High self esteem is not the end game...

I've been on a good few personal development courses that have shared how we can see whether we have high or low self esteem...

I can confess that having started to be aware and recognising the 'symptoms' of low self esteem it is at epidemic levels. You can actually fairly quickly run through your list of contacts pointing out those with low self esteem, so obvious it becomes, when you know what to look out for.

However I was watching a video by Eckhart Tolle about self esteem and ego... and it was interesting in that there was some deliberation about the state of the mind when we have high self esteem.

High self esteem basically is about feeling good about yourself but mostly in comparison to others around you. So if we have more qualifications, are better at some things than others... a bigger car or more beautiful house... then this feeds our self esteem and confidence.

This growing of our own self esteem however comes at a price... the reducing of another's self esteem as they become almost losers in the competitive battle amongst us humans. One feels better about themselves, the other 'not as good'. Almost like their energy has been stolen by the more powerful.

We of course know that if we had a choice between low self esteem and high self esteem it is more enjoyable and fun to be in the high self esteem group. However high self esteem still leaves us only half way in our growth and perhaps where most people going around saying the are 'successful' currently reside... if we push on from high self esteem where do we end up then?

What do we do when we 'measure' our self esteem?

Self Esteem could be considered as a 'feel good' factor. I'm doing pretty well really. I feel good that I am doing better than average. I have a nice sized house... car... I like my job as a manager... and I have a certain standing in society... yes... there are a lot of people doing worse than me... 

When we are taught (results, scores, performance) and compared routinely it is easy to see why many develop self esteem issues. There is almost no point in saying "it doesn't matter what others are doing, it is your own self you need to worry about" as we are constantly evaluated against others.

I think the basic premise of Yoga which is that it is your practice, for you, it doesn't matter if someone else is more flexible than you... it's how flexible you are that will make a difference to you... plus all the other factors, breathing and awareness etc.

Where do we go from here then?

Well perhaps once someone has good "Self esteem" we need to couple that with humility? Some people may be inspired by people who "show boat" and say "look at my" aren't I amazing, but the majority find this behaviour leaves them with a sour taste. I think this sour taste can be a variety of different emotions... jealousy, anger, envy even.

So maybe healthy self esteem is to have gratitude for yourself... gratitude for the opportunities that came your way... gratitude for the effort that was expended to achieve what you have already mastered... and this leads to self love...

Self love is not 'being selfish' but being happy with your own growth and development (not compared to others) ... just compared to 5 years or 10 years ago...

Being the best version of you 

The only person we can be better than is who we were yesterday. It is totally futile to compare ourselves to another human being who has had a totally different set of inputs. Parents, schools, siblings, and their life experiences thus far... 

Our energies would be much better utilised trying to understand what makes us happy and working out how we can do more of those things rather than comparing with a never ending moveable feast that we can't comprehend anyway.

Final words

So I guess in conclusion... What I am finding is that, High self esteem works in our favour when we transmute "outward looking self esteem" and turn it into "inward looking healthy self esteem"... 


  1. Very interesting topic..any books/ courses you suggest?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Unvaccinated journal

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II

The common cold finally defeated...