Many factors in life influence your self-esteem. These factors can either build your self-esteem up or pull you down. Probably, you have a clear understanding of what self-esteem is but before we take a look at these factors, let’s go back to what it really is about.
Self-esteem refers to a person’s overall sense of what he or she is worth or their value. It can be considered as some measure of how much a person “values, approves of, appreciates, prizes, or likes him or herself” (Adler & Stewart, 2004).
According to self-esteem expert Morris Rosenberg, self-esteem is quite simply one’s attitude toward oneself (1965). He described it as a “favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self.”
Various factors believed to influence our self-esteem include:
1. Your Childhood
Your childhood is one of the major contributing factors that influence your self-esteem. As you grow up, your personality and everything else is developing. The people around you have the potential to influence the person you become.
For instance, children that grow up in a chaotic home or environment tend to have lower confidence and self-esteem. Children that grow up in unstable homes tend to carry that burden with them throughout their entire lives. All of these childhood experiences can influence to a great extent how they value themselves even when they are older.
2. The Society
The pressure of the society to conform to certain standards and way of living contribute to your low self-esteem. In today’s society, there are so many demands, products, fashion style, technology, all of which make you feel like you have to live a certain standard, dress a certain way, have a certain kind of job, and act accordingly.
Yielding to these pressure can result in a low self-esteem.
3. Social Media
Our absolute obsession with the media, whether print ads, television, or social media, contributes to the dilemma of widespread self-esteem issues, especially among youths today.
In a research, it was found that “higher use of social network site are associated with lower levels of self-esteem.” The ready access to social media influences young minds to look, act, or be like celebrities, public figures, or even compare themselves with their peers.
It can be hard not to compare yourself to others, even as an adult, and most young people struggle with this, not knowing it is influencing how they value themselves.
Your belief system can either influence your sense of worth positively or negatively.
Every family and individual is largely defined by the values and core beliefs that they hold. Some are culturally influenced, while others may be within families, or individually adopted. But they help to define who a person is and will impact how others see them, and how the person sees themself.
Negative beliefs and opinions we hold about ourselves greatly influence how we see and value ourselves. Some people know that their negative judgment of themselves is too harsh; other people hold onto these beliefs so strongly that they can feel like facts.
What beliefs are you holding, are boosting your sense of worth for yourself or not?
5. Friends and Family
The people you spend the most time with have an enormous influence on your self-esteem. Your friends can help build up your confidence, self-image, and self-respect or bring you down.
If your family or friend makes you feel unappreciated, wanted, and valued, this can affect how you see yourself and feel about yourself. Your family contributes largely to your self-esteem levels. Family and friends are a major part of the childhood of any person.
This is why it is important that the people closest to you are supportive and helpful in building you up and your worth.
All relationships can influence your self-esteem, but romantic relationships tend to have the biggest effect. Being in a happy and loving relationship can boost your self-esteem. On the other hand, a bad relationship can bring you down in so many ways.
A bad break-up or being left by a partner can also weigh heavily on your confidence and self-esteem.
7. Work Environment
A large portion of your life is spent at work or school, so it’s no wonder why the environment where you work or study would influence your life. A stressful and overly demanding job can often contribute to low self-esteem, while a productive and encouraging workplace can help you grow stronger.
Your overall health can also contribute to your self-esteem. Taking care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit boosts how you feel about yourself and invariably influences your self-worth.
Overall, there are so many factors that can influence your self-esteem. Every part of your life has influence and therefore has power over your boost your self-worth. But, I want to remind you that the person with the most control over your worth is yourself.
Now that you are aware of the things that influence your self-esteem, practice self-awareness and love so you know more of what boosts your esteem.
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