Lately the subject of self-esteem has been swimming in my head. “How do we know if we have a healthy or poor self-esteem? Is there an objective measure other than our own assessment, which may be biased and subjective?” I found a 10-question quiz that you can take in less than 5 minutes to score your self-esteem. Check it out and take the test, for fun or as food for thought.
From my own experience and observation, self-esteem seems to affect every relationship we have – at work, at home, in romance, in our friendships and alone with ourselves. It seems to color our every experience in relation to the world.
often correlates with rationality, realism, intuitiveness, creativity, independence, flexibility, our ability to manage change, our willingness to admit (and correct) mistakes, benevolence, and cooperativeness.
often correlates with irrationality, blindness to reality, rigidity, fear of the new and unfamiliar, inappropriate conformity or inappropriate rebelliousness, defensiveness, over-compliant or over-controlling behaviors, and fear of, or hostility towards, others.
Self-esteem also affects our moods – emotional states that last for prolonged periods of time. Poor self-esteem seems to cause feelings of shame, guilt, apathy, depression, fear, compulsion and obsession, anger and pride.
Healthy self-esteem seems to cause feelings of courage, contentment, optimism, acceptance, curiosity, love, joy and peace.
So if self-esteem is so vital to our existence and our experience of the world. What is self-esteem, really?
Dr. Nathaniel Branden, a psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem, summed it up well. According to Dr. Branden, self-esteem has two interrelated components: one is a sense of basic confidence in the face of life’s challenges: self-efficacy; the other is a sense of being worthy of happiness: self-respect. Self-esteem is, therefore, the disposition to believe oneself competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and to be worthy of happiness.
I will leave you with these thoughts to think about. “How’s your self-esteem? And how does it affect your relationships and life experiences?”
Did you take the test? If so, let me know if it is accurate in your opinion.