How Do You Rate Your Self-Esteem?


Society tosses advice around willy-nilly about improving our self-esteem. Parents everywhere worry about their child’s self-esteem while struggling to build their own each day. The hard fact is; self-esteem naturally fluctuates as we change tasks and environments day to day. It is impossible to always avoid feelings of inadequacy from time to time. But our self-worth doesn’t have to suffer from minor bouts of imperfection.


Tom Vanderbilt, author of Beginners – The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning, describes how we tend to repeat activities that feed our self-esteem rather than branching out into new territory. Becoming a beginner at most anything requires facing fears and taking on risk. We have to see ourselves as not that good at something – yet. That last word is key. When we do step out into new territory, the results can eventually be extremely rewarding.


Developing a new skill or investing our time in an interesting hobby can initially lower our self-esteem. That sensation that overwhelms us in that first painting class when you glance at your neighbor’s creation can bring on the blues. Yet the moment we step back into the role we have come to know inside and out at work or in our typical yoga or tennis group, our soul revs up. We like comfort and the security of knowing what to expect.


If you would like to push your boundaries and confront fear of the unknown, you may end up with an even more exciting revelation than what you find in the zone of predictable and steady sources of self-esteem. In fact, the act of venturing out to develop new parts of yourself have been associated with greater overall self-worth and happiness.



We have all become conditioned to expect our happiest times are spent during the most luxurious vacations at exotic locations with all the food, drinks, and entertainment we could ask for. Surprisingly, research refutes that notion. Our most fantastic vacation might relax us and renew our energy, but true sources of happiness with ourselves occur under much different circumstances.


Working hard toward a goal or skill that is challenging and means a lot to us fuels our deepest needs. Once we are able to achieve a successful presentation, master that skill, or reach that sought after level of triumph; we feel a form of happiness that can’t be matched. It’s a type of excitement that comes from the build up of hard work followed by the reward of attainment. Put simply; doing something hard and sensing that feeling of accomplishment is what it takes to find true happiness and to boost self-esteem.


Our personal value in this world improves when we face failure and fight off the urge to give up when the going gets hard. Anything worth gaining is worth the struggle, right?


This topic is important now because we can easily feel less than or overlooked in the scheme of things. People everywhere have been out of sorts, unable to make plans or experiment with new ideas. Showing our productive side and moving forward in our life plans has been impossible for many of us. Remaining stagnant isn’t good for us and doesn’t fuel our self-esteem and certainly doesn’t contribute to our self-worth.

Whatever the future holds, I encourage you to find ways to feed your spirit of growth and achievement. Keep making goals and face challenges with your best effort.




Because you are worth it.


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