- Linda DuToit, LPC
2 Core Building Blocks of Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a reflection of our opinion of ourselves. Healthy self-esteem is knowing that we are worthy of happiness just like everyone else. Healthy self-esteem sees our value as a person as equal to those around us – no more and no less. Our self-esteem primarily consists of two important concepts: self-respect and self-confidence.
The information below is an introduction to these two concepts. If your self-esteem is not yet as healthy as you would like, please read this information to get an idea of what you are working towards. With a bit of determination and consistent conscious effort, your self-respect and self-confidence can transform. Read this information and begin incorporating some of these concepts into your everyday life. This is what healthy self-esteem can look like for you.
Self-respect believes that you are worthy of happiness, and you live your life in a way that reflects that worthiness. When you have healthy self-respect, you understand that you have value as a person. You have the right to be alive and living a healthy life. You are comfortable in assertively communicating your thoughts, needs, and opinions. You embrace joy in living and experience personal fulfillment.
You think of yourself in a balanced way. You cannot eliminate negativity altogether. You accept that you are human and therefore have weaknesses and make mistakes, and you work to improve on them. You also recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate our strengths and successes. You see your positive qualities and take note of your achievements. You evaluate yourself with a realistic, balanced approach. You are far more than the sum of the mistakes you make. You become better because of them.
As a result of who you are and what you do, you expect to experience love, friendship, and happiness. When you have self-respect, you take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Healthy self-esteem recognizes the value of all people, including yourself.
When your self-confidence becomes healthier, you will acknowledge that you are able to think, understand, learn, make choices, make your own decisions, and understand reality. You will feel adequate to face the challenges of your life. You trust in your abilities and approach new circumstances with a healthy “can-do” attitude.
Many circumstances will be new to you, and you may not initially feel confidence in that specific new thing. However, what you can have confidence in is that you are able to learn new things, and understand new concepts.
Self-confidence is something that you build over time. And self-confidence is built through believing you can take on something you have never tried before. It’s trusting in yourself and drawing on past achievements.
Self-Confidence Can Be Built
Past experiences provide the confidence that you will handle something new. That’s how you move from elementary school to middle school to high school and maybe on to college – although high school was new to you, you had handled elementary and middle school, so provides some assurance that you can approach high school with a health level of confidence. That is also how you move from one job to another. Even when you change your career field, you can draw upon past job experiences to fuel your confidence to walk through the door of a new workplace and embrace the challenges.
What if you have no experience in a particular area? You choose a starting point and dive in. You learn by doing. Your self-confidence grows by doing, making mistakes, learning, trying again, and succeeding. Self-confidence can grow as you get older and have a willingness to try new things.
Hope for Your Future
Self-esteem is both a simple and a complex concept. Much has been researched and written about the subject, so there are plenty of resources to help you along your journey. The help of a therapist can be invaluable. Therapists are able to see us objectively and can help us break through our stubborn thought patterns to establish healthier ways of seeing ourselves.
If your self-esteem is less than healthy, I am here to provide hope and encouragement so you can pursue and maintain healthy self-esteem. It will take time and effort on your part, but it can be done. Self-esteem is important to your success in life, so it’s worth the time that it takes to increase your self-esteem. Keep reading my posts, learn from my videos (beginning in August, 2020), and do research to find other helpful resources. I’m here to keep you on the path towards the life you truly want.
Branden, N. (1994). The six pillars of self-esteem. New York: Bantam.