We can explain self-esteem as the feeling of dignity we have about ourselves. Self-dignity is something we can’t get or lose through an outer force. It’s at the untouchable core of our being.
Self-dignity has to do with our being unique. We can’t compare ourselves to others because there is nobody else like us.
When we say this we don’t mean it in a selfish and competitive way. When we acknowledge our being unique we also acknowledge the uniqueness of everybody else.
Continue reading Self-esteem and self-dignity
A school bus driver is an important person in the lives of many families.
The safety of our children is in their hands. We expect them to be punctual and reliable. Often we just “meet” them when there’s a problem with the school bus service.
School bus drivers are required to put a lot of energy into driver training skills. Their duties require them to be patient and kind toward students and parents, even when their own patience is tested. They perform their service for countless accident-free miles, year after year.
Amador County in California dedicated April 28 as School Bus Drivers Appreciation Day.
We all can give esteem daily toward the school bus drivers in our life by acknowledging their reliable service with a friendly word or thank-you.
It’s an old saying that “hope never dies”. When we imagine how life would be without hope we realize it’s importance.
Hope looks toward the future. It gives us the strength to start each day with joy and positive thoughts.
By living esteem in our daily life we also show our hope. Esteem makes us hope that things will get better. It makes us hope the best of other persons. Without hope we can’t give esteem honestly.
Hope and esteem is best pictured in a parent’s enduring hope and esteem for their children.
When we acknowledge the people in our life we express our strong hope in their personality. It takes a lot to destroy our hope and our esteem toward them.
Esteem always hopes because with esteem we’re capable of seeing the best in others.
Trusting in other people open-heartedly is considered by some as naivety or gullibility. We can also think of trusting in others as children do, with openness and basic kindness, just believing in the good in man as if there is no malevolence possible.
Including esteem in our life makes us believe the best about people. There is no suspicious thinking because our first intention toward people is always to give esteem.
Acknowledging others for their just being here, for their preciousness and unique abilities in an open-hearted way lets us see the good side in them.
It’s always our decision how we want to think about others. When we stay cautious toward them we expect and attract possible negative reactions.
When we give others the trust of being kind-hearted and basically good we’ll receive positive reactions as an answer.
Esteem creates esteem through its trusting and believing in the good in man.
Most of our daily esteem activities are directed toward the persons around us. Other esteem actions can have a bigger influence.
60-year-old former pro basketball player Will Allen found his personal way of giving esteem toward groups of people.
As enthusiastic gardener for urban gardening he founded a non-profit organization called Growing Power. He purchased an old greenhouse, revived it and took a group of at-risk children under his wing with the goal transforming their lives through gardening.
His idea has made its way around the world, from Ghana to Ukraine, teaching people how to build and maintain an urban garden.
Allen teaches that gardening can be a very esteemful activity, esteemful toward nature and toward ourselves. People start to acknowledge what nature is giving, start to eat healthier and learn that they are able to successfully grow vegetables and plants. This makes people feel precious and responsible toward nature and themselves.
Another job where most of their work happens behind the scene: zookeepers.
Despite the public appearances of celebrity zookeepers, it might surprise you to learn their job isn’t only about hugging cuddly little wild animals. It’s hard work that includes feeding, cleaning up after the animals and caring for them.
Zookeepers are also responsible for the animal enrichment program, which employs such techniques as hiding food or offering new items to stimulate the animal’s natural responses.
Even “fun” tasks like helping to bottle-feed babies can be demanding because animal babies want to be fed around the clock.
As a zoo visitor we normally don’t see their work but we enjoy all the happy animals and clean containment areas. If you happen to accidentally meet the zookeeper on your way through a zoo, give them an acknowledging word to show your esteem toward them.
When we want to start our day with esteem we can simply look in the mirror and think of something positive about ourselves.
Thoughts of esteem are fine for ourselves, but eventually we have to go out into the world.
Then we can demonstrate esteem by our words and actions. It can be just a smile for somebody we meet on the way to our work. It can also be a friendly acknowledging word toward someone who works in our office.
Esteem is about awareness of what we do and what we say.
The first steps of esteem and self-esteem can be small, their consequences for us and the people around us are huge.
The word “self-handicapping” was first used in psychological studies 30 years ago. It describes a certain attitude of how people handle failures.
Self-handicapping is about cheating ourselves. When facing failure people can make all kinds of excuses without acknowledging that they could have done more to achieve success.
Self-handicapping means that people defend themselves by talking about all the reasons why they couldn’t possibly succeed.
A high self-esteem doesn’t know this self-handicapping attitude. With a high self-esteem we don’t need to defend our failure because we have enough self-confidence to know that we did our best.
We don’t need to find excuses when something doesn’t work out as we thought. Our self-esteem, based on self-knowledge, gives us confidence and calmness.
For a person with a healthy self-esteem failure never means loss of esteem because giving ourselves esteem always means having strength to face new goals and new efforts toward success.
We’re getting close to Christmas and for most of us this means the stress of buying gifts for family and friends.
What do gifts have to do with esteem?
Giving a gift to somebody we care about is a sign of esteem. There are nevertheless some things to keep in mind if we want to show genuine esteem with our present.
One point is the timing. Do we only give a gift because it’s a general gift-giving time such as Christmas? Esteem would motivate us to give a gift spontaneously whenever we feel the urge to do it.
The other point is the kind of present we buy. Do we look for a gift according to our own preferences? Genuine esteem gives us the empathy for the other person to take into account his or her needs. We look for a gift that matches the person toward whom we want to express our esteem.
Christmas is a special time of the year. There are expectations even for some adults. Esteem acknowledges this and the importance of the moment. However we express esteem, the most important thing is that we do it at all.
On one hand we need to get esteem from others to be truly happy. We need to hear that we’re honestly acknowledged as a person. Getting esteem boosts our self-esteem.
On the other hand we need to be autonomous. Autonomy means that we want to be self-determining. We need to have freedom of decision. We want to be independent.
There is a slight contradiction between our need to get attention from others and our need to be independent. This contradiction is in us, it’s deeply human. As a matter of fact we’re actually capable of uniting it in us.
A high self-esteem balances our need for esteem and our wish for independence in a healthy way. Self-esteem makes us independent and strong. Then we have a deep self-understanding – which makes us at the same time independent and open for esteem.