This may seem to be a pointless question after my last few posts, but self-esteem and self-confidence, like most other qualities must be held in balance.
We have all met the ‘over-confident’ and those whose ego and self-esteem are so inflated that they are nothing short of a pain (or danger) to be around.
Just as a balanced diet should be exactly that, BALANCED, so confidence and esteem must be balanced with and grounded in reality.
Historically, we have been taught that many bullies, aggressive, violent or anti-social individuals have a problem with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. More recent, controlled research suggests that these characteristics are commonly demonstrated when unearned self-esteem (an inflated sense of self-importance or superiority over others) is challenged or the individuals concerned feel humiliated.
These people have a self-esteem or self-opinion that is over-inflated and has no grounding in reality. As a consequence, it is very frail when challenged.
Why mention this?
Well, I think it is important to understand that seeking increased self-esteem and self-confidence as entities on their own is not a healthy pursuit. Both characteristics need to be grounded in reality and grounded in the context of our character.
Both characteristics are also under our control. We have a RESPONSIBILITY as well as a right to handle the skills we have and the best way to do that is by grounding them into reality.
I saw a scary video the other day of a 10-year-old boy in America addressing a crowd of 20000 people. Great! Good for him! But what is so scary is that he was a clone of the high pressure salesmen and public speakers we fear, and at such a young age is highly susceptible to being manipulated, as well as manipulating others. The content of what he had to say was actually very good, but his delivery bore no relationship to his age or experience. The words he used were of someone at least 20-years his senior … and that is probably where they came from. This was not a demonstration of healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.
So, I’d like to finish where I started my first entry a few days ago … which is by relating self-esteem to self-worth.
If we feel that intrinsically we have value (which I differentiate from importance) we are more likely to respond to the needs around us because we are confident that what we bring has value, even if it isn’t necessarily the total solution.
I believe that building and increasing self-esteem in others (and in ourselves) is a frequently overlooked tool for birthing success; in everything we do