The expression ‘Self-Esteem’ was first used by American psychologist and philosopher, William James, in 1890. He viewed self esteem as ‘one’s mental perception of (his) qualities, not physical features.
There are various definitions of self esteem, but in essence, it is the value we place on ourselves as individuals and in relation to others. Literally, your self esteem is the esteem in which you hold yourself
We can measure our self-esteem as confirmed by Maurice Rosenberg. If our self esteem is too low, it means we see ourselves as less valuable than those around us.
So we are encouraged to improve our self-esteem in order to become more confident, happier, and better able to lead a full and rewarding life.
If our self-esteem is too high, we are probably suffering from ‘unearned’ esteem, and see ourselves as better than those around us. This has been associated with bullying, violence and aggression to others.
Our goal is to achieve the right level of self-esteem that is not dependent on individual events or achievement. A balanced and healthy level of self-esteem is one that shows respect for ourselves and respect for others.
A good and healthy level of self esteem will enable us to:
· maintain calm, rational thought processes and behavior.
· cope with disappointments and criticisms;
· attempt new challenges;
· seek out new relationships,
· avoid defensive, aggressive, bombastic or nervous tendencies;
· work towards our futures with a level of confidence and belief in our abilities.
So in order to achieve the benefits of a healthy level of self-esteem, the following ways could prove very helpful:
ü Use positive affirmations or self-talk about who you are and what you can do. For example, say ‘I’m rich’, ‘I’m healthy’, ‘I’m blessed and a blessing’, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’, ‘I have an ageless body’, ‘I have a timeless mind’, ‘I’m making a lot of money’, etc.
ü Feed your body with hygienically rich foods. Feed your mind with inspirational and motivational materials. Feed your spirit with the Word of God.
ü Drink lot of water to keep your body alive.
ü Exercise: Take a walk. Swim if you can. Jog some miles. Stretch at the gym or anywhere else, even your bathroom. etc
ü Smile! Even when you do not feel like it. Smile to yourself. Smile when you come in contact with others. And watch your self-esteem grow!
ü When attending in a group event or meeting, try to stand or sit in front.
ü Nurture an attitude of gratitude. A good habit for your self-esteem is to be grateful for at least one thing every day. Be grateful you can breathe. Be grateful for every part of your body. Be grateful you have a strong God. Gratitude is the secret to receiving more out of life. Being grateful means that every day is your birthday!
ü Dress purposely! Boost your confidence as you wear your clothes every day. A neat appearance can literally make our day!