Today I read that self-esteem is the key to success or failure, and that got me thinking. If I wanted to guarantee that I succeeded, then I’d just need to ensure my self-esteem was positive and not negative in whichever area I wanted success, right? Is there more to it than this?
Well, first – to answer that question, it made sense to have a working definition of the word: self-esteem. Put simply – according to my Google search — self-esteem is the way people think about themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Psychologists use the word self-esteem to describe whether someone likes him/herself or not. … Someone with low self-esteem might think that they are bad at things and worthless.
Wow. Liking ourselves? Wow. We like chocolates. We like travelling. We like our jobs. Ok, maybe not. But we like our friends – the people that make us laugh and the people we feel free to cry with, but do we like ourselves? Apparently most of us need to examine ourselves to see if we really like ourselves.
If success suggests that we like ourselves and have high self-esteem, does this mean that our self-esteem is low in the areas where we’ve been failing? Meaning: If we keep getting involved in romantic relationships with people who are cruel to us, does that mean we don’t like ourselves in that area and have low self-esteem? And if we desperately want to change our jobs yet we don’t actively try to change jobs, does it mean our self-esteem is low in terms of our regard for our marketability or value? And if we keep failing at losing weight, does that mean our self-esteem is low in terms of our body image and/or our self-concept of our ability to change our eating habits?
The truth is that if we think we can and know we can accomplish something, we will and we do. And that certainty is because we are confident and sure that we will. Our self-esteem is usually high in that area. Conversely, have you ever wanted to accomplish something but didn’t feel sure that you could or would succeed? Something like weight loss or saving for a four-week vacation. Have you ever wanted something but didn’t feel sure you could accomplish it? Would you say your self-esteem was high in that area even though you were not sure you’d succeed? And if you kept failing in that area, wouldn’t you really say your self-esteem was not high in that area?
Before you disagree, think about it. Just stop and reflect on the areas in your life where you feel stuck and unsuccessful. If high self-esteem means we like ourselves and success means we have high self-esteem, wouldn’t failure mean we have low self-esteem in those areas where we’re unsuccessful? Is there more to it than this?
I’m wondering …