I just read a really old (1997) article on self-esteem by Nathaniel Branden (featured in “The art of living consciously”). It was really enlightening for me, so I’d like to share it with you all!
He says that the path towards self-esteem is by living consciously and responsibly to our thoughts/feelings/behaviour.
It’s only through living consciously that we’re aware of what truly raises/depletes our self-esteem.
For example, when someone compliments us with a “woah, you look good/pretty/cute/fit!”, we may tell ourselves that receiving compliments from people and garnering others’ approval raises our self-esteem. But if we’re really living consciously, we’d realize that the hit of euphoria and pleasure we feel doesn’t last for long, and after awhile, we long for more compliments again and never seem to be fully satisfied.
On the other hand, if we put our best effort into the things we do, or speak up when the situation warrants, or persevere when the going gets tough, we’ll notice that our self-esteem rises.
We may also notice that, by doing the opposite, our self-esteem drops again. So, by being aware of what kind of actions/thoughts/feelings *really* raise our self-esteem, and what makes it fall, we are able to to live a life facing reality instead of away from it.
And we can only do so by choosing to live consciously.