In Psychology, Self-esteem is a term that reflects a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. Self esteem is the positive and the negative evaluation of the self. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension or can have a global extent. Self esteem is also an enduring part of a person’s personality.
Self-esteem is a graduated concept. Taking this into consideration, people may essentially have three main degrees of self-esteem. They can have a high self-esteem to feel confidently capable for life. They can also have a low self-esteem that corresponds to not feeling ready for life, or to feeling wrong as a person. They could also take the middle ground and instead of feeling too right as a person or too wrong as a person might feel somewhere in the middle. To have middle ground self-esteem is to waver between the two states above, that is, to feel able and useless, right and wrong as a person, and to show these incongruities in behavior, acting, at times, wisely, and rashly at others, thus reinforcing insecurity.
In practice everybody is able to develop positive self-esteem, and nobody has a totally undeveloped self-esteem. The more flexible a person is, the better he can resist everything that would otherwise make him fall into a state of failure or desperation.
No psychological health is possible unless the essential core of the person is fundamentally accepted, loved and respected by others and by her or his self. Self-esteem allows people to face life with more confidence, benevolence and optimism, and thus easily reach their goals and self-actualize. It allows oneself to be more ambitious, but not with respect to possessions or success, but with respect to what one can experience emotionally, creatively and spiritually. To develop self-esteem is to widen the capacity to be happy; self-esteem allows people to be convinced they deserve happiness.
Understanding this is fundamental, and universally beneficial, since the development of positive self-esteem increases the capacity to treat other people with respect, benevolence and goodwill, thus favoring rich interpersonal relationships and avoiding destructive ones.
Self-esteem allows creativity at the workplace, and is an especially critical condition for teaching professions. The importance of self-esteem is obvious when one realizes that the opposite of it is not the esteem of others, but self-rejection, a characteristic of that state of great unhappiness that we call depression.