Self-esteem and self-confidence: How it can help you

Self-esteem is something you build up or broken down over the years, As a baby, everyone is confident, you couldn’t care less who would hear you cry. But life can take a toll on your self-confidence, and that will make life harder for you. If you want to be happier, healthier and stronger you need to have a high level of self-esteem.

What is self-esteem and how is it shaped?

Self-esteem is hard to define, as it means something different to everyone. But in short you can say it says something about the way you perceive yourself and others. A low self-esteem would mean that you’re not comfortable in your own skin, don’t respect yourself or believe you’re not worthy of being happy or being loved. High self-esteem on the other hand means you love yourself, you feel secure, you aren’t afraid to be yourself and you who you are. When your self-esteem is high you do not solely identify by your type of friends, your looks, your job, possessions etc. You know who you are, no matter the circumstances.

Your self-esteem is mainly shaped throughout your youth and adolescence. One way your self-esteem is built is by the love, affection and acceptance of others. So, your parents, siblings, primary school friends, teachers and other family members play a large part in the development of your self-esteem. When you are only critiqued, your self-confidence will suffer while receiving appreciation will boost it.

The other part of self-esteem comes from you, and it is often determined by various life events. When you get the best score at class, this will boost your self-esteem. While failing terribly at football will lower it. Some events obviously affect your self-confidence while others do this without you realising it.

What self-esteem can do for you?

You may wonder why you need self-esteem, everyone seems to be some hyped about, but what real benefits can it bring you?

At first, self-esteem can improve your mental well-being. Various researches have pointed out that low self-esteem is a risk factor for developing mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and more. High self-esteem on the other hand makes you a more mentally strong person while it also boosts your happiness and overall life-satisfaction. Therefore, high self-esteem can be a protective factor against mental illnesses. This isn’t surprising when you consider that self-esteem makes you feel good about yourself, and you can never truly feel your best when you struggle to accept yourself. High self-esteem makes you a more resilient and mentally strong person too. Being more resilient allows you to go through harder parts of life without falling into a mental illness or overall unhappiness.

On the other hand, having high self-esteem will help you through the rough patches of life. Self-esteem makes you more adaptable for example, it is much easier to adapt when you have faith in yourself and believe that you can handle any challenge thrown your way. In addition, having a high self-esteem makes you an overall more positive person, you feel comfortable in your own skin and happier with yourself which then causes you to have a more positive outlook on life. These two characteristics, which are strengthened by good self-confidence, make you more resilient throughout life’s challenges.

See the next blog post of how to rebuild your self-esteem and confidence.

Guirish Radja