Stress and Self-Esteem
How is self-esteem different from self-image? Self-image is about your ego. Self-image is about your perception of what you look like in comparison to other people. In contrast, self-esteem is about your perception of your worth. Ego cannot produce genuine self-esteem because ego always measures itself in terms of better than or worse than someone else. In contrast, self-esteem gets out of the comparison trap. Self-esteem is a high opinion of yourself as yourself without comparing yourself to other people.
How can you experience self-esteem that doesn't depend on the opinions of others? Gloria Gaynor's words identify the essential source of self-esteem:
We all know that self-esteem comes from what you think of you, not what other people think of you.
This distinction is the difference between living a stressed-out life based on what you think other people think about you, and living a peaceful life based on your perception of your worth as yourself.
- Self-esteem derives from deep respect and love for who you are at this moment.
- Self-esteem values you more than your accomplishments.
- Self-esteem acknowledges both your strengths and your weaknesses.
- Self-esteem encourages your dreams.
- Self-esteem congratulates you for your accomplishments.
Your self-esteem reveals what you believe about yourself and the value you place on your self. It can't come from any place or anyone outside of you. No matter what anyone else says about you — whether positive or negative — your self-esteem derives from what you believe about yourself.
Self-esteem can't be borrowed, it can't be imposed on you, and it can't be taken away from you.