Pretty much every kind of mental health problem can be associated with low self-esteem, depression, lack of motivation and for most of us we know low self-esteem is ‘bad.’ But did you know that high self-esteem can be a problem as well?
Self-esteem means judging or evaluating yourself positively. It attributes to our self-worth, perceived value, or how much we like ourselves. You believe you are a good person, and you identify with your strengths. However, research has shown that for most of us, believing we are good is so closely related to believing we are better than other people. In modern western culture is not ok to be average, we have to feel above average in order to feel good about ourselves. We adhere towards a stand-out mentality, with hyperfocus on how much we are special and different than everyone else.
This is the main problem with being overly focused on self-esteem. If I need to believe that I am better than other people in order to have high self-esteem, it can make me more likely to criticize others, and more fearful of people seeing my weaknesses. I can become too competitive and fragile when receiving negative feedback. We tend to get angry and aggressive towards anyone who has said or done anything that potentially makes us feel bad about ourselves. Narcissistic and self-absorbed behavior is on a high rise as the new normal. And still even with so much high self-esteem, we may feel it is often dependant on our latest success or failure, meaning self-esteem fluctuates depending on our ever-changing circumstances.
On the other hand, when you have self-compassion you don’t care if you are better, worse, or the same s anyone else. Self-compassion means relating to yourself with a kind and forgiving attitude no matter what is happening. Self-compassion isn’t dependent on external circumstances, it’s always available.
When we relate to ourselves with self-compassion, there's no need to put other people down. We aren’t afraid of the occasional failures, or even falling flat on our face because we can see them as valuable learning instead of threats to our self-worth. Researchers have found that self-compassion actually improves our motivation to succeed because we aren't so worried about making mistakes. We don’t need to be perfect, special, different, or stand-out in order to be lovable.
GENTLE & HAPPY BLESSINGS TO YOUR SPRING EQUINOX, FULL MOON IN LIBRA, AND ARIES SEASON!!!