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Self E’steam’ – Phew!!!

We listen to these words so often these days…Self-esteem, High Confidence, Self – Empowering, Self – Respect, Self – Assurance…What exactly is self-esteem? Most people, as well as many psychologists and educators, believe we ‘need’ it, that it’s good for our emotional well-being, and that it makes us more successful.
When I actually saw the meaning of self – esteem in a dictionary it said…confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. Well, I just read ‘worth’….!!!!

From the school of thought I come from self-esteem is probably one of the greatest reasons for emotional disturbance known to humans. Well, I don’t deny that self – esteem is required to do even the smallest of task or to take up the biggest of challenges in life. But are we really comprehending as to how we are using it? Let’s have a look…

Self-esteem results in each of us praising ourselves when what we do is approved by others. But we also damn ourselves when we don’t do well enough and others disapprove of us. What we need more than self-esteem is self-acceptance!

Coming back to worth. If others or I myself disapprove of my efforts put into any task, I would feel sad. Does that mean I have to be more vulnerable at doing things in the future and hence succumb to the ‘fact’ that my worth has reduced.

Let’s talk about one tough job. Being a mother. Rather one of the toughest. Even the slightest mistake made while parenting is considered as a sin. Mothers don’t spare themselves of the criticism if they feel they don’t fulfil their ‘responsibilities’ as a parent. In spite of working round the clock errors are unacceptable. These episodes remain intact in their memory for years. I am sure then any criticism on their role as a mother coming from others would absolutely be intolerable. “You are not a good mother” or “You are only spoiling your kids” is almost like a dagger to their worth as a mother.

I am sure that hearing such comments for this relationship would hurt but in no way does that prove that she is not a good mother. In no way, is any criticism worth self – downing. Why do comments like these make any mother label herself as a ‘bad’ mother? I am sure in this case reconstructing their self – esteem will be a daunting task if that is how self – e’steam’ is perceived. Phew!!!!

While reading this blog I am sure people would come up with comments like – How apathetic! Or how indifferent! How can you say these things so casually? How else would a mother feel with such comments!

As an REBT Therapist, I would like to differ. Self – esteem is not a variable it is a constant. Which means one that does not change and remains the same. Any appreciation should not necessarily make a person go gaga over the situation to an excessive degree. Likewise, criticism shouldn’t necessarily make an individual feel low about themselves leading to reduced self –esteem.

Anyone who garners appreciation or criticism must realize that self – esteem remains same in all given times, situations, challenges or experiences. This helps in dealing with the situation with the same amount of self-assurance. As a result, individuals can avoid being ‘under confident’ or ‘over confident’ in every walks of life.
Like in the example above, a mother definitely has a choice to not lower their self-worth even on the harshest of statements that question their motherhood. This would reduce immense pressure we put upon ourselves to perform a task.

When opinions about one selves remain the same we stop trying to get so much validation, attention and approval from other people. Self – esteem makes one feel more self – worthy in life and so there is less self-sabotage making individuals motivated towards their goals either big or small.


  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. I 100% agree that self esteem is a constant. Success or Failure in the end is just a mathematical formula depending upon variables of life….. This is where the constant of self esteem truly plays an important part.

    Just like how an area of circle require the constant of π …. The circle of life cannot be judged without the constant that is self esteem.

  3. It’s right, self-esteem is important to keep you motivated even if all are putting you down. The question is, where is this right all the way or not? Do you need to ignore others opinion and do what you think it’s the right? Don’t that’s mean we will stop be social beings!

    • Hi sameer,
      Thank You for your response.
      My blog in no way says that we should become antisocial. To answer your question, there is something called as selective listening so we need to pick data that is appropriate for our own positive growth and be less vulnerable to future prospects. Self esteem in an individual should be constant; which means we have to let go of the myth that any bad comment has the ability to offend us to an extent that labels us or others.

  4. Really very well said , very nice blog
    And I find it very valueable to know myself and my values.

  5. Anisha Bijukumar

    A well-written post… In today’s time it becomes extremely difficult to have a constant self esteem. So it becomes extremely imperative to have a constant self esteem to ensure our own sanity..

  6. Therapy is almost a bad word in India. It is hard to believe that most working class people may also require therapy and it is absolutely normal to enquire for it. Blogs from enliven counselling are making a great attempt in emphasizing that change. The blog is an easy read and I am sure the readers and followers of this blog will gain from it in plenty.

  7. Very nice. Good work.. Keep it up.. Good that lot of people life’s have been enlighten

  8. Geetanjali Singh

    Really good post and relatable! It has become so important for young people, especially girls to understand this so that they don’t give away to peer pressure.

  9. Very nicely written. So true. It’s so common for us to let people’s comments affect our abilities. Atleast based on this I have decided to try and not let every feedback affect me.

  10. Self esteem …. reflecting individual ‘s own potential and self worth…. Often gets targeted by the influence of societies opinion driving the individual either into negative or positive mindset about themselves.
    I like the way the writer has subtly used the motherhood way of life to explain the meaning of self esteem

  11. Very well written!! I personally believe one needs to learn to differentiate between opportunities to improve versus punishing yourself on others criticism. As long as we treat criticism as an opportunity to improve ourselves versus letting it bog us down we should hopefully be good.

    My 2 cents…

  12. Very well written….Absolutely loved it

  13. To have a little faith is all it takes, amazingly written..

  14. Fantastic one Anamikaa
    I totally agree to your point of view. Self esteem shouldn’t get affected by others from outside but only with what the inner being feels. We need to assure ourselves time and time again about our abilities to face a situation in reality.
    Keep writing more!

  15. I loved this blog and the being a mother of two lil ones makes it very relatable. Its true that we think more about some comments that hurt us than the good things we have around us…. eventually making us feel bad about ourselves…. loved the line… “Self – esteem is not a variable it is a constant”…so true!

  16. I couldn’t agree with you more. Keep the pearls of wisdom coming.

  17. Very beautifully written! Simple launguage and powerful meaning.

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