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Spirituality and Self Esteem

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: June 30th, 2020

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When discussing how to improve self esteem we need to look at every aspect of human nature. This will include an area which is not often discussed, because it is not always understood, this is spirituality. In my experience, spirituality plays an important role in who we are and how we think and behave every day. I’d like to focus on the link between spirituality and self esteem, and how you can use this to improve your self esteem and confidence.

Spirituality (noun):

“The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”

Oxford University Press (2020) “Spirituality” In: Lexico.com, Available at: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/spirituality  [Accessed 29/06/2020]. 

Spirituality affects our view of the world and our place in it. According to Lindgren and Coursey (1995), spiritual beliefs influence self esteem. By being a good example, by giving, by being in harmony with others and accepting them as they are, you can improve your self esteem.

Kim (2013) studied the relationship between spirituality and self esteem in middle aged women and found that spirituality affected self esteem positively. Kim also suggested that spirituality should be included in psychological treatment on patients suffering from low self esteem.

How and Why Does Spirituality Affect Self Esteem?

One main reason why spirituality improves self esteem and well-being is that it gives a person meaning and purpose in life (Kashdan and Nezlek, 2012 ). A spiritual belief system increases a person’s sense of purpose in life, according to the same study. It seems logical, as most religious or spiritual beliefs give an explanation of our place in the world and our reason for existence.

 


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Religion, and spirituality, may support healthy self esteem by encouraging us to feel part of something much greater than ourselves, and the fact that spiritual and religious philosophies generally emphasize our value as individuals or as members of a community.

Spiritual teachings and philosophies generally encourage the view that everything and every being is connected as part of a greater whole. According to Awan and Sitwat, (2014 ), this connection between ourselves and the universe means we are naturally able to contribute to the world according to our talents and abilities. We therefore have a valuable role to play in society and our surroundings. This leads to greater self esteem.

How to Use Spirituality To Build Your Self Esteem

In this section we will look more closely at some ideas for using spirituality to build your self esteem. We have already seen that the connection between spirituality and self esteem is strong, but we need to understand how to put this to work for us.

Be A Good Spiritual Example to Others

If someone pursues spiritual goals such as becoming a more giving and enlightened person, he or she will want to develop positive values that will help others. Being an example to others is part of the spiritual life, and this will increase self esteem and confidence. This is largely due to increased self-respect, but others may also respond to you more positively which in turn also improves your self esteem.

Be Guided By A Giving Attitude

When we develop the inner spiritual nature of the self, we aspire to give. This is what most religions and spirituality teaches. Of course, not everyone who believes they are spiritual gives, but the truly spiritual will.

A giving nature will help a person develop better relationships and also the act of giving provides a sense of satisfaction and self-value. Giving will increase self esteem out of a sense of contributing to society and helping others.

Being in a close relationship requires that you give just as much, if not more, than you take. A person who takes from a relationship all the time will not develop a healthy connection with others. Giving to others is an act of compassion and love and is more likely to be returned to you twofold.

Be In Harmony With Your Partner’s Spirituality

spirituality and self esteem

Relationships are tough! One of the biggest problems is conflict between two people caused by differences in opinions or thinking. To be more in harmony with others will improve your relationships. Spiritual differences will always exist between people, as we all think and understand differently. There is no one spiritual truth.

The success of close relationships can affect our self esteem directly. If we have positive relationships we are more likely to experience high self esteem. So, the worst thing you could do is to impose your beliefs on another person, especially a close partner. To have a good relationship which will boost your self esteem, you need to respect the other person and their spiritual beliefs. Even if a person has no spiritual beliefs, you should still respect their right to think that way.

Look for what you have in common spiritually, rather than how your beliefs are different. Never expect to totally agree, but come to an acknowledgement that neither of you believe the other is wrong. This will lead us onto the next point which is an extension of this.

Accepting Others As They Are Is A Key To Better Relationships

Learn to accept people as they are. Maintain freedom in relationships, cultivate respect for the wishes of others and understand especially that no one, no one is even responsible for their happiness. Likewise, never accept the weight of responsibility to make someone happy.

