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How to Develop Self-Esteem

How to Develop Self-Esteem

How to Develop Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is important. Self-esteem is a measure of the type of thoughts that you have about yourself.

If you think you are a valuable person; a good person, then you will have a healthy level of self-esteem.

If you think you are not a valuable person, or if you think you are no-good, then you will have a low level of self-esteem.

  • Low levels of self-esteem are the cause of many personal problems.
  • Higher levels of self-esteem are the cause of healthy personality.

Pride Comes Before a Fall

In some people's mind, there is a reluctance to give themselves praise, because they have the feeling that, to do so, would amount to the vice of arrogance or pride. This feeling stems from certain moral teachings that pride is one of the seven deadly sins; that "Pride comes before a fall".

We are taught NOT to have self-pride, but instead to have its opposite, humility.

We are taught to be humble and NOT prideful.

There is a tension between two opposing demands: There is a tension between the demands of a healthy psychology, which needs a certain level of self-esteem and pride, and the needs of our moral teaching which demands that we are NOT prideful; that we should instead be humble.

We need to resolve this tension between the two opposing demands. We need to find the middle ground between developing a healthy self-respect, and yet not being immodest or arrogant.

Develop a Healthy Self-respect

The way to do that, is to make sure that you acknowledge yourself to yourself, whenever you have done something good. There is no need to brag about how good you are to others.

If you do acknowledge yourself to yourself, in the privacy of your own mind, then you will begin to develop a good level of self-confidence and a healthy level of self-esteem. This healthy level of self-esteem will show up in all your relationships and interactions as a positive element in your personality. And a healthy level of self-esteem will allow you to enjoy greater levels of peace of mind. You will be happier in your own skin if you think you are a good person.

But: If you take the step of continually telling everyone else how great you are, then you run the risk of triggering a negative response in the minds of others. Some people will be impressed by your show of confidence, and will respond positively. So, for example, Mohamed Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump and Naomi Campbell all have the tendency to tell us how great they are, and it seems to have done their careers quite a lot of good.

But there are many people who are turned off by that type of overt self-confidence and they label it "arrogance". Many people don't like to hear others telling the world how great they are. Most find such language off putting.

So you might decide to do one without the other.

Recognise your achievements, your skills and your abilities to yourself, in the privacy of your own mind, and you will build a wonderful feeling of self-confidence and a healthy level of self-esteem.

But avoid bragging to others, then you won't trigger a negative response.

Having said that, if you want to emulate Ali, Trump, Schwarzenegger, and Naomi Campbell and display an overt self-confidence then go ahead: It might do your career a lot of good!

Quiz: Do You Psych Yourself Up or Out?

Some people are good at psyching themselves up. So they OOZE confidence. Others psych themselves out, so they LOSE confidence.

Take our short quiz Do You Psych Yourself Up or Out? to discover if you tend to maximise, or minimise your chances, by the way you talk to yourself.

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Further Reading in Personal Development

  • How to Develop Self-Esteem
    Some people have a reluctance to give themselves praise, because they think it would amount to bragging. But there is a way to develop self-esteem without sounding boastful.
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