Why Self Esteem Matters

I have little patience with those people in the mental health field who insist self -esteem is a bad thing and they ought to know better. I think a lot of it is because of the erroneous messages the Self esteem movement teaches. Self -esteem is not about walking around with unrealistic beliefs about our selves and our abilities. It is about having a realistic view of ourselves, warts and all. It means having humility and realizing we are no better or worse than anyone else. There are several factors that make up self -esteem.  Psychiatrist Nathaniel Branden has written several good books on the subject

I believe there are several good reasons to increase self-esteem these are.

  1. You cannot Love others until you love yourself. God commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then he commands us to  love ourselves.
  2. People accept our evaluation of our selves. If we have a low opinion of our self other people will be able to tell and they will treat us accordingly.
  3. Other people cannot like us more than we like ourselves.
  4. People are attracted to someone of the opposite sex with the same level of self-esteem they possess.
  5. In order to have a good relationship with other people we have to have a good relationship with ourselves. Our relationships with other people are a clue to our relationship with our selves.
  6. Self-Esteem will help you succeed . You need to feel you deserve success and relationships are an important ingredient to success..
  7. You will be more satisfied with yourself, have better relationships  and have a better chance for success. It is not easy going through life feeling inferior and intimidated by other people.

If self-esteem is important then how do you get it? You cannot earn it because it is a feeling based on your evaluation of your self. In his book “Transforming Yourself” Steve Andreas says that you experience self – esteem to the degree that you meet your values of your ideal self. If you have impossibly high standards you will not have self-esteem. We are all part of  humanity and I believe that is our basis for self-esteem. A big problem people have is comparing themselves to others .There are people who are richer, better looking ,more successful and so forth. I have seen the value of human beings debated on a forum when I searched for that answer. Some thought that those who contribute the most to society are the most valuable. Would serving society be important if people were not important though? Moral superiority and wealth are two criteria many people use to measure worth. Suppose we compare a wealthy philanthropist to a Dictator. most of us would say the philanthropist is better. I think there is a problem judging people by limited criteria because human beings are so much more. The Bible Tells us that God made man a little lower than the Angels.  David describes in  the Book of Psalms  how God created him in a wonderful way and this applies to all people not just David. The fact is we have free will and can determine how we live our lives.it is like fire which can  warm  or cook but also destroy.

Cognitive Behavioral TYherapy ,Neurolinguistic programming and Hypnosis can help improve self-esteem . Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people recognize and change their thinking. there are some good Books on the subject such as “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies” and “A New Guide to rational thinking”





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