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|Refining the Meaning of Self-Esteem|
|Written by John C. Panepinto|
|Monday, 22 March 2010 16:06|
For all that we hear and use the term, self-esteem, you would think that we would all be speaking on a similar plane. I have not found that to be true. As I have written in other articles and spoken about in public on topics as varied as “bully-proofing” and visioning, the definition of self-esteem is in the eyes of the beholder.
Merriam-Webster defines self-esteem as “confidence and satisfaction in oneself.” A common psychological definition is “a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self.” Given these definitions, a bully or drug dealer can have self-esteem. But what I have witnessed is that one who has true self-esteem does not hurt at the core…Looking into the hearts of the hardest young men, I have found that there is a deep wound beneath this exterior of aggression. There is a tenderness of heart that is hard to explain unless you have witnessed it. Sometimes this heart is numb or barely noticeable to the individual. It would take too long to discuss the origin of the wound, but it is worth saying that the favorable attitude toward the self is just a veneer. True self-esteem runs deep.
It has been my feeling that we have been led down this path because of what can be measured. We cannot measure the heart and the spirit. We can look into the soul, but cannot hook it up to an electrode. For this we have denied our levels of being. True self-esteem is one that esteems the source of the self—the life force within us all.
For this I propose a refining of what it means to have self-esteem. Here is a chart to help understand the difference.
Which leads to a more refined definition of Self-Esteem:
Confidence and satisfaction in oneself (m-w)…and trying to grow and improve.
A favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self… reflected in our relations with others.
These definitions truly speak to the words that make up the construct of Self-Esteem. It provides integrity to what it means to be truly human and in process, and values the very source of life.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:34|