Self-esteem could be better referred to as your feeling of self-worth as a reflection from the mirror of your outer world, family, and/or society and it is conditional based upon external valuation.
Self-esteem is, “I like myself because I look a particular way.” Or, “I like myself because I do a good job at work,” or, “I like myself because I’m a nice person.”
If you are very critical of yourself, you could probably use some focused attention on raising your self-esteem.
Some personality types exude a false sense of self-esteem, which becomes apparent when they meet life’s challenges, allowing situational circumstances to cause their entire world to fall apart.
Low self-esteem represents a continuum that spans from mild to chronic and is usually marked by fear, unworthiness, reclusiveness, lack of motivation, fatigue, insomnia, assurance-seeking, including checking one’s phone often for some assurance that one’s life might have value. Chronic low self-esteem can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Self-confident people base the value of themselves on their own valuation more so than on the opinion or seeking approval, of others. Self-confidence is the upgrade to self-esteem. You are competent and confident in yourself and your strengths, understand that you have shortcomings, but when life throws you a curveball, your self-esteem may slump in tune with the situation, but your self-confidence, though it may slip momentarily, will always return to your baseline of self-confidence, enabling you weather most any storm.
If you have good self-confidence, you have a positive inner-dialogue or self-talk, you don’t beat yourself up for missteps, do not seek to blame yourself or others, and are not prone to give much credence to the rumor mill or what others might think. You realize that life is a balancing of give-and-take, ups-and-downs.
Your self-confidence enables you to experience the challenges we face in life without being totally devastated. You can go through hard times and come out on the other side feeling okay about yourself and the world.
Self-acceptance is the attribute which trumps self-esteem every time, because self-acceptance asserts, “I’m okay,” no matter what. It’s not based on other’s opinions or what anyone else thinks about you. Self-acceptance resides within you, independently, enabling you to feel good about your strengths as well as embracing your weaknesses as part of your unique character.
You accept yourself for what and who you are and are not prone to bouts of self-deprecating guilt because you can forgive yourself. You realize that it is what it is, and you’re just doing the best with what you have in the moment, which may not always be as right as it could be, or worked out the way you intended, but you meant well, and you can forgive yourself when things don’t work out as planned.
If you accept yourself the way you are, you may not be motivated to engage in much self-improvement because you’re all good just the way you are.
Accepting yourself allows the real you to shine through, without worrying about what others might think. You can relax, be more open and honest about who you are, what you’re feeling, and what you want or need. Self-acceptance is a powerful attribute in love and relationships, ushering in transparency in communication and life, leading to deeper connections and greater intimacy, while also enabling you to allow others to be who they are without judgment.
Less enlightened folks will caution against the idea of self-love because they believe loving yourself leads to selfishness, unrestricted indulgences, and egotistical or narcissistic tendencies, which are actually demonstrable personality traits indicating a lack of self-love. You can understand why one might confuse these considering our society’s fear-based programming.
A lack of self-love is also expressed by one’s ability to hate; to hate others and one’s self.
We can manage to express love to others in the absence of great self-love, though this is laborious and is contradictory to the sacred charge to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Tis better to serve from a cup overflowing.
Lack of self-love is also what motivates us to find love outside of ourselves, which rarely, if ever, provides us the quality of love we seek and long for. Since it is highly unlikely to find and sustain this divine love outside ourselves (though it may feel as though it has been attained in the short-term) relationships decline in love, even if they do manage to stay together.
You were born with the true source of love, though since birth it has been hidden within you, it still is there waiting. It is the Holy Grail tucked away inside your heart, buried in your treasure chest, waiting to be discovered by you. You are the only person who can find, embrace and release its awesome power.
Self-love is powered by the source of all life, a sacred inner appreciation for yourself, regardless of anything external. It represents the connection to divine love that was lost at birth, or soon thereafter. It cannot be worked for or earned, it is a powerful free gift via the real-time connection, and sees you as perfect, as you see yourself through the eyes of God.
Self-love accepts you unconditionally and has the unfailing respect, compassion, and love for you and everything you think and do, regardless, as well as empowering you to love others unconditionally, as your love overflows to them.
Self-love lights the way to experiencing greater love and connection with everyone, and everything everywhere. This love tethers you to original source love and thereby all life.