“In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one’s own appearance, beliefs, emotions and behaviors.” ~Kendra Cherry, About.com’s resident psychologist
This is a topic so very heavily discussed that it has become cliché. The therapy culture of the 90s and the new age movements coming out of that decade have taken the world by storm giving Self-Esteem so much air time that it has become a household name. Having a low one is a diagnosis for all sorts of dysfunctions and criminal behaviours and there is an unreachable image of someone who has a high one. Someone with the highest level of Self-Esteem is gorgeous, intelligent, powerful, gregarious, kind, utters no wry word and causes no harm. There is no end to their power and no end to their perfection. All because they hold their Self in high Esteem.
In my opinion that is utter nonsense. It’s a tidy little theory expounded upon over and over in brilliantly inaccessible language by brilliant minds with PHDs and accolades. But I must humbly disagree. The love of self does not result in perfection.
Over the course of the next few entries I am going to do a layman’s exploration of Self-Esteem. Because I am a layman. The theories behind this stuff aside, my study is going to be one of common sense. The topics I intend to explore are:
- Self-Esteem: What is it?
- Self-Esteem meets Identity
- Killers of your Self-Esteem
- The source of Self
- The source of Love
Once again, a Bushlings caveat: This is how I plan to cover it. I might change my mind along the way. I am inviting you to share in a journey I have not yet taken – travel with me not as a guide but as a companion. Sure, I think my destination is going to be a place where the theory of and the importance placed on Self-Esteem is total rubbish. But I might bump into something on the way that totally changes my mind.
But while you wait in the departure lounge, please go and test your self-esteem so we know exactly what it is we’re rubbishing.
Have a good day!