When someone’s behavior is bad for you, don’t try to change them, this is the worst, most painful, most tortuous, most costly, darkest way. In these situations of disagreement look inside you and notice what emotions come up. See if it is jealousy, fear of losing, need for approval, anxiety or pessimism. Whatever the negative emotion, pay attention and do not focus so much on those differences. In particular do not blame the other person.

In short, accept others, their beliefs, and their right to live as they see best. By all means discuss and share your thoughts, but always listen and respect their opinions too.

Pay Attention To Your Inner Self And Your Demands Of Others

Focusing on and developing your inner self, (one aim of spirituality), is important because we can become more productive as a result (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000 ).

Paying attention to your inner self you will find that you always seek relationships that bring you emotional comfort in accordance with your beliefs, and that whenever your (and only your) inner emotional code is broken by other attitudes judged by you to be disagreeable, then the hurts, conflicts and confusion will begin. Once you stop looking for relationships in order to comfort your inner emotions, but especially with the idea of ​​living well with the world, finding fullness and good living, you will notice a drastic change in the quality of your relationships.

Do not be a modeler of people, be a modeler of negative into positive emotions, because this is the secret to establishing relationships based on love and consequently the truth, or rather, the truth that liberates!

Deal With Toxic Relationships

If you are involved in any relationship that is damaging in any way to your physical or mental health, it is a toxic relationship. Face up to the fact that you cannot change someone, so if they have abused you, hurt you physically or mentally and are likely to do it again, get out of that relationship. This is not easy, so it would be a good idea to get help from outside the relationship form a professional.

Never put up with a relationship that damages your self esteem, you deserve better. A good relationship is built on trust, kindness and mutual respect. Never accept any less, but be sure to also give these things to the other person freely and if they refuse to treat you in the same way, distance yourself or end the relationship.

Develop And Nurture Your Soul

I believe the soul is real, some do not. We cannot prove it either way, so we should accept all views. If you believe in your soul then you have the duty to take care of it. Feed it with positivity and love. Never do things against your feelings of what is right and wrong. Listen to what your heart tells you, and your soul will follow.

Looking after your soul is part of your spirituality and will involve self-care. Do not neglect this important aspect of your being.

Develop Tolerance In Your Spirituality And In Your Self

We have already touched upon this. In relationships you must respect in order to be respected in return. For the sake of harmony in your closest relationships and for the sake of your self esteem, you must be tolerant of your friend or your partner’s thoughts, feelings, values and life choices. You must be tolerant even if you think the other person is wrong and seek to understand first before discussing the issue. Never criticize or tell someone they are wrong. Respect is the key to tolerance.

Are Psychic Readings Good For Your Self Esteem?

This may seem a strange question here, but I believe it is very relevant. Spirituality covers many things besides religious belief, and is concerned with matters such as the inner self and the soul. But spirituality may also include other ideas such as hidden knowledge that some psychics have access to. Is it a good idea to seek a psychic in an effort to access this hidden knowledge or learn something about yourself to help you with the struggles of low self esteem?

Well, a clairvoyant may have special gifts and may be able to offer you some advice about reasons why you feel a certain way about yourself. They are not medical people or qualified psychologists, but some may have a gift for understanding human nature. Just keep your wits about you. If you want to try this, then click this link for an online psychic reading . It might be helpful to you!

Suzanne Newnham, in her book Ethics of a Psychic Reading: A Guide for Professional and Amateur Messengers, says that psychics seek to guide and help their clients with advice and information given honestly from intuition, which she says, can be developed in everyone. There is no doubt that some people are comforted and feel much better after having seen a psychic.

References

  • Ashmos, D. P., & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at Work: A Conceptualization and Measure. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 134–145. https://doi.org/10.1177/105649260092008
  • Samina Awan, and Aisha Sitwat. (2014). “Workplace Spirituality, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Well-Being Among Mental Health Professionals.” Pakistan journal of psychological research : PJPR 29.1: 125–. Print.
  • Kashdan, T. B., & Nezlek, J. B. (2012). Whether, When, and How Is Spirituality Related to Well-Being? Moving Beyond Single Occasion Questionnaires to Understanding Daily Process. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(11), 1523–1535. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167212454549
  • Kim, Sook Nam. “Spirituality and Self-esteem in Middle-aged Women.” Journal of Korean Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 22.2 (2013): 128–. Web.
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Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.