What exactly is self esteem/self worth?

#1
My question here is pretty open ended cause I'm just wanting to see broadly what is people's view on this. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I really don't understand the concept of self worth or esteem in the slightest and it seems like any attempt at this point independently try to wrap my head around this has just gotten me confused.
 

Acy

Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense
Admin
SF Supporter
#2
Hi @Shinzon — Self-esteem and self-worth can be be quite similar. Some people use the terms interchangeably, while other people feel that self-worth is a more global, deeper feeling.

I can only be quite general here…

When we hold someone in “high esteem” we think highly of them for some reason or another. Perhaps they are a good role model as a parent, or they are good looking person, or they are smart. Those are things that make a person think “well” of someone. So self-esteem comprises the things that a person things about him/herself that gives them a sense of thinking well of themselves. I think self-esteem can come from doing things and our achievements, the way we have done something, personal traits that we feel make us better people, how other people react to us, what we think of our bodies/appearance, etc. Self esteem might come from earning an A+ in a difficult subject. Or from earning a B- when we have really worked hard to get that B-. Maybe we are attractive or have a great sense of humour. All of those things and more can make us feel good about ourselves and boost “how we see ourselves” — our “self-esteem.”​

Self-worth is the value we place on the above things: do they add to our meaning and purpose in the world? Some simplified examples: I get self-worth from volunteering and helping others; contributing intelligent conversation in my book club; leading a cause in the community; being conscious of my ecological footprint (use of plastics, gasoline, food). My self-worth tells me I am valuable because I care about these things and act with them in mind.​
Does that help any? You might want to google “psychology, self-esteem, self-worth” and read some professional discussions about the definitions. :)
 
#3
Hi @Shinzon
Does that help any? You might want to google “psychology, self-esteem, self-worth” and read some professional discussions about the definitions. :)
It does! It also helps to clarifying a line of questioning that I had not quite been able to put proper wording to, but was feeling. So thank you.
 

Ziggy

Antiquitie's Friend
#4
My take on self-esteem is this:

Let's suppose for attractiveness, intelligence etc. you can have a score between 1-9. The average is 5. However people think that they should have higher scores. Everyone must be a 7/8+ - but that's ridiculous if you say the average is 5.

I think society tells us we should all have high self-esteem, but I think you can just accept yourself as just being average. My looks and intelligence are ok, not great, but that's because I'm an average person and that's ok

And that's what I think self-worth is, the sense of 'it's ok to be who I am' regardless of the specific traits I could judge myself by.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#5
My take on self-esteem is this:

Let's suppose for attractiveness, intelligence etc. you can have a score between 1-9. The average is 5. However people think that they should have higher scores. Everyone must be a 7/8+ - but that's ridiculous if you say the average is 5.

I think society tells us we should all have high self-esteem, but I think you can just accept yourself as just being average. My looks and intelligence are ok, not great, but that's because I'm an average person and that's ok

And that's what I think self-worth is, the sense of 'it's ok to be who I am' regardless of the specific traits I could judge myself by.
i agree with you. Hard though when in a competitive world and trying to have a comfortable life with some joy.
 

Ziggy

Antiquitie's Friend
#6
i agree with you. Hard though when in a competitive world
Yup I agree, I've never been in a relationship because I realise I can't compete. I've always thought the other person would be looking for a 7 or 8 - but maybe they'd be happy with a 5? Hard to say, you can't generalise as everyone is different.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#7
Yup I agree, I've never been in a relationship because I realise I can't compete. I've always thought the other person would be looking for a 7 or 8 - but maybe they'd be happy with a 5? Hard to say, you can't generalise as everyone is different.
Exactly. Everyone is aiming for that 7-8. Then when too late they think about the 5s.
 

JDot

remember to drink plenty of water
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#8
I think the easiest way to define self-esteem is to say it's one opinion of oneself. Too little self-esteem can lead to things like depression. Too high self-esteem can lead to bullying and feelings of entitlement. Personally I prefer to take self-esteem out of my vocabulary and concern myself with self-compassion. I can recommend a couple good books about self-compassion if you're interested.
 

Ieatotters

Well-Known Member
#11
My question here is pretty open ended cause I'm just wanting to see broadly what is people's view on this. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I really don't understand the concept of self worth or esteem in the slightest and it seems like any attempt at this point independently try to wrap my head around this has just gotten me confused.
Just wanted to say how glad I am that someone else asked this question, because it's had me stumped for decades *dunno. Sorry I can't answer it, but you aren't alone in wondering.
 

Soul flower

Well-Known Member
#12
I feel my self esteem is based on who I want to be vs. who I am being. When I'm not being who I want - it's low; when I am - it's high. I don't always like doing the things I need to in order to be who I want - for instance, I want to be of service; but sometimes I don't feel like serving if that makes sense.

I've also gotten into the "there is no self" mindset to remind of a bigger picture. I do believe we are all one in a sense and connected. And also at times, the matrix theory for fun - such that if everything I see and experience is really just a product of my own mind; why would I have chosen this moment. I think that somehow helps me not have a mindset in comparing myself to others like many tend to do but challenging myself to fully see and feel the moment to see why I am in it.
 

Kiwi2016

🦩 Now a flamingo, not a kiwi 🦩
SF Pro
#13
Was just thinking of posting on this as have found myself in the rabbit hole of self esteem vis a vis self worth self respect self-confidence self-compassion self-knowledge...so enjoyed reading responses...
 

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