Apparently, in someone’s life, for example, mine, sometimes there are folks who feel the need to set standards for others. I understand this is important in certain contexts: academic, career/job-related requirements, expectations with regards to personal relationships, maybe also the expectations of authority figures that we may feel are important enough to place value in such a way that they may shape our very self-worth. Is this true? I think so, at least in my case.
I tried to craft an e-mail to my former teaching credential adviser. I started to ramble. Also, the nature of the information I found myself sharing was utterly personal, never mind the fact that I did not know how to even face my own feelings in this regard and how they may or may not have impacted my feelings about myself.
The only other framework worth mentioning in this context is that of intimate relationships. In my own experience and I’ll wager in others’, it seems very likely to place some kind of self-judgment in response to events that occur to include the response of our partner and the overall success of the relationship as a whole.
Why? Why do we, I or why does anyone else, for that matter, why does anyone regard another’s opinion as a measurement of our own self worth?
The definition of self esteem as I’ve come to learn through personal strife as well as academic circles has to do with internalized self worth that is not dependent on another’s judgment. In fact, the root of the assumption that one has what would be considered supposedly “good self esteem” is that in having this self esteem we are somehow as if made of rubber. The negative opinions of others do not invade our sense of entitlement to respect and ultimately our worth as individuals.
Perhaps I am pondering this in a broad sense as an overall construct, but I’m also breaking it down for myself. I’m questioning, why is it such a barrier? Why do I feel like others’ opinions of me can in any way define my quality as a person and my effectiveness as an individual? I know they cannot.
I practice affirmations at times, yet sometimes I have trouble writing some of them. Affirmations are generally speaking positive statements about oneself that someone might say out loud every day or read to themselves or use in some other way to engender feelings of self esteem.
A simple one is this: My self worth is inherent. I define myself in my own terms, and I am unique. Nobody else has the power to judge me or to change my ability to take care of myself. I am powerful beyond measure if I allow, or I am quiet to the point if whisper if I choose. It is my choice, and I live my life in the best way I know, by my own standards, and I live by my own conscience. I don’t have to be perfect by others’ standards to be everything I need to be.
- Do you measure up on the self-esteem scale?? (mrscmonkey.com)
- What is healthy self-esteem? Where can I get some? (gwizlearning.wordpress.com)
- What is self esteem? A look at definitions. (gwizlearning.wordpress.com)
- The Importance of a Secure Self-Esteem (jandeelstra.com)