Published: 12th June 2021
E-Canteen Fundas: What you are worth is what you weigh in on
Pro Tip: To do justice to your talents and potential, build healthy self-esteem and have a clear aim about what you want to do
Rahul,’ began Rinku, ‘We discussed self-confidence last week, but what’s self-esteem?’
‘They’re the same, right?’ asked Rahul.
‘There’s a difference,’ said Rakesh. ‘Self-confidence is your belief in your abilities. Whereas self-esteem is how you regard yourself, your rating of yourself vis--vis others. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with your ability.’
‘You mean we could have all the ability and still rate ourselves low?’ asked Rahul.
‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘That’s why our self-esteem can make or break us. Unhealthy self-esteem leads to under-utilisation of our potential while healthy self-esteem can make us feel worthy.’
‘What’s unhealthy self-esteem, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘Low self-esteem makes people feel inadequate,’ said Rakesh. ‘They’re overly sensitive to criticism, afraid of making mistakes and trying anything new. They withdraw socially, have difficulty prioritising their needs and following through on their actions. They constantly try to please others, even abuse themselves because they feel incompetent. At the other extreme is narcissism, where people feel excessive admiration for themselves. Both are unhealthy in equal measure.’
‘And those with healthy self-esteem?’ asked Rinku.
‘People with healthy self-esteem accept themselves as they are,’ said Rakesh. ‘They’re aware of their strengths, take initiative and learn from mistakes. They are at ease socially and communicate assertively. They are not dependent on others’ opinions to feel good. They’ve got their own back.’
‘Wow,’ said Rahul. ‘I’d like a healthy self-esteem, bhaiyya.’
‘Change your story then,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Stop feeding yourself negative self-talk and disempowering stories first. Instead, focus on the positives — your strengths, positive stories and grand visions — and reinforce them. Secondly, protect yourself from people who damage your self-esteem. When you nourish your self-esteem with a healthy diet of thoughts, affirmations, emotions and actions, you’ll soon be topping your rating chart.’
‘But bhaiyya, can a healthy self-esteem really help us fulfil our potential?’ asked Rahul.
‘When we start regarding ourselves as important, we
focus our energy on ourselves,’ said Rakesh. ‘We stop comparing and criticising ourselves. This results in using all our resources towards fulfilling our potential.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘I now understand the need for a healthy
Pro Tip: To do justice to your talents and potential, build healthy self-esteem.