"Low" Self-esteem vs. "High" Self-esteem
It is difficult to experience unhealthy self-esteem that causes distrust for others, self-defeating thoughts, and challenges to engage in activities. "Low" self-esteem is a common term referring to self-dislike that negatively affects mood, performance, satisfaction with life, and social areas. If you are working on self-esteem, it is easy to engage in behavior to attain perfection or "high" self-esteem, but that can cause self-defeating pride. The endeavor to achieve "high" self-esteem can also cause a sense of unrealistic perfection.
What is self-esteem? Self-esteem is somewhere in between self-defeating shame and self-destructive pride. First, self-destructive pride is the attempt to be superhuman or beyond human. Self-defeating shame feels that you are less than human and worthless.
Work on having a realistic appreciation of oneself. Realistic refers to healthy expectations and respect for our imperfect human condition. The acceptance of not just one's great qualities but also our imperfections. Healthy self-esteem also involves what I call "self-empathy," our validation of our feelings and patience for our challenges.
Send me your thoughts on self-esteem and your journey.