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What builds your self-esteem?

pizzashere

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What builds your self-esteem? What values encourage a boost in your self-esteem? Has it changed over the years?

For the longest time it was unfortunately my intelligence which I valued based off of how well I did in school. The better I did the more I was encouraged to learn from it and the more I had the confidence to connect different ideas and take risks. It was great for a while.

But when I did poorly in school, I blamed it on my incapabilities of doing hard work and losing interest when things got "too hard" or "too boring" or worse than all that, when it required diligence and repetitive work and I became too bored and didn't want to do it.

I realize how dangerous it is to rely so much of our self empowerment and self recognition in how we behalf in the external environment.

I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on this matter.
 

Duxwing

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After I reduce a tangled, messy web of interconnected ideas to a single, elegant thought, I feel like I've moved myself and the entire human race just that much farther up the cosmic ladder of knowledge. And afterward, I feel like I can do anything.

That's my self-esteem story.

-Duxwing
 

Nezaros

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Sad to say that I think my self-esteem comes from feeling superior to others. Generally intelligence, as I've never played sports or done anything else remotely competitive. Often when I mess anything up, even if it's fairly small, it's a huge blow to my pride, whether or not anybody else noticed. So it might be less superiority to others than just feeling superior. I'm pretty sure this is an unhealthy way to live but I don't know where else I might derive self-esteem, or how I'd manage to go about changing it.
 

Montresor

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When I am given the chance to perform on my own terms.

When I try something and it works.

The ol' 1-2 combo on some big-mouthed meathead. Cut 'em up with words.

The esteemed self; people occasionally accuse me of thinking way too highly of myself.
 

Boo

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I've come across this on Wikipedia: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempérament_Rationnel (French)

Let me try to traduce the relevant part of the page :D

Orientation:
The NTs are pragmatic when they consider people around them. They give few importance to social conventions or feelings, except when it leads to what they want. They weigh the pros and cons before taking decisions, and try to find mistakes in their own and other peoples reasoning. They tend to perceive 'good' and 'bad' as relative to one's perspective. They tend to perceive time as discontinued, marked by events instead of a continuum. They also tend to perceive locations as intersections of crossing lines.

Self-image:
The self-esteem of NTs greatly relies on their ingenuity, autonomy and their confidence in their problem solving capacities.

Stress:
When they are under stress, NTs tend to intellectualize or suppress their feelings. INTPs and ENTPs tend to theorize, conceptualize and create prototypes of their ideas, and can feel overwhelmed when asked to finish their ideas in concrete contexts. This often leads them to feel inadequate, negatively impacting the completion of their work. [...] When exposed to negative consequences to their choices, NTs can feel incompetent. They are frustrated by the inefficiency and lack of logic of others.
 
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I've read that self-compassion is better and more resilient than self-esteem. I think my self-esteem is boosted by my accomplishments.
 

Teohrn

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Accomplishments and capabilities, for the most part. Relying on either is a two-edged sword: if it turns out positively, your self-esteem gets a massive boost; if it turns out negatively, your self-esteem shatters. Self-esteem, in that case, is very much like investing. Therefore, you have to think like an investor when dealing with self-esteem.

Meditation, exercising and (to lesser extent) dieting helps my self-esteem a lot, especially in terms of stabilizing it, which is very important. I have come to think that being in the positive, yet not by too much, is the key to happiness. (However, I'm also inclined to believe that happiness is a door with multiple locks. Happiness is the core of a building with several halls leading to it.) Think of self-esteem as a number line. The goal is to stay on the positive side, albeit not too far from zero, because setbacks equals your current level of positive self-esteem with two. The higher you fly, the harder you fall, basically. Thus, I guess, moderation is one of the keys.
 

Sorlaize

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yesterday/today I basically added a new feature to C#. although a small one. But it's awesome. Particularly programming makes me feel great about myself when I do something cool. But it can feel like such a grind because I'm trying to do so much.

thinking and writing is my main source of self-esteem, now. I can create good concepts for video games, or come across new insights daily. I leak self-esteem constantly. I don't believe in living a healthy life; I want action, and I want the most I can get. I use caffeine/sugar highs because there are great advantages to that, at times. I find it easier to be creative with a little sleep deprivation and caffeine. I can do everything faster. The great thing is that my memory never suffers.

I feel really low and worthless if I don't get much done through the day. But that's what I need to feel like, to be productive. It can make me feel anxious though, if I have practically zero self esteem.

I need to behave this way, as a general existential response to the world. I'm shocked at how calm people are around me. How people can behave like everything's business as usual, all the time. Something about it has always bothered me.
 

Ziast

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My self esteem mostly comes from my own view of myself. It doesn't matter if everyone around me thinks I am doing Well, if I'm not performing how I think I should be I feel worthless. Same if I think i am doing really well and someone tells otherwise, but that usully results in me over analysing my procedure then that leads to lowering confidence because of second guessing myself. Even at these times I do everything I can to maintain the facade of confidence.
 

SLushhYYY

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Enjoying the fact of how utterly stupid everybody around me is.
 

