Self-esteem: what it is, bases and types

What exactly is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the concept that refers to love towards oneself; it has to do with the way we relate to ourselves, treat each other, and, ultimately, value ourselves. It includes all kinds of beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes towards ourselves.

Self-esteem is not a stable concept throughout life; What we live and how we live it is shaping and modifying it, causing it to be very high (be very positive) at some times and be lower (or unfavorable) at other times. Rejections or bad experiences, for example, can influence our self-esteem.

What others see in us, or instead what we think others see, is crucial in determining our degree of self-esteem. We enter the realm of security and self-confidence, undermined by outside influences. But if there is something that determines the state of health of our self-esteem, it is childhood. The positive or negative reinforcement that we have had from the first steps of our life will be essential for our emotional security in the future.

It is important to emphasize that self-esteem is not the same as self-confidence. Self-confidence is linked to those specific objectives and goals that we set for ourselves, while self-esteem refers to the global assessment we make of ourselves. A person may think that she is very good at playing the piano or playing basketball. However, that does not mean that that person cannot have low self-esteem. This is someone confident in his ability in those specific areas but would still like to be taller or have a better physique …

However, it is up to us how we want this self-esteem to be since we can work on it more positively or adequately.

Related article: “I look ugly: it is not your real beauty, but your low self-esteem.”

Bases of self-esteem

As you may have seen, self-esteem also has its bases, and it is essential to know them in-depth to improve and reinforce them: These bases are the following:

+ Social and the material universe that surrounds you: contact with other people is one of the most important sources we have to create our world vision. The relationship you have with each of the people around you (friends, family, partner) will be responsible for developing your idea of ​​how you think you are.

+ Negative beliefs: it is tough to change the beliefs and pillars that we have assumed throughout life, but this does not mean that it is impossible. In general, people are very reluctant to change, much less to those that affect deeply rooted beliefs that we have been self-convinced over the years. For example, if inside you have always believed that you are an ugly person or that you do not help do a particular activity, today it will be tough for you to change those thoughts and begin to value yourself as you deserve. Therefore, to raise and strengthen self-esteem, it is essential to treat the problem at its roots, from your most internal convictions.

+ The theory you have developed about yourself: each one of the qualifiers with which we define ourselves (regardless of whether they are good or bad) forms a theory about who we think we are. When these qualifiers are primarily negative, inevitably and sooner or later, we will have low self-esteem. Beginning to define ourselves with more beautiful and natural words will help us love ourselves a little more.

Self-esteem: what it is, bases and types

The different types of self-esteem that exist

But is there only one type of self-esteem? Or more than one? We can speak of two significant classifications of self-esteem: the one that classifies it according to a criterion of stability and valence (positive or negative, or high or low) and the one that classifies it according to its facets.

Let’s look at both types of self-esteem classifications:
+ According to its stability and valence
– High and stable self-esteem

When we enjoy high and stable self-esteem, we feel confident about ourselves, and our actions reflect this confidence. Thus, we could say that it is positive to have this type of self-esteem because external events influence it very little (since it is solid and stable by itself). It is self-esteem that, in many cases, has had to be worked on (for example, working on ourselves, getting to know ourselves and taking care of ourselves, going to therapy, etc.).

As a positive aspect of this type of self-esteem, those who have it are people with a certain ease to defend their point of view without fear of what they will say or rejection.
– High and unstable self-esteem

Another type of self-esteem is high and unstable him or what we can also call average self-esteem. It is usually high (or positive) self-esteem, but that does not remain constant at those levels. Thus, external circumstances can easily alter this type of self-esteem.
Search and find the source of your low self-esteem

As a good architect would tell you, you cannot start a house with a roof, so you will first have to find the origin of everything to improve your self-esteem. A tip for it? Ask yourself at least three times the “why?” of your fears.

Why am I afraid to go to the job interview? Because they won’t catch me. Why do I think they won’t catch me? Because I am not competent. Why do I think I am not competent? Because when I was little, I was suspended a lot, and they told me that I was never going to achieve anything in terms of work. Bingo! There you have it.

In general, people with this self-esteem respond with a critical attitude towards failure since they perceive it as a threat. They defend their point of view but do not accept that of others. In addition, this instability of which we spoke leads the subject to worry about maintaining stable self-esteem, which makes, on many occasions, try to preserve it “at any cost.”