Self Esteem

When we reflect on our lives, we may notice that on days that we feel better about ourselves, happier and more fulfilled, we are also able to offer a greater degree of care, support, and generosity to others.

This is because we can only love and outwardly appreciate the degree to which we have nurtured those same feelings and qualities within and towards ourselves.

In other words, we can’t give what we don’t have; we can’t pour from an empty cup.

Most women I know, however, continue to give and give, even when their own wells are running low. This shows up frequently in parenting, caregiving, educational and leadership roles.

Tending to others, especially the young or vulnerable, is immensely rewarding.  It is a selfless and humbling endeavour. Often, we are on call many hours per day, and we need to handle a whole host of situations and issues that we may not even feel adequately equipped for.  Nonetheless, we need to pull through as effectively as possible, as the well-being of others is at stake.

‘Talk about learning how to fly …on the way down …when we’ve never used our wings before …and don’t even know if they work!

What does this sound like?  Life, of course.

There is no manual to follow that can provide us with the do’s and don’ts to apply to our life journey. We may share similarities with others (universal strategies such as healthy eating, exercise, personal hygiene, and social activity), but ultimately our own experiences and individual lessons are unique and one-of-a-kind.

This is why, in order to fully embrace and be as prepared as possible for this wild and wonderful life experience, one of the most fundamental qualities to embody is self esteem.

We may not always feel confident or even capable of handling everything that comes along.  However, having a noteworthy level of self esteem can support us and get us to the other side of all sorts of learning curves and challenges.

What is Self-esteem?  

Self-esteem pertains to how you feel about your self concept and your overall opinion of yourself, such as your abilities and limitations.

When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. With low self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas.

Our early development of self-worth is greatly impacted by the attitudes and behaviours of our parents and caretakers. This later shifts as our social interactions move outside of the home and become more greatly influenced by peers and society. In many ways, self-esteem is a measure of your real or imagined history of acceptance and rejection.

Since, self-esteem is primarily based on our perception, it can be highly influenced. This means it can change, strengthen, or even weaken.

Types of Self-esteem

There are three categories of self esteem:

  1. Low Self-esteem: This group sees themselves as below average. They do not believe in themselves, trust in their abilities, or place value on themselves. Low self-esteem can affect many aspects of one’s life, such as leading to addictions, depression, anxiety, and poor relationships.
  2. Inflated Self-esteem: This group tends to view themselves as better than other people and are always ready to underestimate others. This prevents them from forming meaningful, healthy and mutually supportive relationships. They always want to be ahead, and most times do not mind hurting people to achieve the success they desire, thinking that will bring them happiness. They do not have the ability to listen to others, and they constantly blame others and undervalue them. They also adopt a hostile attitude and behavior toward others. They brag to hide their incompetence and have a great fear of rejection and failure.
  3. High Self-esteem: This group tends to love and accept themselves. They trust in their abilities and have the confidence to believe that whatever challenge might come their way, they will be able to handle and even surpass it. They enjoy and embrace learning new things and accept new challenges. They are not searching for approval or hiding from the possible judgements of others.  As well, they are open to corrective input. People who have high self-esteem have positive feelings and are more pleasant to be around.

Why Is Self-esteem Important?

Self-esteem is crucial, because it is a determinant of success or failure. It influences a person’s life choices and motivation. It can help you navigate through life with a more positive attitude and outlook.  Whereas, low self esteem may hold you back from achieving your goals and hinder you from maximizing your potential, as you have the perception that you are not good enough or don’t have what it takes to succeed.

A wonderful way to augment your self esteem is dedicating time and energy to your own self care. This builds personal autonomy, trust, and self-reliance.

By joining a Women’s Wellness Circles, you can experience a monthly commitment of investing in yourself, and your self-esteem will flourish, too.

To Your Self-esteem,

Jill Hewlett

Founder & Mentor Women’s Wellness Circles

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