It means that you are fearing what others are thinking about you. People with high self-esteem know that they are unique, that there is no way they could be compared to anybody else. Your uniqueness expresses itself also in the certainty that nobody outside yourself can really know who you are. It doesn’t matter to them what others think about them.
Somebody said once: “To wish to be someone else is to waste the person we are”. This is a quote about strong self-trust and therefore strong self-esteem.
Self-trust is about being content with who we are. It can be tempting to look at other people and to wish we could be like them. At the same time life experience tells us that envying others in a comparing way only leads us away from ourselves.
It makes no sense to compare ourselves with others because there is no common base on which we could do it. Every human being is unique and therefore incomparable.
Just knowing this little life wisdom allows our self-trust to grow. Self-esteem grows inevitably on the basis of a strong self-trust.
It seems like today there is no area of life free of competition, rankings or ratings. Whether it’s sports, art, education, a job or even a family gathering. At this time of the year, one of the best examples of rankings center place in culture is American Idol.
Rankings work by comparison. Who is smarter, more skillful or just better – we compare others ceaselessly.
For ourselves, rankings mean making outer judgments which can hurt our self-esteem.
When we want to keep our self-esteem strong we can develop a serene and calm attitude toward rankings.
Realizing that all rankings and all judgements made through comparisons are just outer views we understand that none of them can embrace our whole personality.
With our self-knowledge and self-confidence we can be indifferent to rankings because we know that they don’t touch our real self.
On television, in newspapers and magazines we get images of “ideal” women and men. Each culture has its own ideal of the “perfect” man or woman. These ideals often force us compare ourselves with them.
Sometimes we can’t avoid comparison with others. We do it on the basis of appearance, intelligence or some other ideal. We sometimes find ourselves wishing that we are like them.
Why do we do that? Because we believe that perfect people get more esteem! And this is what we all want to get: esteem.
Deeply we know that genuine esteem isn’t given just for appearances or brain power. When we have to do something in order to get esteem, then this kind of esteem isn’t the true one.
Knowledge of genuine esteem makes us realize that comparisons never work. Esteem tells us that everybody is unique and incomparable.
We like to compare ourselves with others. Comparing gives us a certain security in our behavior. But I think at the same time comparing is deeply subverting esteem.
Every comparison seems to create parity but creates in reality disparity. I ask myself in what areas are we able to compare ourselves with others. Profession, appearance, talent?
Isn’t each of us unique? Each of us has his life history, his character, his abilities. How can we compare our chosen profession for example? Even when the qualifications are the same, one has specialization in one direction and the other in another.
Everybody should get the same esteem, because everybody is unique and precious. In matters of personality we are all different, in case of esteem we are all equal.
I’ve often read the complaints about the treatment of philosophy in England and America. Making cars is esteemed more highly than philosophy says the common wisdom.
I ask myself on what basis a comparison between philosophy and cars is possible. One country develops a high philosophy culture, the other country develops a high technical culture. In both countries the other culture shouldn’t be esteemed lower, whether it’s making cars in Greece, or talking philosophy in England and America.