"I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’
– Albert Einstein
He explained, if we choose to believe that a universe is an unfriendly place, we are more prone to building walls around us, further causing us to isolate and destroy ourselves.
Why is Einstein’s story important?
Here is why – it is natural to believe that your self-esteem is a product of your achievements. That is a belief that if you are successful, then you are entitled to feel good about yourself.
Einstein advocated for the opposite approach. He encouraged choosing an approach to life first and then determining actions to achieve the same.
Curious to know if you have low self-esteem?
Here are a few common signs:
- Checking your phone instead of connecting with people in-person.
- Afraid to contribute to conversations.
- Comparing yourself to others who you think are better.
Why is Self-esteem important?
The chances of succeeding in life are highly influenced by your self-esteem. It is imperative to achieve good self-esteem and then, in turn, proceed at a more confident pace.
“Whatever you think you can or what you think you can’t, you are right.”
– Henry Ford
Now that we know that self-esteem is important, let’s learn how it is formed and how we can improve the same.
How is self-esteem formed?
It is mostly formed at a young age when you are most impressionable to the opinions of others. Most of us grow us believing that we need to conform our behaviour to the expectations of others. Our opinion of ourselves in heavily influenced by others.
However, when you grow, there comes a point when you realize that you are responsible for deciding how you behave and think.
Think about it – the word is “self” esteem. YOUR opinion matters.
We are surrounded by judgments and opinions. But stop for a moment and analyze if others are even entitled to have judgments?
Perhaps, only a higher power has that privilege.
This realization is especially important because most judgments that you are surrounded by may not even be true. This is perfectly captured by the famous Russian singer Kirkorov: “If you can advise me on how to sing, why don't you have any famous song?”
Apply the same attitude towards the judgments you face in life. Think about the people who give you advice. What have they achieved in life? Are they entitled to giving you such advice?
They are not.
The truth is nobody really know how the universe works and nobody can predict the future. Therefore, nobody can have judgments about your life.
As Einstein pointed about, your personal values are a matter of your choice. You can choose to have high self-esteem.
Here is the first step – Accept and understand that your self-esteem comes from within – it is YOUR (and only yours) personal choice.
Everyone has a different background and a different fate. It makes no sense to compare yourself to them.
In fact, your ultimate goal should be to become the best version of yourself. To track your day to day progress, just track your improvement from your previous self.
If you have advanced since yesterday – that is more than enough.
Here is the second step – Decide for yourself that you are awesome.
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I was.”
– Mohamed Ali (famous wrestling champion)
Earlier we discussed the common signs of low self-esteem, now let’s discover the common signs of low high-esteem:
- They don't hesitate to express themselves.
- They take calculated risks.
- They take actions.
- They aren’t afraid of failures of mistakes.
- They have a confident posture.
- They take good care of their body.
- They invest in themselves.
- They believe that they are wealthy.
- They are willing to connect with other people
If you decide that you are cool, great and awesome, you will start acting accordingly. This will, in turn, maximize your chances of success.
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
― Stephen King