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    Counseling & Testing Center
    A Division of Student Affairs

Balancing Your Life | Self Esteem

Self-Esteem

Female StudentWhat is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is an individual's ability to "esteem" or value him or herself. A person's sense of self worth may vary from day to day, influenced somewhat by the events and the people around them, but, like the weather which may be variable, rainy one day and sunny the next, one can discern a pattern of summer or winter high self-esteem or low self-esteem.

What does high self-esteem look like?

Persons with high self-esteem feel their power and know their limits . They have enough confidence to act independently and assume responsibility. They can express a broad range of emotions, spontaneously and appropriately. They can claim their accomplishments and be humble at the same time. They enjoy new challenges. Just like a prized possession, they value and take care of themselves. At the same time they are tolerant of others and of frustration. They feel capable of influencing others.

What does low self-esteem look like?

Persons with low self-esteem feel powerless and have no limits . Low self-esteem may clearly be reflected in a person's appearance both through body language and a neglected unkempt person. Or low self-esteem may be masked by externalizing: when a person bases their values not on their intrinsic worth as a person but rather on things or people outside of themselves such as designer clothes, six digit incomes, or by being the "perfect student" or the "perfect spouse." Persons with low self-esteem will downplay their talents and feel insignificant. They are often insecure in their relationships and are easily influenced and manipulated by others. They will avoid new opportunities that create stress. They may be easily frustrated, become defensive and blaming.

How can I build my self-esteem?

Celebrate your strengths and achievements. Acknowledge and forgive yourself for your weaknesses. Use your mistakes as learning tools. A balanced self-assessment, which recognizes and accepts both one's strengths and weaknesses , is the foundation for strong healthy self-esteem. Connect with others, compare and compete with yourself. Use healthy thinking. Trust yourself and the process of life.


Other Topics | Alcohol & Drugs | Depression | Eating Concerns | Healthy Thinking | Self Esteem | Self Evaluation/Assessment