Why is Self-Esteem Important?

Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC 

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Understanding why self esteem is important is a first step to helping yourself improve it. If you can understand its importance to you, then you are more likely to give it top priority and start working on it seriously.

However, there is some research, strangely, that seems to contradict the long-held view that self-esteem is important for positive living and success in life (see this article by Ziegler-Hill, 2013).

After writing about this topic for over 20 years, having a book published and working with life coaching clients lacking self-esteem, it seems clear to me that it is very important in so many ways. On this page I’d like to explain why.

According to Leary (1999), self-esteem is important because it contributes to psychological well-being. High self-esteem helps to approach life positively and set goals. It also helps us to become self-motivated, confident, and successful.

Can you imagine anything else so important?

I suffered from chronic low self esteem for many years beginning at school in my early teens and continuing into my twenties and thirties. During that time I tried strategy after strategy and read a huge number of books about self confidence and the psychology behind my feelings of self worth. I eventually helped myself to get past the effects that this disorder was having on my life, and I began to live a happier life after that. Because of this struggle I now feel that I am an expert in this topic and know that I can help you to build your self esteem.

Self esteem is important because it affects how you think about yourself. However, how self esteem affects your thoughts and feelings depends on many factors which we will look at in this article. We will also talk about how self esteem affects your confidence and successes in life. It’s much more complex than you might imagine. Everyone is unique, so read on to learn why self esteem is important to you.

What is the Importance of Self Esteem?

In an interview I had with Dr Ingrid Schweiger, Psychotherapist for more than 25 years and author of Self esteem for a Lifetime, she explained why she believes self-esteem is so important:

In my work and my observations, in my personal relationships for the last 30 plus years, I find self-esteem to be the common denominator, in people who are making choices and decisions that they feel good about and happy about. People who are living the life that they want to be living. And on the flip side of the coin, I find people struggling with self-esteem issues. I find that the struggle to be the common denominator in people who are depressed, anxious and people who are making choices and decisions that they’re just not happy with.

Dr Ingrid Schweiger in an interview with me, Karl Perera in 2009.

This is a quick overview of why self esteem is important:

  • As Dr Schweiger mentions above, I have also seen that low self-esteem can cause depression, anxiety and indecision.
  • Self esteem can be the difference between success and failure
  • Esteem can affect your thinking, causing you to see things positively or negatively
  • Esteem affects your self-confidence and the belief you have in your abilities
  • Building your self-esteem can enable you to make better choices
  • It affects your body image and feelings of shame
  • It affects your social skills vital for effective communication
  • If you do not value yourself how will you be able to value others?
  • It will affect how you take care of yourself and prioritize your needs
  • Self-esteem enables you to have the right attitude to succeed at work
  • It affects your happiness because low self-esteem can cause you to compare yourself negatively with others
  • Self esteem can breed confidence which can help you through difficulties and challenges

Before we move on I would like to present some of my own research conducted on my subscriber list. I wanted to ask my subscribers why they thought self esteem was important and include their opinions here.

Research: I Asked my Newsletter Subscribers How Important Self Esteem Was to Them

Here are the results of the survey I gave to my subscribers:

As you can see above the results were pretty clear, most of those who answered the survey thought that self-esteem was extremely important (80%). Another 14% also agreed that it was important to them, while only a small number (6%) thought it was not important. 66 people is a small sample, but still relevant, however, we must remember that these subscribers are seeking help with their confidence, self-esteem and negative thinking.

How Does Self Esteem Affect Your Life?

Because self esteem affects your thinking and your attitude towards yourself, it also affects your behaviour. In life, the results we get come from our thoughts and actions. Also, if we behave in a certain way, we also affect those we come into contact with and this can change the way they interact with us. Others often judge us from our behaviour and actions, as they cannot know our thoughts, and this leads to comments and behaviour that can hurt or help us.

In other words your level of self esteem can create all kinds of positive or negative effects in your life. It is the positive effects that we want and so building self-esteem is a great way to help yourself move forward to a better and happier future.

Is Self-Esteem important For Success?

Your potential to achieve what you most desire is directly related to your self esteem. This is likely because those with higher self esteem are more motivated, hopeful and believe in themselves more (according to this study from 2014). It is much more likely that someone who has these qualities will succeed.

One area where consistent effort is needed for success is in education. Therefore, students with higher self-esteem generally have more academic success (source: IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior).

