Yesterday I had a conversation with a good friend about self-esteem and what it means to have a good self-esteem versus a bad self-esteem or a high versus a low self-esteem. She said that she didn’t believe she could have a good self-esteem without understanding that it is a process; good self-esteem just doesn’t pop out of nowhere or feel that way when we want it to. My friend said that self-esteem is a reflection of your life and if you’re making positive changes in your life, if they are necessary of course (which they often are,) then it will reflect in your perception of what self-esteem is. Now that I think of it, that’s exactly what self-esteem is. It is a perception. It is also an attitude. It is the way that we think about life, the decisions we make to change what we have the capacity to change, and then the biggest decision—to be content with the things that we can change for the better and change the outlook on the things that we can’t change for the better. What remains is that we can transform the way we view the things that we can’t change. Sometimes a bad day is a bad day, but it doesn’t have to be that way for the entirety of the day. If we think of the glass as half-empty, it will be half-empty. However, if we think of the glass as half-full then we feel just a bit better about life and about ourselves in general.
So how can we conquer our “bad self-esteem?” That’s another thing that I talked about with my dear friend Natalie. Our fear of change halts the process of developing good self-esteem because we are afraid of rejection and failure. Sometimes we feel powerless and we feel “stuck” in the same old thing because we are afraid of making decisions, taking action, and promoting positive changes. My recommendation is to break this habit by experiencing the very scary task of conquering those fears that are keeping us from progress. Whatever fears those might be, write them down and tackle them one by one. In the end, it is worse to feel the regret of not taking the next step, of not conquering those fears. We learn from the experiences that we accumulate, including those that are most uncomfortable to us. So let’s declare our love, or let go of the past, or find a new job, all of these things count in making our self-esteem a high one.