Joy was a young, beautiful, intelligent and smart 22 years old lady. A successful medicine student at the university of Nairobi. All her friends and colleagues considered her to be the best student in the class of Human Anatomy as well as Organic Chemistry and even in personality and character. However she felt useless, insecure and ugly. She did noticed that her relationships with young men or any close male guy were difficult and always not going on well. She rarely had a male friend unlike her schoolmates. She decided to seek advise from Prof. Bett, the school psychologist.
She explained to the psychologist that at the beginning of her relationships with a young man, the relationship went on well and as time passed by and the relationship got more serious she felt more inferior. She then starts to feel like this guy is just there to exploit her, take advantage of her or maybe exploit her sexually. Joy always had the same thoughts ” I am worthless and this guy is just going to make me worse.” In truth, she desired friendship and a stable relationship and even thought of marriage and a happy family with maybe two boys and girls or twins. However her feelings always created an insurmountable wall which made the relationship harder and at the end it failed. In one of the sessions with Prof. Bett, she did explained something she had never said to anyone.
What is self esteem? How can one use it to his or her own advantage? Oh, and what is the difference between self esteem and self concept? For sure healthy self esteem is a necessary component of happiness and success throughout life.
Self esteem is the way in which we appropriate ourselves; the way we recognize our strengths, qualities and attributes, an essential step to success or the balance of valuing ourselves. Self esteem is said to be balanced if one loves, accepts and trusts oneself.
However, self concept is the persons view of self as it relates to his or her own appearance, moral qualities , intelligence, possessions etc.
Self esteemed is always something that can be formed or deformed, learned or unllearned, taught, acquireed or observed and assimilated. Here are four factors that influence self esteem.
1. Childhood experiences.
Kids always learn a lot even self esteem when young, when learning how this world works, how to associate with others and even beginning to talk. When they get to school, they learn to develop self concept as they get compared with other kids, congractulated or face failure, or be best in some sport or exam. They also learn the importance of physical appearance, social acceptance, behaviour, games and sports. They also learn a lot by observation, forming models and emulating them. All these contribute to development of self esteem that will affect ones life even to adulthood.
Parents and teachers should help to develop a child’s self esteem. Kids should have a mental and spiritual self concept that is realistic, healthy and positive.
2. The environment.
If I have a fashion type of suit and wish to sell it a lot more, the best way is to make sure advertisers do wear the same fashion suit. When, on daily basis we see advertisements or images of these famous people , we compare ourself without even being active about it and soon enough we emulate. We often define ourself with the society’s expectations . What is success in some community is not is the other. Educated guy may be successful in one community but not the guy with the largest herd of cattle. Moreover, we may develop self esteem by looking at what we have and what the society expects of us.
3. Information we receive.
The words that others say about me help me to form my own evaluation. I loved and admired programming because almost every day someone asked me if I were doing computer science or gave me some IT work thinking I was pursuing it. Eventually I became better in it and did more and more. Comments made by parents and friends or teachers about our ability in sports, studies, leadership, friendship and character make us auto-define our evaluation. You will always find the happiest couple is the one where the opposite knows how to complement the other really well.
4. Personal accomplishment.
Any kind of accomplishment, small, medium or large is a source of improving one’s self esteem. Sometimes you find some guy having very high self esteem just coz he is driving a range or a corolla or being the best in a given test. Generally, self esteem is nourished by what is considered precious.
There are many more ways to developing a better and netter self esteem. It is one of the steps one has to make to be successful.
Bill started up a software company at the age of 28 after working in another for quite long time. He got many clients that he had a long list of projects to work on at the end of every month. So she decided to employ Cate and Sam. At first, Cate was getting to work on time or even earlier, was really good in what she was doing and was of much help. However, as time went by, she started to be very reluctant, getting to work late, always on phone or facebooking and was not really working well. Bill always had a fear to correct her, she was so talented that she was afraid she may quit. Bill suffers from low self esteem and that is why she cant perform her duties as the employer.