Someone with high self esteem is what you would call ‘confident.’ They are not afraid to speak up in a crowd and do not take things personally if they receive negative feedback or harsh criticism. They never seem to doubt any of the decisions they make, no matter how important. Are you one of those people? Or do you wish you could be?
What does self esteem measure, exactly? Why is it important to have healthy levels of self esteem? Test your own self esteem and learn a few new ways you can begin to improve the way you think about yourself.
What is self esteem?
According to Mayo Clinic, self esteem is a measure of how you value yourself. Your level of self esteem indicates how you feel about your thoughts, opinions, actions, appearance and more. When you have healthy self esteem, you operate with the mindset that you have worthy opinions and ideas, and you believe you deserve the respect of the people around you.
When you have low self esteem, however, you don’t tend to think your opinions or ideas matter very much. You spend a lot more time worrying about whether or not you are ‘good enough.’ People with low self esteem often struggle with the feeling that they do not belong in a specific place or that they do not deserve to be valued at the same level as other people.
Self esteem is often shaped by our surrounding environments, such as school or work, as well as our culture or religion, those we spend time with such as friends and family and even the things we watch on TV and read online.
Why is high self esteem important?
There are a lot of people out there who are not very confident in their own abilities and limitations, but that does not mean things should have to stay that way. Self esteem is more than just a feeling. It is a mindset that can, and will, go on to influence multiple areas in our lives, either in a positive or negative way. It is, therefore, important to understand why improving self esteem matters.
Our amount of self esteem can directly affect how we perform both professionally and personally. If you have low self esteem, it might be harder for you to accept constructive criticism. You might find it difficult to take risks, another factor that can negatively influence various areas of your life.
A healthy amount of self esteem will allow you to make your own decisions with confidence. Those with higher self esteem can adequately express their thoughts and opinions, form stronger relationships, more easily bounce back from setbacks and do not tend to define their worth based on their weaknesses or mistakes.
How to test your level of self esteem
Making the decision to want to improve yourself in some way means throwing out some of those insecurities you carry around with you. This is not a particularly easy thing for anyone to do. Because there are so many different factors that influence how we form opinions about ourselves, it takes a lot of time and effort to figure out how to accept our weaknesses and define new strengths.
It all starts with figuring out how high your self esteem is. Take this quiz to learn your personal level of self esteem. You will be asked to answer a series of questions that will assess how you typically react to certain situations, both involving other people and within yourself.
Your responses, and the results you will receive at the end, will help you decide if there are any next steps you can take in order to improve your self esteem and change the way you view yourself for the better. Even those with higher self esteem can always work to improve on certain areas of their lives.
Tips for raising your own self esteem
- Engage in positive self talk. Use positive affirmations (“I can do this,” “I am a good person,” “I am worth it”) to reassure yourself when you are not feeling good about yourself to help shift your mindset and get you through the day.
- Try not to compare yourself to other people. Every single person out there is different in a good way, including you. Just because you cannot do something the same way as someone else does not mean your way is inferior. Your only goal should be to be the best you that you can be.
- Remember that mistakes are a normal part of everyday life: everyone makes mistakes. Even successful people. So don’t let one or two small errors ruin your day. Making mistakes really means you are learning how to be better, which is something that should make you feel good, not bad.
- Know that perfection is overrated. Not a single person in this world is perfect, even if it might seem like they are on the outside. Don’t try to be perfect or do every single thing perfectly. Strive to do your best, and improve that best.
Did you get a different result on your test than you expected? Here is a helpful guide in more detail to get you started on a journey toward higher self esteem.
The success of your life really does depend on how well you carry yourself. Self esteem affects how both you and other people treat you. You deserve respect, and if you can show other people that you respect yourself, they will come to have much more respect for you as well.
With higher self esteem, you will also be able to make better decisions that make a positive impact on your future. No more doubting yourself. No more backing down from challenges because you are afraid of failing. No more being embarrassed because you made a mistake at your job or in a relationship.
If you do have relatively low self esteem, know that you are the only one who can decide how worthy you really are. That is no one else’s decision to make. With a little practice, you will be able to feel better about yourself than you ever have before.