As the saying goes, you can if you believe you can – Click this to understand how only you can decide what is possible for you and what isn’t.

On the other hand, failure is much more likely when you suffer from low self esteem because you may believe others when they say negative things to you or when they tell you why you won’t succeed. Let’s be honest, there is never any shortage of these negative people! Don’t listen to them! Prove them wrong!

Low self esteem increases your motivation (source: Science Daily). It can also make you more likely to give up when things seem too difficult. Failure is only that when you give up before succeeding.

So, work on building your self esteem, by checking these inspiring words I’ve collected to guide and encourage you towards success. These inspirational words will make your path so much easier, and fill you with the motivation and encouragement you need to believe in yourself.

The Importance of Positive Thinking

Do you realise the importance of positive thinking? It’s just so much less stressful and joyful to live positively. Seeing the bright side is a healthier way to approach life and its many challenges. No matter what your situation is right now, you can see the positive if you look hard enough. But how do you do this?

In my experience, thinking negatively makes it much more likely that things will go wrong, and if I worry things are going to turn out badly, they usually do. So, don’t focus on what might go wrong, try imagining for a moment what might go right!

I have some great advice how to become more positive here. This will benefit you in every area of your life, so be sure to check it out now!

Self Esteem Is Important Because It Affects Your Self Confidence

Self esteem is accepting and respecting who you are, whereas self confidence is believing in your ability to get the job done and overcome challenges. It is easy to see why the two are connected closely. They belong together!

Your self esteem shows itself to others as your self confidence and this will help you make friends, make business and make more of yourself in every situation. Looking and feeling confident is a wonderful tool to have in your personal toolbox!

Here are some great tips that I have learned and that helped me build my self-confidence. I had success with them, so will you!

Without confidence in what you can do, and in who you are, what chance do you have of happiness or success? If you want to rise to any challenge you must believe in yourself and defeat self-doubt.  And if you can’t believe in yourself, how will you be able to trust and believe in others?

Increase your confidence and feel much better about yourself

One excellent and sure-fire way to do this is by using an amazingly successful technique called self hypnosis. I’ve used self hypnosis myself and can promise you it works! So, how can you learn more about how to use self hypnosis to feel better about yourself?

I’ve put together this helpful page to show you how you can use self hypnosis audios for self esteem and confidence. The company that produces these downloadable audios is Uncommon Knowledge and is highly trusted. I’ve been recommending them to my readers since 2004 because I believe they will help you!

Your Body Image Affects How Confident You Feel

Body image is part of the respect you have for yourself. A negative body image can cause so many negative emotions that will destroy your mindset and confidence.

Self esteem will also help you at work. Your confidence and positive attitude will enable you to look and feel your best. You will have no trouble presenting yourself in a favourable light because you will be full of self respect and comfortable with who you are.

It is a sad fact that a study by Dove in 2010 found that only a small minority of women liked the way they looked. On average, globally, 60% of women in the study said they were unhappy with their attractiveness or appearance.

Poor body image may be linked to low self esteem. Whether it is a cause or an effect is not clear, perhaps it might be both. This suggests that more women need to develop a positive view of themselves and understand that beauty is not only on the outside but also comes from within. I think the important thing is how a person feels about their body, rather than anything else. Because if a person feels attractive, self-esteem will grow.

Increased self esteem will benefit women, helping them to value themselves, accept their strengths and “see” the beauty they have. It is easy, especially with a lack of confidence, to focus on the imperfections in appearance, which may be completely imaginary.

Positive Self-Esteem Helps You Make Better Decisions

One thing I learned a long time ago was that it is impossible to make good decisions with a negative mindset. This is often a problem for those suffering from low self-worth.

The reverse is also true. A positive and confident attitude will enable you to see things in perspective and make decisions that will move your life forward in a positive direction.

Self esteem and self confidence are the foundations of a positive outlook on life and are important weapons to have to face the challenges and problems that live throws at you. Simply put, there is no stopping someone who has confidence in themselves!

Your Social Skills Improve When You Feel Good About Yourself

Self concept is another important part of how you feel about yourself. Low self esteem means that you will have a poor image of yourself. Your confidence may be so low that, when you communicate with others you may send negative messages. As a result, you might find it harder to socialize because others will respond negatively to your lack of confidence.

