Healthy Self Esteem
A person having healthy self esteem is fully aware of his caliber & weaknesses.He is confident of his ability to solve any problem which may obstruct his path.Difficulties or failures do not stump him.He springs back with new hope & strategies.He abides by his principles & knows that he commands respect.Even disregard or disrespect from someone will influence him only momentarily because he has firm faith in his own merit.He can bounce back after a down-fall.He enjoys strong & rewarding relationships,because he gives equal respect to others.
High Self Esteem
This person thinks the world of himself.You could call him a narcissist.He holds an exaggerated view of his personality,his charm,his abilities & his importance on this globe.He cannot tolerate criticism.Since he always overestimates his own acumen & ability,he often falls flat on his face but the blame will always be laid at someone else's door.He is likely to face many disillusionments in life but you won't catch him admitting it.Since he looks down upon others,he fails to forge strong relationships.
Low Self Esteem
As a child grows up, some of his acts are appreciated by the people around him,while some others are rejected as being bad,immoral or distasteful.The child forms an image of himself on basis of these approvals & chidings--this is his self image.Simultaneously he also constructs a picture of how he is expected to be--this is the ideal image.If there is a lot of discrepancy between the two, low self esteem will result.The parents may not always be right--they may be too strict,uptight,prudish or even unlawful & selfish.But the ideal image grasped by the kid stays with him,as does his dejection at not meeting the norms.The child's self image could relate to his appearance,intelligence,attitudes,emotions,abilities,strengths,faults & his perceptions.
If his inferiority complex is related to his appearance then steps can be taken to rectify the drawbacks wherever possible.For example one could get into shape,take care to be neat & clean & dress appropriately.
This is easy.But changes are challenging when you are required to modify your personality traits & habits learnt over the years.Self image is a very nebulous concept--so many vague,fluctuating thoughts & perceptions coalsce to compose it.Each & every demeaning thought has to be handled & set right.It becomes doubly taxing if you base your self concept upon others' reactions or responses.The other person may not necessarily be a positive human.He may have his own reasons for pulling you down.If you construct your image according to others' reactions or responses to you, then you can never be at peace.It is essential to replace old coping strategies with new ones in order to attain a healthy self esteem.Here are some suggestions:
1) Learn to put your own self ahead of others & say adieu to people pleasing.Take care that you do not become obnoxious in the process!
2) Get rid of your favorite hobby--criticizing yourself for every mistake.Even the well known high achievers made plenty of mistakes before they succeeded.
3) Do not be hyper sensitive to others' criticism.
4) The fear of making mistakes may hold you back from trying anything new or difficult,but how will you achieve something remarkable if you desist from trying?Go for it,and if you fail,go again!
5) Forsake those feelings of guilt which you nurse in your heart.After all, you did not start a world war did you?
6) Whenever you come face-to-face with a crisis or a tough choice,cogitate over all the pros & cons and then take your own decision.You took all factors into consideration;therefore there is no need to be apprehensive or fearful of the outcome.
7) Do not ask others for advice.
8) Rely on your own resources as far as possible.If it is essential to ask for help do it without being obsequious.
9) Never allow anyone to discourage you.
10) Take care that no one manipulates or uses you.You were unsure & vulnerable till now & this must have given people wrong ideas.Put an end to this trend.
Improving upon the psychological aspects of a bad self concept is fine but it is only half the battle won if you dislike certain facets of your personality which are mainly responsible for your low self esteem.Of course none of us is perfect but if something is eating at your self confidence it ought to be removed.Unless & until you get rid of the elements which drag you down,you cannot hope to achieve a healthy self image.Therefore:
1) If you find that you are not well informed about the happenings in the world & hence cannot join in a discussion;take steps to rectify this.
2) In case you are not doing well at your job,upgrade your skills & knowledge.
3) If you feel alone & left out of groups & gatherings,make conscious efforts to meet people half way--or full way if need be.After all you are the one who needs companionship.
4) Do you admire a particular quality in someone?It could be a simple thing like being punctual,following a healthy routine or vocalizing your thoughts.Cultivate this habit so that you feel better about yourself.
5)Last but not the least--indulge in activities you consider respectable if you want to earn your own respect.If you are straight & honest in your dealings nobody can shake your faith in yourself.
When you are happy in your skin, self doubt & pessimism will give way to a cheerful outlook,attracting people to this new you.Old ties will improve & new ones will be formed.Freedom from self-imposed restrictions will open up a new vista for greater achievements because:
"If we did all the things we are capable of doing,we would literally astound ourselves"Thomas A Edison.