on others and external accomplishments to measure self-worth. We gauge or self-worth based on how much we have or how loved we are. This is the definition of the weak ego: depending on variables outside of ourselves and therefore, outside of our control. When base our self-esteem on having the right partner, the right job, the right salary, or the right friends, we set ourselves up to eventually feel like a failure. These things are all temporary. When we lose one of them, our feelings of self-esteem are damaged. We’re left feeling abandoned, depressed, empty, and worthless.
The only things we can control are our feelings about ourselves and the behaviors based on these feelings. If we love ourselves then we can have control over ourselves. And our self-esteem doesn’t suffer from external loss. We all know someone in which the world is falling apart around them, and they still acting lovingly towards themselves. That is a true test of self-esteem. That is having and practicing self-esteem.
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