Self esteem is a very fuzzy concept. It’s related to self confidence, but it’s slightly different. Confidence is related to performance. This can be a specific set of skills in a specific circumstance, like riding a bike or baking a cake, or it can be more vague, like public speaking or social skills in general.
Once you’ve baked a cake, it’s pretty simple to repeat the process. Public speaking, on the other hand, has tons of variables, many of which you won’t even realize until you are halfway through your speech.
In this respect, a certain type of self confidence comes into play, namely, the ability to handle unexpected situations, and the ability to quickly learn new things. This is a kind of meta-confidence that will allow you to develop more specific confidence as you move through life.
Self Confidence and Self Esteem
Where does self esteem fall into all of this? Is it possible to have high self confidence, but low self esteem? Absolutely. For example, let’s assume you were a really good juggler. The best in the world.
Yet everywhere you went, people would watch you juggle and say things like, “look at that idiot juggler, all he can do is play with those balls.”
Would you feel confident in your ability to juggle? Absolutely. Would that increase your self esteem? In the above example, it would likely have the opposite effect.
As much as we’d like to think that we are impervious to the judgments of others, they play a large part of our self image. How others see us has a huge impact on how we see ourselves.
Naturally, the more independent you become of the judgment and criticisms of others, the more comfortable you’ll feel in any social situation.
Luckily, the higher your self esteem, the less likely you’ll be dependent on the opinions of others.
Consider this scenario. You live in a world where juggling is an accepted art form, and is used in trade. You also like juggling very much. So you go to the market place every day, put on a show, and get some coins. You can use these coins to go and buy whatever you need.
But what happens if juggling soon falls out of favor? You still enjoy doing it, but you won’t get any money. In this case, your income is dependent on how other people judge your behavior as worthy, or unworthy.
Now consider the same situation, except you’ve got a huge mountain of gold coins hidden in your basement. Maybe you found them while digging in your backyard. Perhaps they were buried there by a relative of yours who has since passed away.
Since you’ve got that huge supply of gold coins, you don’t really care what value other people put on your juggling. You enjoy doing it. You still go to the marketplace every day and juggle. If people like it, fine. If they don’t, that’s also fine. (So long as they don’t throw tomatoes at you!)
You’ve Got Gold Coins
The good news about self esteem is it works just like those gold coins. The more you hold yourself in esteem, the more you value yourself, the more of those gold coins you’ll have.
You don’t need to be dependent on others. You do what you like, and if others like it, fine. If they don’t, that’s also fine. (So long as they don’t throw tomatoes at you!)
So, how do you develop self esteem? It’s all based on how you value yourself. Just imagine what you’d like to receive from others, and give it to yourself. From yourself, too yourself.
Give Yourself What You Want
Imagine, now, what the ideal compliments you’d like to hear from other people. Imagine walking into a party of your peers. Those people who’s opinion you value the highest.
What do you imagine them saying to you, about you that makes you feel really good?
Whatever that is, just get into the habit of saying that to yourself.
Get into a relaxed, easy state of mind. Find a quiet place, and count down from ten to one. Close your eyes and see yourself, in the third person.
Feel deep and honest appreciation for yourself. Tell yourself all those things you’d like to hear from others.
Switch back and forth. See yourself, and give yourself those compliments. Then switch into yourself, and see yourself giving yourself those compliments.
If you keep this up, it will have an amazing effect on how you interact with the world.
When we see somebody, we subconsciously look to others for clues on how to treat them. We also look to the person themself. If they are treating themselves with honest respect and admiration, then so will we.
If they are treating themself with loathing and contempt, then so will we.
So by using these hypnotic exercises of self appreciation, you’ll not only be building up your own self esteem, but you’ll be sending a strong message to the world as to how you expect to be treated.
And just like the juggler, you’ll have all the gold you need.