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Difference between Self-esteem and Self-compassion

Self-compassion Kristin NeffWell, the main question is: is there a difference at all between self-esteem and self-compassion. It depends on how we define the two.

Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. Do you feel generally good about yourself, then your self-esteem is considered to be high. Self-compassion on the other hand is about how kind we treat ourselves.


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Take life experiences just as they happen

We encounter many situations in life that go against our wishes and make us uncomfortable.

This attitude comes from our desire to be able to control life as much as possible.  The less control we have, the less comfortable we feel.

The truth is that a strong self-esteem frees us from this urge to control our life.  A strong self-esteem takes life experiences just as they happen.  With this attitude we define the experience itself and how we handle it.

Aldous Huxley explained this truth with the words: “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.”

With this constructive attitude we find ourselves better able to handle life’s variety of experiences.

Esteem for your job

It may sound strange to say that we give esteem toward our own job.  In fact it’s a great thing to do if for no other reason than for our own self-confidence.

First of all it doesn’t matter how much you like your job.  You can still find many reasons to offer esteem for the product or service you provide. 

Of course, it’s always best if you can love your job.  In this case it’s even easier to give esteem because you perceive the preciousness of your work.

In any case, giving esteem toward your job creates this feeling of preciousness.  We can test this feeling by picturing how it would be for us to not have our job anymore.  What would we miss?  What are the good moments we like?

When we’re able to give esteem toward our job it will radiate a feeling of contentment for ourselves and those around us.  This esteem could eventually bring us closer to our job, motivate us to do our work better and to have more joy in doing it.

Esteem for photographers

Certain photographs can make a strong impression on the viewer.  They’re a picture out of life, catching a single moment and highlighting a singular atmosphere.

Photographers have a unique talent for capturing feelings and mood in their photographs.

This Audio Slide Show presents impressions of New York City by James Hill.  Let yourself be carried away by these atmospheric photographs and the explanations of James Hill.

Esteem toward artists like James Hill is important for encouraging others to develop their photography talents.

Stop into your local museums or galleries to see some of the photo-artists in your area.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to give esteem toward photographers and their art.


Esteem is not easily angered

What happens when we’re angry?  Anger is a normal human expression of a feeling of displeasure.  Anger can arise out of sadness or frustration.  We even have bodily reactions of muscle tension and increased heart rate.

When we integrate esteem into our daily life it doesn’t mean that we won’t feel any anger anymore.  But when we express our anger appropriately we deal with it in a healthy way.  This is one way esteem helps us in dealing properly with anger.

But esteem goes further.  When we live esteem we live patience and understanding toward others and ourselves.  This leads us to an understanding of the mechanism of anger.

Internalized esteem gives us the necessary calmness to realize that anger isn’t the answer.  Nobody can make us angry – it’s always us choosing this kind of response to a situation.

Esteem isn’t easily angered because with esteem we become self-conscious and calm.  We’re unflappable.

By adopting this attitude we can even see how our esteem calms others.  When we see those around us reacting calmly to an unfriendly situation or word, it makes us feel good for our part.


Esteem opens the world of our feelings

Having feelings is a deeply human attitude but very often we don’t show them because we had a bad experience when we did.

We can suppress our feelings by denying them and we can hide our feelings toward others.  Both make us unhappy.

In a world where esteem isn’t tangible on a daily basis it may be difficult to show your feelings.  Only esteem encourages us to show our feelings freely because the esteem we get is meant for our whole being including our feelings.

We can create the same effect in others by giving esteem at the moment somebody shows his feelings. 

It’s important for achieving a balanced life that we can express our feelings in a normal way.  Esteem we give and esteem we get opens the world of our feelings.