What exactly is self-esteem and confidence?

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What exactly is self-esteem and confidence?




Self-esteem, in psychology and sociology refers to the subjective emotional evaluation of a person’s own value to him/herself and to society. It refers to a judgment of a person’s self and his/her attitude towards him/herself.

Beliefs as well as emotions (for instance despair, triumph, shame and pride) are all what comprise a person’s self-esteem. Basically, it is what a person thinks about him/herself—be those thoughts positive or negative. It is what a person feels about him/herself.

Many researchers have studied self-esteem and used it as a means to predict a person’s future (outcomes of certain events such as educational accomplishment, his/her satisfaction in relationships and marriage, overall happiness, criminal activities, etc.).

A person’s character is typified by his/her self-esteem (or lack thereof). A person may also have short-term self-esteem (state self-esteem). Some words that are usually used to talk about a person’s self-esteem (some are not really synonyms) are: self-regard, self-worth, self-integrity, and self-respect.


Theories of Self-Esteem


The majority of the early theories about self-esteem suggest that it is a basic need or motivation for all human beings. It seems to be an essential human need.

One theory suggests that there are two forms of esteem that every human being needs in his/her life. The first is self-esteem; self-confidence, self-love, and aptitude. The second comes from others; success (and recognition) and admiration. The theory suggests that respect from other people is fragile and therefore more easily lost as opposed to self-esteem and self-worth.

Generally, those who do not have self-esteem for whatever reason seek it through their actions. The above theory suggests that a person who constantly seeks self-esteem does not attain self-actualization; he/she does not grow.

Another theory speaks of self-esteem as something that evolved over time to check a person’s status in his/her social group.


Importance of Self-Esteem and Confidence


Self-esteem begets positivity in one’s life and mind-set. A positive attitude is necessary in order to achieve success in a person’s life. It is also essential in order to achieve happiness in life.

A good practice to get into in order to build or maintain good self-esteem is to always focus on the positive aspects of life—or at least finding the positive aspects of negative situations. It is not easy, given the difficulty of work or school or just life in general. However, good self-esteem and confidence and positivity are a person’s best tools when looking to fit into society or to build a successful career and/or life.

Basically, this is the importance of self-esteem and confidence.

With these, a person overcomes the first hurdle of achieving his/her targets; be they getting a promotion at work, talking to a girl he likes, etc.

A person needs confidence and self-esteem when chasing his/her dreams. This is especially true if his/her dreams are lofty and seem implausible to accomplish. A person needs a positive attitude so that when people tell him/her that he/she cannot and will not do something, it doesn’t break his/her spirit. A person needs it when others tell him/her to give up and target more “achievable” goals.

Life is all about what a person makes of it. What a person does in his/her life depends a lot on his/her attitude towards various situations. This attitude is determined by the person’s self-worth and confidence.


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Thomas Philipp
Thomas Philipp
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