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Woman Standing on Dock
Woman Standing on Docks

The Truth About Self Esteem

In our culture, almost all of us are taught that our value is determined through how we “measure up”, or don’t “measure up”. Some areas could include how we look, dress, the car we drive, school or sport performance, etc. The problem with this is that our sense of value could frequently fluctuate, as how we compare to others can always change. This leaves us sometimes feeling like a roller coaster, with our self-esteem going up and down and up and down...

So what is the truth about Self-Esteem? To begin, this term is a misnomer. Esteem for the self should not be coming from the self. Rather, our esteem should be based upon our “inherent worth”, as described by Pia Mellody in her book “The Intimacy Factor”. I like this term “Inherent Worth”, as it so accurately captures that our ultimate value is based upon our having been created by something greater than ourselves. When we take ourselves out of the day to day and moment to moment struggles with trying to “measure up” to our ideals and others, we are then free to just “be”, and to do our best. However it turns out, our value is not resting on any outcomes or comparisons. 

©Shelley Uram 2011