Yes, Together We Can
by (Capt) Ravi K Mahajan
3. SELF - ESTEEM
High Self Esteem leads to Better Relationships, Positive Attitude, Strong Convictions, Self Motivation and Accepting Responsibilities.
It is the nature of Human Mind to keep thinking, almost non-stop. Thousands of thoughts come to our mind every day. Our mind keeps thinking about situations, real or imaginary, and is the fastest runner in the world. It is the most powerful weapon with humans and it is because of this most powerful weapon, we are ruling the planet. When we differentiate the people as per their qualities, ordinary, good or great, it is the quality of their minds and resultant thinking, which matters most. Our mind has made us, what we are. ‘We become what we think’.
What we think of ourselves, is what we call Self Esteem. How we value ourselves? How we feel about ourselves? This thinking of ourselves within us and feeling about ourselves, effects whatever we do, our performance, our binding with others resulting in forming lifelong meaningful relationships. Self esteem is the base and foundation of a person and reflects how he carries himself, dealing with his family, friends, subordinates at work, superiors, or the social circle one moves in. It will also reflect whether he is trustworthy, responsible, loving, ambitious, motivating and most of all, whether he is a likeable personality or is disliked, but tolerated.
Most persons are of High or Low self esteem. There is nothing like mediocre Self Esteem. A person who is not of high Self Esteem, is of low Self Esteem. Person with High self esteem, normally, would have had a good upbringing. His parents must have taken good care of him as a child. He must have been brought up in a loving atmosphere. Of course, he must have had good education. He would have imbibed good values, morals and ethics, from his parents.
He must have learnt the principle of mutual respect at a very young age. He would first treat everyone with utmost respect and humility, and then only expect others to treat him that way. He would be an optimistic person with positive attitude in life. He would be a balanced person, always exhibiting commendable self-emotional control, even tempered, mature person. He would always do things right and is not biased. He is very tactful in his criticism, if at all he must, but liberal in his appreciation and compliments. He inspires and encourages others to go higher and higher and help them to attain the pinnacle.
He does not take personal offence easily, neither is he touchy or sensitive dealing with others. He exhibits Interpersonal attitude, meaning thereby that everyone considers him a good person and is likeable, as he gets along well with everyone. He always thinks of general good, not individual good. People accept him as a leader easily. He commands respect and ensures that everyone has his due. He is helping type and compassionate. He is a patient listener, least emotional and rational, never speaks ill of anyone nor is a gossip monger. He takes counsel from his beliefs, not from his fears. He confronts every difficulty and challenge with courage, wisdom and confidence. Such a person with high Self Esteem shines, where ever he is.
For their own good, readers are advised to go through the above paragraphs again and again and imbibe the good qualities of a high Self Esteem Person. Persons of low or poor self esteem, are opposite of what has been written above. For anything going wrong, they are quick to blame and criticize others endlessly. Understandably, they either have no friends and are, mostly, loners. They are always self righteous, have high ego, are arrogant and difficult to get along with. They make poor leaders and cannot be trusted to get things done.
Persons with low self esteem are jealous, envious, full of excuses, selfish and self centered. Since they can endlessly gossip, they also want you to believe whatever is being said by them. To substantiate that, they shall endlessly give examples, events or anecdotes, which would be, mostly, false but loudly & forcefully put forth, to make listeners believe them. They often lie and believe in Goebels (Hitler’s propaganda minister during second world war time) dictum ‘If a lie is repeated hundred times, even those who know it to be a lie, start accepting it as truth’.
In any gathering, a person with low self esteem can be easily picked by his tall talks and false promises, which would never be kept. They forget having made any such promise, next moment of having made it. Another common feature of low self esteem person is, that they will never be appreciative of anyone, nor would ever compliment anyone for a job well done. And if you admire, compliment someone or be appreciative of someone in their presence, they do not like that and will immediately become indifferent or bored. They can be very touchy over petty matters and would not mind picking up quarrel with anyone over insignificant things.
