A key to our personality: self-esteem

A key to our personality: self-esteem

When talking about self-esteem as a fundamental component of personal growth and happiness, it is necessary to explain what it is and from whom or what it is nourished by for its construction. Therefore, here we will see the most important aspects of self-esteem that have an impact on personality .

The link between personality and self-esteem

We will start by explaining that self-esteem is the result of the evaluation we make of ourselves by perceiving ourselves in comparison with others and at the same time it is the way we interpret how the other person values us. These aspects determine “how we feel” about ourselves and our characteristics.

It is important to explain that self-esteem develops while being influenced by self-concept , (which is what we think about ourselves), and temperament, which is the intensity with which we react and handle moods and emotions.

Self-esteem, at the behavioral level, has three areas, which we will describe by means of the following questions:

  • What do we feel? Physiological area
  • What do we think? Cognitive Area
  • What do we do? Motor area

Dimensions of self-esteem

In turn, self-esteem has different dimensions, among which are

1. Family

It refers to the answers that the family group gives back to the child , the answers by which the child is perceived as part of the family. Let’s exemplify this dimension from a negative response, understanding that in another context it can be positive; “Arturo (3 years old), why don’t you stay still watching the film as your sister (8 years old)? Arturo just wants to move, but in the end he ends up playing the following; “I am not able to stay still like my sister, I am bad because I move and therefore I am the troublemaker at home”.

2. Affective

Following the line of the previous example, we will say that from this dimension when valuing himself unruly he considers himself less loved than his sister. The affective dimension responds to how one sees oneself and how one defines one’s personality traits .

3. Physics

It involves the assessment of everything that has to do with the body and its skills . If Arthur looks tall, because he is taller than his teammates, he can consider his height as a strength for playing basketball.

4. Social

It responds to the fact that if we feel loved by the other, this feeling gives us the idea of belonging to the group and at the same time allows us to face different demands of the social environment.

5. Academic

It means whether or not we feel capable of performing a task. It should be clarified that this feeling is based on our aptitude as good or bad students.

Differences between high and low self-esteem

All these dimensions make up the interpretation that will give rise to what we call self-esteem, which can be high or low; the distinction that we will address below.

Why is it important to make a high or low value interpretation of our self-esteem, or that of our children, students, etc? Because when self-esteem is high, positive self-evaluation leads to the ability to cope with different situations in the following ways:

  • Thoughts have a positive interpretation, seeing one capable of performing the challenges, tasks, etc.
  • The thoughts are optimistic, validating the competence to do what you set out to do.
  • One has confidence in oneself.
  • The activities are carried out with autonomy and from their own initiative.
  • By being cooperative, they develop the skills to foster socialization.
  • Mistakes and errors are recognized and accepted, being able to find a solution.
  • The feeling of pride in their efforts manifests itself beyond the results or successes and that is why they do not give up in pursuing their goals.

All these skills that are characteristic of a high self-esteem allow us to face new or stressful situations and to overcome them by looking for creative solutions before the problems that may arise.

However, what happens when self-esteem is low? Low self-esteem manifests itself with the following characteristics typical of people who have it:

  • Fear of failure or error.
  • They don’t trust their abilities, they value themselves too little.
  • The thoughts are negative, the complaining and the criticism.
  • They’re inhibited and unsociable.
  • Faced with new challenges, they get stuck and abandon the creative search for a solution.
  • Not finding anything to motivate them, they’re usually sad.


We can consider, as a result of the understanding of what low self-esteem implies, that fostering high self-esteem is fundamental for personal growth as well as for their formation. In fact, in children and adolescents, self-esteem directly influences their learning, interpersonal relationships, and self-concept.

According to statistics, 2% of the child population in Spain suffers from depression and this is directly related to self-esteem. Therefore, it is necessary to create a space for training and guidance for children, adolescents and adults to form a secure self-esteem, feeling valuable and capable and this ultimately translates into being a happy person.

Thus, self-esteem overlaps with all areas of well-being and affects the remission or maintenance of very common potential psychological problems. Knowing how to cultivate a good self-concept not only helps to commit to a psychotherapy treatment; it also facilitates the development of new and exciting ways of living life.

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