If your self image and confidence is negative, you may find social communication a challenge. It may become harder to express yourself and your body language may reveal how you feel to others. It often happens that when you struggle with communication skills, you may start to avoid socialising altogether. Sometimes if you begin to feel a social failure, you might begin to believe you cannot communicate well, and expect to fail in social situations. This can be disastrous, and can lead to isolation or loneliness. There are also consequences for your career prospects, academic success and general well-being.

So, poor social skills may limit your career advancement, depending on the kind of work you do. Most jobs nowadays demand high level communication skills and a confident manner in addition to the right mindset for business growth.

With some effort, though, you can improve your self image, I explain how on this post filled with my very best and most successful tips.

How Much Do You Value Yourself?

Value yourself, your ability and your contribution in the world because you are unique. Do you understand this? You cannot value and respect others unless you first value and respect yourself. In order to help you with this learn to put yourself first for a change.

Here is a nice video for you to watch all about how to value yourself more. Many of you may have a problem with this, so do watch the video and stick with it because there are five useful things to do here with quite inspiring explanations:

Let me know if this video helps you by sending me a message and please share this page on social media if you find it helpful.

Prioritizing Self-Care Keeps You Healthy and Motivated

Self esteem is important because without it you will not make taking good care of yourself a top priority. If you respect and value yourself, you will devote time and effort to self-care.

What exactly is self-care? I do have a page where I explain this in more detail, go take a look. Basically, self-care is ensuring that you take care of your health by doing enough regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. It also involves ensuring you take care of your mental health by spending time engaging your mind and body in activities you enjoy. 

Poor self-care is a major sign of depression or low self esteem.

Self Esteem Can Impact Your Attitude at Work

The most impressive version of you is the honest and true you. If you have the confidence to express your thoughts and feelings and the ability to communicate your personality and uniqueness, you are more likely to be successful in your job.

Work involves developing relationships and communicating ideas which is only possible if you have an open and sociable attitude. Low self esteem can destroy your ability to relate positively to others professionally. The importance of self esteem in adapting successfully to work and in relating to other colleagues positively is discussed in this paper published in the Journal of Vocational behavior in 2015. 

Your Happiness Depends on Your Self Esteem

Finally, one last point about the importance of self-esteem, and why it matters so much, is because it will help you become a much happier person. To find out why read this page about moods and how your thoughts and behaviour are related.



How important is Self Esteem to you? How does your self esteem affect your satisfaction in life? Two very interesting questions! Click the link to find out more.

Try Self Hypnosis Now

One of the best ways to boost self confidence naturally is through the highly recommended technique of self hypnosis. Don’t know what it is? I explain more about this amazing technique and show you how you can use it to build your self esteem on this helpful page.

Action Tips for Increasing your Self-Esteem:

  • Don’t procrastinate! The earlier you start the better.
  • Set realistic goals. The best ones are measurable.
  • Help others succeed. By helping others, you open up positive change in your life.
  • Ask for what you want. You don’t get anything until you ask. Everyone can use help and advice.

Good luck with increasing your self esteem! 

References

  • Alam, Md Mahmood. (2014). A Study of Test Anxiety, Self-Esteem and Academic Performance Among Adolescents. The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. XII, No. 4, October 2013, pp. 33-43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458799
  • Cai, Z., Guan, Y., Li, H., Shi, W., Guo, K., Liu, Y., … & Hua, H. (2015). Self-esteem and proactive personality as predictors of future work self and career adaptability: An examination of mediating and moderating processes. Journal of Vocational behavior86, 86-94.
  • Hutz, C. S., Midgett, A., Pacico, J. C., Bastianello, M. R., & Zanon, C. (2014). The relationship of hope, optimism, self-esteem, subjective well-being, and personality in Brazilians and Americans. Psychology2014.
  • Leary, M. R. (1999). Making sense of self-esteem. Current directions in psychological science8(1), 32-35.
  • Perera, K. and Schweiger, I. (2009). Interview about Self Esteem and Its Effects on Parents, Couples and Children.
  • University Of Washington. (2002). People With Low Self-Esteem Less Motivated To Break A Negative MoodScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020806081023.htm
  • Zeigler-Hill, V. (2013). The importance of self-esteem. In V. Zeigler-Hill (Ed.), Current issues in social psychology. Self-esteem (p. 1–20). Psychology Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203587874

Website Author and Your Guide

Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.