People do like you!
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SELF ESTEEM
- Think about your perception of your actual self – how you view yourself to be right now.
- Now think about your perception of your desired self – how you believe you should be.
- Then ask yourself:
- How well do these two self-concepts compare with each other?
- Is there a large or small discrepancy between the two?
The difference between these two concepts is what researchers say determines your self-esteem. The greater the discrepancy, the lower the self-esteem.
WHAT IS SELF ESTEEM?
Rowland Miller, Professor of Psychology and relationship expert, states that self-esteem is defined as how a person evaluates him or herself. When you judge your own skills and traits as favorable and positive, you'll have a greater likelihood of a higher self-esteem.
Miller and his colleagues have also found that we measure our self-esteem by the quality of relationships we have with others. When others like us, we tend to like ourselves. When we feel we don't interest other people, then our self-esteem will tend to be lower.
Joshua D. Sparrow, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, states “A healthy self-esteem allows us to go on trying things we’ve failed at, to strive when we haven’t reached our full potential, and to take on new challenges”.
These things are important when we are working toward achieving our goals!
So if you have low self-esteem, what can you do right now to increase it to live a happier and more fulfilling life? Research gives us lots of options, and I will discuss a few here.
1. INCREASE POSITIVE CONNECTIONS
People with chronic low self-esteem often have a history of receiving insufficient acceptance and appreciation from others (or at least feeling that way!) according to Rowland Miller.
Stephanie Steese has found that a great way to improve self-esteem is to build positive connections with others. One way to go about this is to join a support group for people with similar experiences or feelings as yourself. Accepting comfort from others is a healthy way to build self-esteem because it lets you know that someone else understands what you are going through.
Not only that, but support groups also help you develop better empathic listening skills. Miller and his colleagues have discovered that individuals with low self-esteem tend to make a big deal out of things that individuals with high self-esteem would shrug off. Those with low self-esteem tend to respond with self-defeating hurt and anger that causes an adverse reaction in others instead of the reassurance they crave.
By learning to listen empathically, you can learn to respond better to others in a more positive way. This in turn will help create a more positive connection and interaction with other individuals.
I offer Self-Esteem Building support group conducted through Google messenger on-line hangouts! Contact me to discuss how I might help build your self esteem.
Another way to increase self-esteem is by developing resiliency. One study found that participating in just six half-hour activities geared toward developing trust and coping strategies (like life-coaching) can seriously increase your self-esteem!
Some coping strategies include suggestions like seeking help from someone you trust, self-talk to overcome negative thought patterns, increasing optimism, considering the big picture, honing your communication skills, and even simply walking away from a situation.
The key is to have a plan in place before you need it so that you have it to use when needed. When you know how to get through a tough situation, you feel more competent and confident.
DEVELOP YOUR TALENTS AND SKILLS
Roy Baumeister, Francis Eppes Professor in Social Psychology, says that research shows a strong correlation between high self-esteem and high performance levels. High performance leads to high self-esteem and not the other way around as some might believe.
This means that you can immediately raise your level of self-esteem by doing well at work, attaining a desired achievement, or being recognized for something you have accomplished. Also try honing your skills for a particular task or thinking about how you are good at something (and actually doing what you are good at).
The more we feel we have something positive to contribute or that we are evaluated positively by others, the more self-esteem we will have.
Which of these self esteem tips can you apply right now, today? Let me know in the comments!
Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(1), 1-44.
Miller, R. S., Perlman, D., & Brehm, S. S. (2006). Intimate Relationships (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Sparrow, J. (2005). Self-esteem. Scholastic Parent & Child, 13(1), 60-63.
Steese, S., Dollette, M., Phillips, W., Hossfeld, E., Matthews, G., & Taormina, G. (2006, Spring). Understanding girls’ circle as an intervention on perceived social support, body image, self-efficacy, locus of control, and self-esteem. Adolescence, 41(161), 55-74.
Wick, D. T., Wick, J. K., & Peterson, N. (1997, October). Improving self-esteem with Adlerian adventure therapy. Professional School Counseling, 1(1), 56-56.