Aug 9, 2021
min read

The Importance of Feeling Better About Yourself

Learn how high self-esteem results in an overall healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Morris Rosenberg, a pioneer in the field, defined self-esteem as an individual’s overall favourable opinion of oneself. He went on to say that having high self-esteem entails appreciating oneself and believing oneself to be worthwhile. Similarly, Dr. Sedikides and Dr. Gress defined self-esteem as an individual’s perspective or subject evaluation of one’s own self-worth, emotions of self-respect and self-confidence and the amount to which the individual has positive or negative opinions about oneself.

Personal ideas about one’s talent, abilities and social interactions all contribute to self-esteem. Self-esteem is alternatively described as a worldwide barometer of self-evaluation that includes cognitive evaluations of general self-worth and emotional experiences of the self that are connected to these global evaluations.

The components and dimensions of self-esteem

Self-esteem can apply to the whole self or to specific components of the self, such as how people feel about their social position, racial or ethnic group, physical characteristics, athletic abilities, career or academic performance. Many distinctions have been noted between the different forms of self-esteem, such as contingent v/s noncontingent; explicit v/s implicit; authentic v/s false; stable v/s unstable. In terms of dimensionality of self-esteem, some consider it a unitary global trait but others consider it a multidimensional trait with independent subcomponents.

Self-esteem has two components:

  1. Considering oneself effective, trusting in one’s ability to think, team, choose and make correct decisions, and overcome challenges and produce changes.
  2. Respecting oneself, the confidence in one’s right to be happy, and the belief that people are worthy of the respect, love and self-fulfilment that appears in their lives.

Dr. Reasoner has proposed that self-esteem has two unique dimensions: competence and value. He describes self-esteem as “the sensation of being competent in meeting life obstacles and being worthy of happiness” based on these two components.

How to develop self-esteem?

The development of self-esteem is a time-consuming process. It is linked to the development of self-image and self-ethics. Its progression through time includes downturn phases, particularly during the transition times from one stage to another, from one status to another, such as adolescence to adulthood, as a result of a change in status, retirement and a change in jobs and duties. While self-esteem tends to drop through youth, it appears to rise through early adulthood.

The effective model of self-esteem development proposes that:

  1. Self-esteem develops early in childhood in response to relational and temperamental variables.
  2. Once created, high self-esteem individuals have the ability to promote, defend, and restore feelings of self-worth.

Many studies have shown the importance of home environment in the formation of personality, particularly in early life. The research by Dr. Rosenberg and Dr. Coopersmith found that parental engagement and desire to allow adolescent autonomy and freedom are positively associated with teenage self-esteem. The teenage years are crucial in the process of self-esteem and must be supported and promoted by both parents and teachers. The teenager’s attitude and conduct, both at home and school, reflect his or her degree of self-esteem.

Teenagers with a high level of self-esteem exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They are capable of positively influencing the opinion and behaviour of others.
  • They approach new situations positively and confidently.
  • They have a high level of tolerance for frustration.
  • They accept early responsibilities, and they assess situations correctly.
  • They express positive thoughts about themselves.
  • They have high self-control and believe that the difficulties they are going through are the product of their own conduct and deeds.

As a result, teenage life is a vital stage for the development of self esteem and self-identity, and poor self-esteem may jeopardise a teen’s emotional control. High self-esteem, on the other hand, serves as a function of resilience or good adaptation.

The positive effect of high self-esteem

Self-esteem is a personality trait associated with the notions of self-image and self-conscience. Self-approval is a fundamental human goal. A high self-esteem score is necessary in order to achieve a sense of contentment. Self-esteem has been recognised as an essential predictor of emotional well-being in studies.

William James, one of the founding fathers of Western psychology, emphasised that self-esteem is a vital part of mental health as early as 1890. People with high self-esteem report higher levels of enjoyment, optimism and motivation, as well as lower levels of sadness, anxiety and bad mood. Individuals with a high degree of self-esteem embrace good times, tolerate bad events, cope successfully with obstacles and hone their strengths.

High self-esteem also favourably limits the development of dysfunctional schemata and depressive symptoms in the face of adversity. Several studies have indicated that those with high self-esteem led to more adaptation at self-regulating and  goal directed behaviour. Self-esteem is crucial for self-regulation and quality of life and it is crucial for positive psychology. Self-esteem offers the motivation to mobilise human conduct while also contributing to its direction.

Self-esteem and depression

Depression is used to define a wide variety of experiences, from a modest and transitory mood decline, as well as exhaustion or simple sadness, to the most deep condition of apathy and severe symptoms of depressed moods, and a collection of connected emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms.

According to the studies, a serious depression requires at least two weeks of suffering from sad mood, lack of interest or pleasure, severe weight loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, decreased capacity to focus, Children and adolescents have the same fundamental symptoms of depression as adults. Depression has been more common in recent decades, affecting people of all ages. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the fourth most common disease. Furthermore, it is expected to be the largest source of global illness burden by 2030.

Several studies have found that increased negative self-talk is a major aspect of depression. It has been well established that depressed people think negatively and have worse self-esteem than non-depressed individuals. Similarly, multiple researchers have demonstrated that low self-esteem and family functioning have a combined effect on the emergence of adolescent depression. A positive perspective of oneself i.e., self-esteem, on the other hand, helps buffer the relationship between negative occurrences and depressed symptoms.


Researches suggest that positive self-esteem has a noticeable positive impact on mental health, happiness, adjustment, success, academic achievement and contentment. It is also linked to a faster recovery from serious illnesses. However, the changing character of self-esteem could have a negative impact. Low self-esteem, for example, can be a contributing factor to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and poor social functioning. Interestingly, the cross-sectional nature of many studies does not rule out the potential that poor self-esteem is an essential result of such diseases.