SELF ESTEEM SELF ESTEEM Self image- way a person sees one self Self -esteem is the mental picture one has of him or herself. could be positive or negative. Self-esteem is the level of belief in one self. It is an indication of the level of self acceptance. It is a way of measuring how worthwhile you judge yourself to be. It is a way of monitoring psychological well being of an individual. Self-esteem is related to concepts such as self-confidence and self- respect. SELF ESTEEM FACTS These facts do not describe who you really are or how you feel about yourself. Self-esteem and self-image go far beyond just your skills and abilities. Your physical characteristics and your activities may not necessarily reflect things you have chosen for yourself: equally, they may not be a true representation of your unique identity. Self-esteem determines how you live your life and the depth of satisfaction and joy you derive from different experiences in life; in learning, working and playing. However, the level of self esteem varies with how one relates with others or the environment; this is the sense of well being within you, and also in response to interaction with the other people or environment. HEALTHY SELF ESTEEM Having a healthy level of self-esteem does not mean you are a perfect person with no room for change. You still make mistakes, but are ready to remedy the situation Do not feel destroyed when you do, or when someone gives you negative criticism. PILLARS OF SELF ESTEEM Research indicates that there are three pillars of self esteem, namely: Acceptance: this is the need to belong or receive or enjoy unconditional love. Significance: this is the value ( or importance) people put on themselves Competence: one’s abilities and gifts. These three are the pillars that support the whole person. Whole Person Psychologists indicate that a whole person consists of the following forms of being: The physical being (what is seen through the eyes) The emotional being (what we feel) The rational being (the thoughts that run through our mind) The volitional being (the choice we make) The spiritual being (the spirit within us which is eternal) PILLARS OF SELF ESTEEM SMEP Spiritual Mental Emotional Physical SELF-IMAGE How You See Yourself It is the way you perceive yourself; the projection or opinion of you as internalised by yourself. It is different from how others see you. It is how you would like to be seen by others. Self image is difficult to change or influence, since it is set at the very early stage in life. You start valuing and devaluing yourself and these messages are embedded within yourself. They also add to the messages and statements about you received from those around you. Self-image radically affects your self-esteem. A negative self-image can be a crippling handicap and can inhibit your ability to relate to other people. A healthy self-image on the other hand, is a precious commodity. People with a good self-image see themselves as being liked, wanted, able, worthy, acceptable as having choices and being capable of understanding. Although difficult to change, self-image can be altered in a variety of ways so that it can be consolidated into more healthy reflection of your true self. You do not need to remain trapped in a prison of negative self-image. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE SELF–ESTEEM Parents and family For youth, physical contact such as time spent in holding, talking, meeting their needs on time and spontaneously socialising pass the message of acceptance or rejection to the youth. In addition, youth value encouragement as well as affirming ideas or creativity that helps to build a positive self-esteem. The feelings of self-assuredness, confidence, and security are some attributes that indicate and nurture healthy self-esteem. Even at the youth stage of life, a parent or a friend of the opposite sex has more significant role in psychological development of the personality. The youth needs a lot of nurturing, attention and affection from the parent/teachers/peers. Homes where there is violence, drug abuse, sexual abuse, incest are destructive and costly for nurturing self-esteem. Further, homes where there is too much comparisons and competition between the siblings are unhealthy. Absent parents, isolation or poor socialisation can adversely affect self-esteem. Physical Appearance Physical appearance is a highly valued personal attribute. The praises or ridicule of others regarding one’s appearance formulates a person’s mental image of him or herself, including height, weight, complexion or other physical features. Men and women are mostly admired by their physical appearances, especially film stars or athletes. An evaluation of your physical appearances is usually dependent on the reaction of others or what those you interact with imply. The modern society takes physical appearance as big business, sometimes without regard for the outcome of such enhancements. People spend lots of money and time on cosmetics and lessons to enhance appearances, especially demeanour and attire in pursuit of acceptance or appreciation. Education Education is critical for an individual in the development of perceptions about you oneself. Such mental pictures are based on success and failures in the eyes of parents, peers and authority figures. Performance in school affects the view of oneself. Poor performance will increase inferiority complex while good performance enhances positive self-image. Lack of skills or competence in a certain field or profession also tends to lower one’s self esteem. Friends and Peers Friends play a very big role in forming your self esteem, especially during teenage. Fear of rejection or in-thing effect compels teenagers to join “fit in” a peer group, evidenced by mode of dress and talk (using slang ). Peer influence confirms or destroys values and mannerisms youth may have been taught at home. If one is sensitive, the wound of rejection and criticism would be deeper for isolated and neglected young people. A casual humour would be interpreted to be taken in bad taste, often to undermine integrity. Nicknames and jokes not only hurt, but also appear to dig deeper into the character, thus offending the person, and ultimately affecting self-esteem. This is usually called character assassination that destroys the positive aspect of self-image. It can also happen with group members. Authority Figures Authority figures are influential to youths by virtue of the position they hold. These could be teachers, political or religious leaders or village elders and relatives, such as aunties, uncles. This category of people has an immerse influence on the lives of young people. Authority figures help