While a person with high self esteem will judge another person by what he is, his intrinsic values, dignified behavior, character, humility, decency and other positive traits, a person with low self esteem will be impressed most by the person’s material possessions i.e. a big house, expensive car or by the clothes he wears. Low self esteem people are great pretenders, put themselves and others down, while high self esteem people always look others up, are great team players, most agreeable and are generally well liked by everyone. You can make good friends only with high self esteem people.
When I analyze my experience of meeting and dealing with innumerable number of persons in last fifty years, I find childhood and bringing up, matters a lot in the making of self esteem in any individual, when that child becomes an adult. Adults with high self esteem, would have had secure upbringing, caring parents, who must have encouraged and motivated them to do things right. They must have valued ethics, morals and discipline more than the money making. They must have taught them young, that it is more honorable to fail rather than, to cheat and pass.
High Esteem person accepts his mistakes, whenever he is made to realize and never tries to find fault with others, but whenever he finds something wrong, he will tell the other person, when he is alone and with least offensive intention. In other words, they never capitalize on others’ mistakes or ever try and take advantage of such a situation by letting down others.
It is the duty of every parent to ingrain correct perspective of money in the child, during his formative years. He must be repeatedly told that money is important in life, but integrity is more important. If you are a parent, and really want your child to come up in life, then accept this responsibility and imbibe in him true qualities of a good human being, rather than make him a money making & accumulating machine.
Lots of time, I have seen parents trying to imbibe the importance of family in the growing child. Yes, family is important and is the basic unit of society, but the concept and importance of family must be instilled in a wider sense, not in the narrow sense. A person’s immediate family should not become his only and most important duty and responsibility. Why it is important to understand this point is, because when the child becomes an adult, he gets married and has his own family. At that time, he should also feel responsible for his parents, brothers and sisters, who are also part of his family and consider his responsibility towards them too. Why, because whatever that child has grown up to become, he has become, by the family’s collective efforts and he has duties and responsibilities to share with his old family too. Such attitudes are easily developed in childhood and maintained later in life, to enable him to become a person of substance and high self-esteem.
You might be thinking that, what I have written about Low Self Esteem, is the same as Inferiority Complex. Yes it is. But please do not equate, what we sometimes call superiority complex, which should not be mistaken for High Self Esteem. Superiority Complex is nothing, but a form or another level of Inferiority Complex only. Again, it is low self esteem or inferiority complex only, which some people try to hide by showing themselves off as superior to others. For example, I know enough people, who will try to ‘browbeat’ others by fat talk of money or other possessions, which they might have and others don’t. But if you are a person of high self esteem, you would never be influenced by some ones’ material possessions. It’s a common sight to hear such men talking about high end cars and properties and women about servants. No need for you to be impressed. Such people need your snubbing. Do it.
Do not form opinion about people, immediately. Take your own time. There is no hurry. But do not put any one on a high pedestal, simply because he shows off his money and material possessions. There may be many, who might be having much more than him, but they don’t show off. So, always gauge a person’s true intrinsic worth, but refuse to be impressed or influenced by show offs, which is an important quality of a person of high self esteem. A high self esteem person portrays a balanced, unbiased and confident personality, which is like a huge steady ship in the sea which does not move easily, not like a small rowing boat, which moves with each wave.
You must frequently keep analyzing yourself critically, to gauge your self esteem level and keep elevating the same. Being of high self esteem, you have all those positive qualities and traits, which you must discus, spread and popularize amongst your family, friends, business and social circle. Try to make them as you are. Invite them, initiate them, guide them, inspire and motivate them and lead them, to become like you. Do it for your own self, not for others, because this effort shall make you immensely happy and satisfied as do all good deeds.
Self esteem is inter-related with ego. While self esteem helps you grow and develop into a positive & better human being, ego is negative and makes you aggressive. As a person of high self esteem, you would admit your faults, learn from mistakes, try and understand other’s point of view and are respectful to others even if they are working under you. But an egoistic person is just the opposite in all above matters. Though high self esteem means you value yourself and carry a good opinion about yourself, still you are prepared to listen to others and always keen for self improvement .
