Essay by MatejaCollege, UndergraduateB, May 2004

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You have the capacity to define who you are and then decide if you like that identity or not. When you reject parts of yourself, you greatly damage the psychological structures that keep you alive. Judging and rejecting yourself causes enormous pain. You find yourself avoiding anything that might aggravate the pain of self-rejection. You take fewer social, academic or career risks. To avoid more judgments you erect barriers of defense. You could blame get angry or become a perfectionist. How you perceive and feel about yourself can change.

Cause and Effect

Parenting styles during the first 3-4 yrs determines the amount of self-esteem a child will start with. We teach people how to treat us. There are two types of self-esteem problems, Situation, and character logical.


A person may have confidence as a parent, conversationalist, and sexual partner but expect to fail in a work situation. To overcome this a person needs to focus on strengths, rather than weaknesses.

By changing thinking patterns, a person will significantly increase their sense of confidence and worth.

Many would agree that positive attitudes about ourselves, our capabilities and accomplishments ideally should arise from our own evaluation of ourselves. Approval, applause and praise from others is enjoyable and it can certainly feel good to be on the receiving end of it, but the appraisal of us by others should not determine our sense of self-worth. We sometimes get in a bind trying to feel good about ourselves yet not wanting to come off appearing too conceited to others. It is the very act of needing to take into account how we lose genuine self-esteem. Instead, allow yourself to be your own judge of who you are. We cannot control how others feel but we can control how we feel about ourselves.