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Increase Your Self-Esteem

by Ron Kurtus (6 October 2000)

Your self-esteem is the regard or respect you have for yourself. It is your favorable opinion, judgment or appraisal of your talents, skills, personality and the like. Having a healthy self-esteem feels good and is important is being a champion in life.

You form your judgments by your expectations and comparing yourself with others. It is important to your esteem that these expectations and comparisons are realistic in order to maintain a healthy esteem.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Esteem feels good

When you feel that you are talented, do a good job in what you do, are well-liked, and have things going well for you, your self-esteem is high. You like yourself. This is a judgment you make about yourself, just as you would make about another person.

Just as it feels good when others like you, it also feels good when you like yourself. Of course, this should not be overdone, such that you only think of yourself and are not considerate of others and their feelings. But it is being proud of what you do and being pleased with your achievements.

Expectations and comparisons

Everyone has expectations of how well they should perform. The problem occurs when the expectations are too high or unrealistic. I remember a schoolmate who felt he should get 100 on every test. If he got a 98, he did not live up to his expectations. Needless to say, he had a low self-esteem, because he was not as good as he expected.

Comparing with others can give you a  more realistic view of the world and your abilities. If the student with high expectations was the only one in class that got over a 90 on the test, his pride and self-esteem should be increased.

Unrealistic comparisons again can be destructive to your self-esteem. The person who tries to compare his or her looks and talent with a famous star is being unrealistic and ends up having lowered esteem. Comparisons should be with the rest of the people, as well as with your past performance.

Maintaining your self-esteem

The best thing to do to bolster your self-esteem is to compare yourself with the masses, as well as with your past performance. This is how you normally appraise your talents and attributes.

Compare with the masses

If you want to judge your talent, looks, personality or other characteristic, in order to determine your self-esteem, compare yourself with the masses. Are you better than average? Is there a group that you are better than? If so, then you should feel good about yourself.

At least someone likes you

But what about the people how are on the low end of the totem pole? How can someone who is ugly, stupid and with a irritating personality have any self-esteem? Well, just like when you drive on the freeway: there are always people ahead of you and behind you. In other words, even such a person can always find someone with whom he or she is better. Also, everyone has someone who likes them, resulting in having self-esteem.

Compare with your past

Whether you are at the top or near the bottom, an important aspect of gaining and maintaining self-esteem is to compare with what you used to be. Most people are better today than they were yesterday. Realizing that can improve your self-esteem. For those who have slipped and fell back into bad habits or a bad environment, your self-esteem has also slipped. Such people need to get back into daily improvement to get their lives on track and to keep up their self-esteem.


Having a good opinion of yourself and liking yourself is your self-esteem and makes life happier. Unrealistic expectations and comparisons can lower your esteem. Compare yourself with the masses and with your past performance to bolster your self-esteem.

A person with a healthy self-esteem is considerate of others

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