When we feel good about ourselves, appreciate our self esteem, do no harm to anyone and extend whatever help we can to others and always choose the right direction, we build a temple within us. On the contrary, if we are arrogant, egoistic, selfish, acquisition minded always indulge in our self aggrandizement and count everyone’s achievement only through material possessions, then we are likely to be a unhappy person leading a dissatisfied life with poor self-esteem. Life gets bogged down in greed, up-man-ship, aping others, acrimony and disharmony. We lose our peace of mind, happiness and tranquility. We become loaded with negativity and find it difficult to get out of this greed and self-absorption shutting out the world for us.
If you find yourself to be a person of low self esteem or having inferiority complex, do not panic. In fact, you are in good company, as most people have this common trait of low self esteem. Do not blame anyone for that & never your parents, who have brought you up with the best of their ability and capability. Moreover, we are not going to cry hoarse over the past, but focus at the glorious future, which you can achieve and is waiting in store for you.
Why you are reading this lesson so intently, is because you want to improve and empower yourself by developing the positive trait of high self esteem. First and foremost requirement for that is to change, which you are very much willing, because otherwise, you might not have been reading this lesson at all. Remember ‘Mind is everything. We become what we think’. We can completely renovate ourselves, if we set our mind to do that. Set your mind, change your habits, adopt various positive traits recommended in this book, keep working at them with all your sincerity and passion, and in due course of time, you will be the changed person with high self esteem, totally overhauled to become, what you always wanted to be. Change is the crux of the matter, change is what you should always be prepared to make and change is what will bring you miracles, totally transformed person of high self esteem of the true variety. Remember, there is nothing in this world which cannot be done better or improved. Nothing. So Do It.
Why lesson of ‘Self Esteem’ has been placed almost in the beginning of this book? Because self esteem, high or low, is the foundation of any personality. If you are a parent, then your responsibility doubles, because you have to have high self esteem yourself and ensure that your children are also persons of high self esteem, when they grow up. For that, foundation has to be laid in the childhood and you as parent, have to help your child to grow into a person of high self esteem. Unfortunately, trend in society is materialism and to leave lots of cash and assets for the children. However, in my opinion, if you leave a legacy of values, healthy traditions, high morals and ethics for your children, they shall enjoy a peaceful life all through and you will also be much happier and peaceful in your old age.
In my life time, I have seen number of people, families and businesses, almost destroyed because of personal rivalry, jealousy, envy and various other factors and complexes. But the real reason was poor or low self esteem of some persons. Poor self esteem makes you feel insulted where no insult is meant, feel harmed where no harm is meant or feel let down, where no such intention existed. A person with poor self esteem is jealous, envious, extra touchy and insensitive, pessimist and negative, arrogant and obstinate, selfish and self centered to the core. They are incapable of seeing good in anything. They live a miserable existence, but do not mind it because they are used to it. How much misery they are creating for others, does never bother them, because they do not care.
Friends, High Self Esteem is valued by everyone who wants to lead a truly peaceful, vibrant and rewarding life. Its only when you think good about yourself, when your heart & soul are free from any guilt complex, when you have the courage of conviction and ready to sink with the ship of your convictions, then you will have the feeling of high in life and then only you will realize how truly blissful it has been to follow your conscience and convictions, rather than conveniences. Once you take that path, road to success will show all clear sign to you. Ultimate goal of life is intrinsic inner peace, happiness and joy, which can be felt only by a person of high self esteem, the one who is prepared to die for what he thinks is right. He is the ultimate winner in the war called life because he always thinks long term.
When we Tell the Truth, we do not have to remember
what we have said.
Miracles do happen, but after a lot of Hard Work.
It helps us a lot, when we see ourselves, as others see us.
VALUE HAS VALUE ONLY IF ITS VALUE IS VALUED.