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  • Abraham Maslow stated that psychological health is not possible unless the fundamental essence of a person is accepted and loved, by self and others. He included ‘self-esteem’ on the fourth level in his Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow described two different forms of esteem:

    1. the need for respect from others; and
    2. the need for self-respect or inner self-esteem.

    Respect from others entails recognition, acceptance, status, appreciation and is believed to be more fragile and easily lost than inner self-esteem. According to Maslow, without the fulfillment of the self-esteem need, individuals will be driven to seek it and unable to grow and obtain self-actualization.

    What is self-esteem?
    ‘Self-esteem’ describes a persons overall appraisal of his or her self-worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs of self-value both positive and negative. It also includes emotions such as pride, swagger, conceit, shame, and triumph. This self-concept delves to the root of what we think and believe about ourselves. Do you view yourself from a positive or negative point of view? How often do you check the weather forecast for your self-esteem? Professional and personal associates will often check your weather patterns to determine whether they want to continue the relationship and ride out the weather.

    Negative Self-Esteem

    Negative or low self-esteem has many causes including physical appearance, socio-economic status, family upbringing and peer pressure. Low self-esteem behavior includes self-imposed isolation, feeling of rejection, insignificance, increasing dissatisfaction with current social relationships, and suicide. Drug abuse and delinquency are common side effects of low self-esteem. Parents are usually your first influence in development of self-esteem.
    My dad was a very negative person. He told me that I would never amount to much of anything. It took positive comments from many teachers and other authority figures to change that initial self-regard recorded in my brain. Peers and friends often influence your self-esteem either positively or negatively depending on their own self-esteem.
    Does your self-esteem follow any of the below weather patterns?

    • Windy – excessive self criticism
    • Thunder – sensitive to criticism with strong resentment against critics
    • Tornado – continuous dwelling on past mistakes
    • Stormy – pessimism and infinite general negative outlook

    Positive Self-Esteem

    Positive or high self-esteem can have many of the same causes as low self-esteem including physical appearance, socio-economic status, family upbringing and peer pressure. When my daughter was in first grade she was teased relentlessly by some of her classmates about her freckles. She didn’t like having freckles and wanted them removed until her grandmother told her that every freckle was a ‘love spot’ to remind her of how much she was loved by her family and friends. Positive self-esteem behaviors emphasize and celebrate your unique strengths, needs, interests and skills. These behaviors also include your capacity to solve problems and ask for and accept help when needed. People with positive self-esteem often trust their own judgment, have confidence in self-ability and firm beliefs in values and principles. They can also have wide varieties of interests and activities.
    Does your self-esteem follow any of the below weather patterns?

    • Temperate – they learn from the past, plan for the future, but live intensely for today
    • Blue Skies – consider themselves equal to others but accept differences in talent, personal prestige or financial standing
    • Sunny– accept that they are an interesting person to others, especially friends
    • Coastal Breeze – are sensitive to feelings and needs of others and respect generally accepted social rules and norms

    Awareness is always the first step to change. Hopefully, this weather report on self-esteem will guide you to understand and ask yourself “What is it like to be on the other side of my weather front?”