Over time there has been debate over what the definition of self esteem actually is. Something of a consensus of opinion seems to have emerged which portrays it, broadly speaking, as a combination of two main factors : an innate sense of self worth blended with a belief in one's ability to function effectively in practical terms.
Self esteem, or lack of it, is deeply rooted in the foundations of the personality. It's a kind of summary of the beliefs that you have accumulated and developed about yourself since early childhood, though for a variety of reasons some people begin to have problems with low self esteem only later in life.
You could also think of self esteem as the difference between what you'd think of as your idealized self and how you actually perceive yourself, and how you deal with, or feel, emotionally and psychologically, about that difference.
Some of the characteristics of a person with true self esteem would resemble the following - capable of being assertive without being aggressive or domineering, being decisive without being rash or reckless, able to give respect to others where it's due without being sycophantic or seeking to impress, able to accept and learn from constructive criticism, and seeing failure, periodically inevitable in anyone's life, as an opportunity to learn and move on.
On the other hand, personality traits indicating poor self esteem are not limited to the more obvious ones, such as feeling unable to assert yourself or having an excessive fear of or anticipation of failure and so on, but also characteristics such as narcissism, outlandish conceit, having an apparent belief in your superiority over others, and a tendency to aggressively bluster over other peoples opinions in the belief that yours is the only one worth listening to, are all recognised as often being unconscious attempts to mask a deep seated feeling of inferiority.
With regard to self hypnosis it often seems to be the case that people with the more obvious or easily recognisable characteristics of poor self esteem such as overt timidity etc achieve good results more readily and effectively than people with less apparent signs such as certain forms of egocentricism because they're more willing to start from the ground up, having been more willing to give themselves a more realistic and honest self appraisal on which to build on.
To understand your own definition of self esteem, or in other words to give yourself an idea of where you really are on this, take the time to ask yourself some questions. Am I aware of my strengths as well as my weaknesses? Do I believe that I deserve love and respect? Do I like myself? Am I capable of accepting criticism? Am I prepared to accept responsibility for my actions?
Let these questions roll around inside your head for a while, sleep on them in fact, and give your subconscious mind a chance to prod the back of your conscious mind with the true answers over a couple of days or so.
If you arrive at the conclusion that there is some work to be done, or if you already know that you're not getting all that you should out of life because of low self esteem, you should be aware that you have the potential within you to develop yourself in any way that you really want to. Anyone who tells you that you can't is merely stuck in the quagmire of their own negativity and self-doubt.
Drawing on the vast reservoir of power that's hidden within you and learning how to gain confidence is not difficult, so long as it's done with persistence, feeling and conviction. Positive self esteem can be achieved by using such methods as visualization and absorbing relevant hypnosis downloads or cd's while in a state of deep relaxation, supplemented if necessary by daily use of positive affirmations.
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