Self-esteem: Understanding Its Meaning, Factors, and Influences

About this sample

About this sample


3 pages /

1580 words

Downloads: 48

3 pages /

1580 words

Downloads: 48

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Where does our self-esteem come from?
  3. What factors influence our self-esteem?
  4. Low Self-Esteem vs High Self-Esteem
  5. How can we overcome low self-esteem?
  6. Conclusion


“Some things may be equally essential but nothing is more important than a healthy sense of self-esteem and loving yourself.” - Henrik Edberg.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Having confidence in your own worth or abilities is defined as having a healthy self-esteem. It is the way you value yourself, the way you feel, think and act in life. It influences your motivation and success throughout your journey. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from a low level of self-esteem. They constantly question themselves whether they are attractive enough, successful enough, or even smart enough. They give a lot of importance to what other people think of them, in addition to being their own toughest criticizers.

Self-esteem is known to work as a state of mind. On the one hand, having a low self-esteem leads to a doubt in your own capabilities which creates hesitation and thus stops you from succeeding at school or work. On the other hand, having a healthy self-esteem helps you achieve in life and face your challenges with a positive, self-assured attitude and believe you can always realise your goals.

Self Esteem has a multidimensional structure with three elements:

A “Cognitive” element which is how you think about yourself, an “Affective” element which is how you feel about yourself, and a “Behavioural” element which is the way you behave in matters related to you.

It has an effect on your choice of career, choice of partner and on any decision you take. Indeed, a low self-esteem generates the acceptance of regular common situations in life without daring to reach high or have big dreams. It surely affects your attitude, your values, your achievements, and your potential. Self-esteem also has an impact on the way you talk and how you relate to others.

Where does our self-esteem come from?

We are all born with a blank canvas on which to create our self-esteem. It starts evolving and developing since the first existence on Earth throughout our life by every experience we go through and all different people and challenges we encounter. Our childhood plays a main role in shaping our self-esteem. The way we are treated by our family, teachers, and peers contributes in creating our self-esteem. Successes and failures while we are growing up also have a major contribution in creating our self-esteem.

Being lucky enough to be brought up in a family where parents make us feel appreciated, getting the appropriate affection and attention, being listened to, recognizing our accomplishments and accepting our mistakes and failures all of these contribute in developing a healthy self-esteem.

If we are raised in a family where we are neglected, rejected, ignored, punished, criticised by our parents this makes us feel with little value and thus develop a low self-esteem. Also as a parent expecting perfection from a child at all time (being severely punished for getting a low grade, for losing a game etc.) will result in shaping a low self- esteem adult.

What factors influence our self-esteem?

Many factors influences your self-esteem: They either build it up or allow you to steadily move forward or pull you down. Family and school environment are all major aspects from your childhood that shape your self-esteem. They develop your image about yourself. In fact, first you adopt their model; you imitate their attitude about themselves. Then, you believe what your parents tell you about yourself. Reaching school, what your teachers say and how they behave with you either empower this first image or shake it. Unfortunately, sometimes they can even destroy it if accompanied by lots of criticism or humiliating experiences and comments. Your successes and achievements empower the image you are seeking to believe whether positive or negative.

The pressure of society and the obsession with the media (television, social media) also contribute to the self-esteem issues. Especially with today’s youth in Lebanon, they feel the urge to live and dress up in a certain way which is portrayed by social media, the pressure to look and act like public figures or even their peers, comparing yourself to others (youth struggle with this sometimes even adults do) and having all time access to social media are all factors that put pressure on you, and lead to low self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem vs High Self-Esteem

We differ in the way we like or dislike ourselves, it is worth assessing how we feel about ourselves and how much self-confidence we have. It can be high, low or somewhere in-between.

People with high self-esteem trust their own capabilities in solving problems. They smile, have a positive attitude, interest in different activities without fear of failure or judgment. They worry less about the future or past and enjoy the present. Confident enough to ask for help and never feel guilty if others don’t approve. Whereas people with low self-esteem are constantly dissatisfied, afraid to make mistakes, and frustrated. They have tendency to take negative thoughts and feelings, blame themselves for any result. They have a fear of failure, and inability to try new things and to accept compliments.

How can we overcome low self-esteem?

It’s true that we are influenced by our past, parents, school, neighbourhood, and society, but the good news is that we can take the decision to change and be the heroes of our own life. By identifying and questioning our limiting beliefs, by shaking their foundation and replacing them with positive thoughts we can move from Pain to Power.

There are six main tools to overcome low self-esteem:

  1. Self-awareness,
  2. Self-acceptance,
  3. Assertiveness,
  4. Proactiveness,
  5. Responsibility,
  6. Cohesion.

The thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t keep it up with deadlines,” “Why is everyone else doing better than what I’m doing?”. We all have this inner voice that make up our mind to do something different, it runs in our mind as a monologue like a gremlin. This inner voice or “gremlin” combines conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs. The good news is that we can control this inner critic and challenge it.

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Now it’s time to admit that writing this essay was a very challenging task. Studying the self-esteem topic made me discover that I have a self-esteem issue. Knowing that strong self-confidence is one of my personality traits, only through working on my self-esteem was I able to write about it.
So many factors can influence our self-esteem, and the only one who has most control over our self-esteem is ourselves. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Self-Esteem: Understanding Its Meaning, Factors, and Influences. (2020, February 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 21, 2023, from
“Self-Esteem: Understanding Its Meaning, Factors, and Influences.” GradesFixer, 26 Feb. 2020,
Self-Esteem: Understanding Its Meaning, Factors, and Influences. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Sept. 2023].
Self-Esteem: Understanding Its Meaning, Factors, and Influences [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Feb 26 [cited 2023 Sept 21]. Available from:
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