Self-esteem is the key to our connection to the Divine and others and it is far more important than to say that I am good at tennis, or I do well with __________. At its the very core is how we see ourselves, view the world, and view each other and can be divided into four aspects: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, and self-integrity. Self-worthy: how well do we think of ourselves. If we have low self-worth than nothing we do for others will ever be good enough. We feel we have no right to anything good happening in our lives. Self-regard, how well do we like ourselves. If our self-regard is low than we tend to “beat” ourselves up for imagined or real mistakes we have made. Self-respect measures the concern we have for ourselves, and self-integrity how honest are we about ourselves, are we too harsh?
As a child our self-esteem is very high, we see the world as our oyster, as we grow older have personal experiences that knock us down our self-esteem will be affected in equal measure. The Golden Rule makes it clear that we should have good esteem; God wants us to have good esteem for without it we can not have healthy/good relationships with ourselves, the Divine and others; the connection becomes blocked. We begin to see the world as harsh, judgmental and God as cruel.
- Heavy self-criticism, tending to create a habitual state of dissatisfaction with oneself.
- Hypersensitivity to criticism, which makes oneself feel easily attacked and experience obstinate resentment against critics.
- Chronic indecision, not so much because of lack of information, but from an exaggerated fear of making a mistake.
- Excessive will to please: being unwilling to say “no”, out of fear of displeasing the petitioner.
- Perfectionism, or self-demand to do everything attempted “perfectly” without a single mistake, which can lead to frustration when perfection is not achieved.
- Neurotic guilt: one is condemned for behaviors which not always are objectively bad, exaggerates the magnitude of mistakes or offenses and complains about them indefinitely, never reaching full forgiveness.
- Floating hostility, irritability out in the open, always on the verge of exploding even for unimportant things; an attitude characteristic of somebody who feels bad about everything, who is disappointed or unsatisfied with everything.
- Defensive tendencies, a general negative (one is pessimistic about everything: life, future, and, above all, oneself) and a general lack of will to enjoy life.
Anything that is of God will have a sense of peace, release a feeling of love, and a willingness to forgive others ourselves than that is of God than we see these aspects of healthy self-esteem as how God wants us to be and has created us to be, we:
- firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when finding opposition, feeling secure enough to modify them in light of experience.
- are able to act according to what we think to be the best choice, trusting our own judgment, and not feeling guilty when others don’t like our choice.
- do not lose time worrying excessively about what happened in the past, nor about what could happen in the future. We learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the present intensely.
- fully trust in our capacity to solve problems, not hesitating after failures and difficulties. We ask others for help when we need it.
- consider ourselves equal in dignity to others, rather than inferior or superior, while accepting differences in certain talents, personal prestige or financial standing.
- take for granted that we are an interesting and valuable person for others, at least for those with whom we have a friendship.
- resist manipulation, collaborate with others only if it seems appropriate and convenient.
- admit and accept different internal feelings and drives, either positive or negative, revealing those drives to others only when we choose.
- are able to enjoy a great variety of activities.
- are sensitive to feelings and needs of others; respect generally accepted social rules, and claim no right or desire to prosper at others’ expense.