Self Esteem: Weighing In

How fortunate is the person with healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is one of the key components to happiness. Much like cultivating a garden, building self-esteem involves consistent effort. If we consider how self-esteem affects our mental and physical well-being, in both the short and the long term, it only makes sense to cultivate it.
Many of us assume we get value from what we do, from skills, character traits, talents, or from the acceptance of others. However, self-esteem is defined as a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. By this definition, people would be accurate and honest in how they see themselves and have positive feelings about themselves and dare I say, like themselves.
It’s easy to feel good about yourself when life is going well. A promotion at work, or a new relationship can do wonders for your self-image. But what happens when things don’t go so well? The problem with basing our self-esteem on life circumstances is that those circumstances can change. Lasting self-esteem has less to do with what’s going on in your life and more to do with how you interpret it.
Your thoughts are your perceptions; your understanding of a situation. You explain your experience of what is happening and how you see it. But those of us with low self-esteem do not see ourselves clearly. Like a classroom projector (am I aging myself?), we must adjust our image to see it clearly. We tend to see others far more accurately than ourselves. Compared to all these normal people we feel terribly flawed. We think, feel and act negatively toward ourselves. Instead of negating our strengths and magnifying our weaknesses, we must learn to recognize and value the person we really are. We must weigh our strengths and weaknesses honestly and accurately. By doing so, we acknowledge weaknesses that we might like to change. And we also acknowledge that we do indeed have strengths. We are not simply black or white, good or evil, right or wrong. We are a combination of all these things. Each of us have value and yet we are priceless.
Strengths are qualities in yourself that you appreciate. Remembering your strengths, especially during the times you are most down on yourself, goes a long way in building healthy self-esteem. As we begin to see ourselves more clearly, our world brightens, life seems more crisp and our mental and physical well-being improves.
Happiness is an inside job and by building your self-esteem, happiness will show itself to the outside.