build a positive or a negative foundation of self- esteem. If these people constantly shoot-down or discourage the young people, they affect personality negatively. However, affirmation and encouragement of good performance to the youth and positive criticism enhances assertiveness, hence self-esteem. Significant Others Significant others are people known to youths and serve as role models/friends. Their exemplary performance inspires youths, who aspire to do likewise or emulate. Youth appreciate and glow when they feel and know that they are loved for whom they are. A boyfriend and a girlfriend have affectionate relationships and help to develop a positive self-esteem that go beyond intimacy. The word of an intimate friend or a confidant is unconditional and is more likely to heed. Significant others also help develop gifts or talents by affirming performance or respect, thus have raise self-esteem. However, negative criticism and mannerisms undermine trust, such as luring such a youth to immorality or drug abuse negatively affect their self-esteem. FALSE CONCEPT OF SELF- ESTEEM Youths develop a ‘false’ appearance whether of habit or self. This is a mask to cover who one truly is. This is a front, a face or an innocent nature that young people present to the world to see while they hide to protect self inadequacies; inefficiencies and weaknesses. False self-esteem increases vulnerability and decreases confidence in what one do. The false concept of self-esteem usually consists of an image of how we think others should see us or want us to be. This is sometimes called the adapted self. The person simply alters the true self to conform to the expectations and desires of others or the situation they are in. Often, this is done to gain love, sympathy or recognition from others considered important for survival or to benefit. A youth may also pretend to be someone else because they think that person is an ideal image of who or what they would like to be. Youth may also over identify with an ideal at the expense of their true self. This may result in alienation or disillusionment. This pretence and living in a lie often result in severe anxiety or suffering, thus undermine self-esteem. Symptoms of Low Self- Esteem Feeling of inadequacy, inconsistent, incomplete. Lack of self-confidence, self-pity, self-control, self-discipline, self-regulation Doubt, uncomfortable or mistrust about being appreciated by others Unsure of oneself Fearful Angry, resentful, arrogance, aggressive, violent Feelings of shame, guilt, detached and not able to explain the reason why EFFECTS OF POOR SELF- ESTEEM Poor self-esteem distorts message people receive, and the way people interpret events in life. Poor self-esteem breeds unhealthy relationships because one is unable to relate with people without fear of rejection. It leads to poor performance, whether in school or at work. Poor choice of marriage partners is common. A very educated man who has a poor self-esteem may choose to marry a woman with very inferior education so that he can be able to control her. This will help him also feel very superior Poor self-esteem results in feelings of fear and guilt that cripples advancement in life. Such a person never realizes his or her full potential because often the person is withdrawn or reserved. Poor self-esteem increases personality disorder. One takes alcohol to win approval from other people Further Results of Poor Self- esteem Difficulty to make contact or deal with other people. Wastage of energy and time in making decisions or doing certain tasks or work generally. Difficulty of developing or marshalling practical action. Insecurity and indifference since the world around seems hostile and unsafe. Difficulty to listen, communicate or decipher messages of love and appreciation by others. Depression and stress after spending a lot of time on anxious and worrying about trivial issues, such as what other people think of you. SELF ESTEEM- booster Get your diary and write the word NO every evening for the rest of the year. This is to REMIND you that you can say NO … and mean it! Try it, it works! Learn to say no. Keep an Ideas File – in a filling cabinet, at the back of the diary or day’s planner. We all have flushes of inspiration from time to time. Note them somewhere. Keep a People File – the significant people you meet, daily or regularly. Keep your desk tidy – if you have two projects, have two desks or sections set aside. Do not mix papers – tidiness/cleanliness helps you to remain focused and orderly. Literature materials, including magazines and newspapers – peruse through the content. Cut out articles or pages that interest you. BUILDING A POSITIVE SELF- ESTEEM Every one wants to be attractive and feel appreciated. One wants to be the best; in character and achievement, in mannerism and merit. Self-esteem is a lifelong struggle and is pursued for the sake of happiness and good life. A person draws self-esteem from a sense of own values. These are the qualities you use to judge yourself and others. Self-esteem is maintained and supported by selectively interpreting facts, standards and situations; it depends on how good one wants to be. Self-esteem involves choices. People with limited choices are more likely to have chronic low self-esteem, often called inferiority complex. Of course everybody feels inferior in some ways or the other. Equally, all of us feel worthwhile at times. With the help of a counsellor, a counselee is made to face up with the problematic self- image. The counselee is able to examine the problem and issues realistically and come up with possible solutions. The counselee may work through the problem and attempt at the solution with the assistance of the parent, a peer or a person of significant authority, especially a teacher or clergy. EFFECTS OF HIGH SELF ESTEEM Being active; energetic and alive; you feel alive and kicking Exuding confidence; competence or ability; you believe in yourself Solution; ready with a solution to a problems that arises; confidence and competent when handling issues; you feel at your best and can fix it. Generous; having much more to give to other people; you share with others and appreciate their inputs. Feedback; exchange and consultations with others; you are open to suggestions from others, and are willing to accept criticism and suggestions for positive change. CONCLUSION The three basic pillars of self-esteem are: Acceptance You are wonderfully made; precious, special and unique Significance Life has a purpose; fulfil the divine plan of creation in your life. Competence Success in life is possible; utilise the talent and have the will to succeed.
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