It is said that every person has three “selves”.
This means, they have 3 sets of personalities, traits, beliefs, abilities and so on.
- The first type of self is the ideal self. This is the type of person that you want to become.
- The second type of self is the actual self. This is who you really are as a person.
- The third type of self is the perceived self. This is how you view yourself or who you think you are.
The thing is, your perceived self can be quite different from your actual self.
For instance, you might be very attractive to everyone else, but you might not see yourself as attractive at all.
Or you might think that you are a really funny person, while in reality you might not be!
It is your perceived perception of yourself, that determines how much self-esteem you have. And this is very important.
That’s because self-esteem is defined as your subjective evaluation of your own worth.
- If you think that you are worth less than everybody else, it will impact your life in negative ways.
- On the other hand, if you think too highly of yourself, this too can have a negative impact on your life.
Due to the importance of self-esteem in our lives, countless research studies have been conducted on the matter.
They have led to many interesting findings that you should be aware of in order to understand this concept better.
So, to this end, let’s take a look at 11 interesting and suprising facts about self-esteem.
1. Self-Esteem Is Dictated By Genes And Environment
For decades, there had been a raging debate on how self-esteem is developed.
Some researchers believed that it depends on genes and some believed that it depends on the environment you are born in.
In 2011, we got a lot more clarity on this subject matter.
A study in 2011 found that there are specific genes that influence your confidence and self-esteem.
So, for most people, genes may influence their level of self-esteem.
However, the effect that your upbringing had on you cannot be ignored. The environment that you have been exposed to since your childhood also plays a huge role in determining the kind of self-esteem you have.
2. There Are Multiple Types of Self-Esteem
Self-esteem isn’t just a simple set of perception of yourself.
It is a lot more nuanced than that as there are multiple types of self-esteem.
First you have a more general sense of who you are as a person and then there is a specific determination of self-worth for the different roles you play as well as the different activities you perform.
For instance, you might think well of yourself in a general sense but you might think that you are not a good sibling or a good football player.
Essentially, you might think differently about the different aspects of yourself.
So, it’s quite evident that your feelings of self-worth aren’t just general in nature, which is good news as you can’t have low self esteem in every aspect of your life….
3. Higher Self-Esteem Provides Better Emotional Immunity
Just as you have a physical immune system to fight against germs, you have an emotional immune system too.
Your confidence, positivity, and self-esteem, all act as your protection against the harsh critics of the world.
If you have a healthy level of self-esteem, you won’t be deterred if someone says something bad about you or criticizes you.
However, if you have low levels of self-esteem, you might be discouraged from doing what you do. The words of other people might reach deep within you and stir up some sensitive stuff.
This can cause a lot of emotional trauma, cause stress and anxiety, and isn’t good for your general well-being.
4. Self-Esteem Fluctuates A Lot
We all know that we don’t always feel the same way.
On some days, you might feel really happy and on the others, you might feel absolutely miserable.
In fact, your feelings can change from one hour to the other as well. This is just how we humans function.
Our feelings are dynamic and they fluctuate all the time. The same applies to self-esteem as well.
Most people might believe that their feelings of self-worth are static, but that’s not true. On some days you might feel more confident about yourself and your abilities while on other days you might feel more insecure.
This can be influenced by a number of factors but it is mostly based on how you feel on any given day, like if you feel happy because someone praised you or sad because someone criticised you. ( ok , ok it is much more complex than that but it is not the subject of this article haha)
5. Meditation Can Improve Self-Esteem
A lot has been said about the importance of meditation ( check our post about the benefits of meditation) in our lives.
We all know how transformational it can be for our physical, mental, and psychological health.
Well, it is also said to improve your self-esteem if you can make it a part of your daily life. A lot of people state that their perception of themselves improved greatly after just a few sessions of this practice.
Meditation paves a way for you to get in touch with the core of your being.
It is there that you discover the real you.
In such a state, all the wrong perceptions that you have about yourself “vanish” and you are able to see things just the way they are.
You realize your true worth. And it is often much better than you thought…
6. Learning New Skills Can Enhance Self-Esteem
Your perception of your self-worth depends on a lot of things.
One of these things could be your skills or abilities.
You might consciously or unconsciously, measure everything that you can and cannot do. If you perceive that you don’t have enough skills in comparison to other people, then you could have lower levels of self-esteem.
So, it only makes sense that learning new skills can greatly enhance your feelings of self-worth.
You will be aware of the fact that you can possibly do more than the people around you. Therefore, it is a good idea to learn as many new skills ( languages, manual work, anything…) as you can if you think you have low self-esteem.
7. You have more than 2 parents
The people that you spend the most time with have a huge psychological impact on you whether you realize it or not.
There is an old saying by Jim Rohn that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
So, in a way, you are the combination of 5 people, some would say you are the spiritual child of 5 parents. How cool is that? plus you can choose at least 3 of them… 🙂
So, naturally, it can be said that these people also influence your levels of self-esteem.
If you have people who encourage you and are generally positive, you might feel better about yourself and you might take more chances in life to do the things that you want to.
However, if those around you are always critical of you and don’t provide much support, you might constantly think that there is something wrong with you.
So, don’t waste time with negative people, they will constantly drag you down.
8. Child Abuse Could Lead To Low Self-Esteem
A lot of adults who were abused when they were children, suffer from lower levels of self-esteem.
This abuse could have been in any form – it could have been beating, constant criticizing, regular comparison with other kids, and so on.
All of this has a huge negative impact on the growth and development of children. It can also dictate the type of people they grow up to be.
These children can grow up believing that they are not enough, or that there is something wrong about them.
They just don’t get the taste of self-worth and it carries throughout their lives until they make a conscious decision of making a change or until they find better parents or friends to help them realize their self worth.
9. High Self-Esteem Is Not Necessarily Better
You might think that high self-esteem is what you need to live a fruitful life.
While you are correct in that assessment, your self-esteem shouldn’t be too high.
Yes, there is a limit to even the good things in life. The reason why psychologists advice people to keep their self-esteem in check is that too high levels can lead to narcissism.
This might be terrible for your relationships and also for yourself.
Narcissists get deeply wounded even with the tiniest of criticism or insults. They may even act violently in response.
So, it is better to have healthy levels of self-esteem where you are confident in yourself but are also aware that you are not perfect which is completely okay!
10. Most Programs To Improve Self-Esteem Don’t Work
Worldwide, there are countless programs and workshops going on at any given moment to improve the self-esteem of the participants.
However, studies have found that most of these programs simply do not work.
This is because of the approach that they use. In most of these, they focus heavily on being positive or complimenting the participants on their attributes. They are also encouraged to use affirmations.
But it has been found that often, people who have low self-esteem don’t believe others when they compliment them.
This is even worse when they know that they are in a program where compliments might not even be genuine!
Being forced to be positive doesn’t work either. Even if it does, it is temporary and happens only in the spur of the moment.
People should focus on understanding that compliments are subjective, they are the opinons of one person. What truly matters is what you think. Of course, you can ask the opinion of others but ultimately what is the most important thing is what you think.
11. Suprising Figures about Self-esteem
- 90% of women wish they could change at least one thing about their physical appearance.
- 81% of 10-12 year-old girls are scared to be considered fat.
- 1 in 4 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they’ve already experienced physical abuse from their partner.
- Girls are more likely to be cyberbullied than boys.
- 1 out of 4 in the 16-20 year old women group suffer from an eating disorder.
- Suicide is the 3rd cause of death among teenagers.
- Only 2% of women consider they are beautiful.
These 11 facts about self esteem all remind us that we have control over our life. Whatever your hurdles or harships, you can decide to change. It is up to you.