Kirsanov

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I am searching for inputs to build my self-esteem. A few years back I lost all interest in most of the things I loved, it almost felt like a depressive state for about 5 months. Uncertainty filled my life as it does now, but it had a tidal wave effect. Somehow I managed to rejuvenate myself, but during that period of searching I studied intensely the Church Fathers of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. So even though that period of time was marked by a low self-esteem, I grew immensely in other categories. But what do I know, I am just a mere freshman in college minding his own path. If I truly am an intp, well I am one of the few who is religious.
 

SLushhYYY

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I am searching for inputs to build my self-esteem. A few years back I lost all interest in most of the things I loved, it almost felt like a depressive state for about 5 months. Uncertainty filled my life as it does now, but it had a tidal wave effect. Somehow I managed to rejuvenate myself, but during that period of searching I studied intensely the Church Fathers of Catholicism and Orthodoxy. So even though that period of time was marked by a low self-esteem, I grew immensely in other categories. But what do I know, I am just a mere freshman in college minding his own path. If I truly am an intp, well I am one of the few who is religious.

Those who lack self esteem usually do feel the need to perceive a deluded state of reality to make them feel like they are apart of something bigger than themselves. Try learning about nature, evolution and the cosmos to figure out how absolutely amazing it is to be experiencing the life that you have...the truth of the universe is much more satisfying than a delusion..because it's actually true.
 
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I find this to be about right: http://www.angelfire.com/me5/bueno/personality/selfimage.html (Gist: Rationals, to feel good about themselves, must look upon themselves, and be seen by others, as ingenious, autonomous, and resolute.)
It's Keirsey-based. I feel good when I understand things, not necessarily because it makes me feel smart, though that's part of it, but because conditions are secure and I can decide with confidence. That's probably a different thing, though...

I've read that self-compassion is better and more resilient than self-esteem.

Wish I could get there. *pacifies self*
 

Kirsanov

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Those who lack self esteem usually do feel the need to perceive a deluded state of reality to make them feel like they are apart of something bigger than themselves. Try learning about nature, evolution and the cosmos to figure out how absolutely amazing it is to be experiencing the life that you have...the truth of the universe is much more satisfying than a delusion..because it's actually true.

I have studied various theories and ideals. Just because I ascribe to beliefs concerning a deity does not mean I cannot see the perspective of the atheist. Nor am I a fundamentalist that rejects science, rather I see a mixture and coexistence, a support system. Thank you for your thoughtful advice, but either way a person awaits the revelation of the Übermensch, supremacy of knowledge through science, or religion (the opium of the masses). Take your pick, because all have their faults, and a person may delude themselves with any theory if they do not research it.
 

scrahn

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I have studied various theories and ideals. Just because I ascribe to beliefs concerning a deity does not mean I cannot see the perspective of the atheist. Nor am I a fundamentalist that rejects science, rather I see a mixture and coexistence, a support system. Thank you for your thoughtful advice, but either way a person awaits the revelation of the Übermensch, supremacy of knowledge through science, or religion (the opium of the masses). Take your pick, because all have their faults, and a person may delude themselves with any theory if they do not research it.

I like you! I personally dabbled in zen buddhism, but have since just gravitated back towards a more atheistic view of things. But I still meditate frequently.
I enjoy the reductionist aspect of atheism, but I'm also careful to maintain a relatively holistic view of "the works" by constructing a positive view on the conclusions gained. This way I can reach a westernized understanding of some of the eastern views on a person's role in the cosmos. A calm serenity is gained as a result, and mindfulness meditation cements this clarity throughout most aspects of my life.


Anyway, on topic:
I don't really notice what BUILDS my self-esteem any more, but I do notice what gives it a swift kick in the nuts;

- When I keep failing to understand a problem (mathematical, personal, technical etc)
- When I go on a losing streak in a multiplayer videogame (FPS/RTS games)
- When someone insults my intelligence or points out --with scorn/ridicule- a mistake I'm fully aware I made.

However if I'm able to maintain the calmness I mentioned earlier in the post, failing something doesn't result in my ego being bruised; as my ego isn't really present. Actions become 0 or 1 - true or false. A reptilian curiosity as to why something failed takes hold, but once I succeed the joy I then feel is comparable to what I'd feel if I had made a big deal out of things earlier. Win/Win, really.
 

Solitaire U.

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What boosts my self-esteem? Pretty basic; success!
 

ShameFace

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As corny as it may sound, helping others or brightening their day, in some way.

However, my self-esteem is pretty low, so maybe this is an area where I still need work.
 

Fghw

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My self esteem has been on an all time low for the past year. The only thing that really makes me feel better anymore is a laugh or a compliment.
 

rjolicoe

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For me its about solving analytical problems and also sufficient time to be by myself in my own head. Learning something new, mastery isn't important but the framework of understanding a new facet of the universe is important. Getting to spend as much time as I want on wikipedia gaining new knowledge. I also enjoy theoretical discussions with people of similar interests, for me especially: history, philosophy etc. Times where I can have my head completely in the clouds.

The soul crusher of my self esteem is mind numbing conversations, and platitudes. Task oriented people who view life as a list where things need to be checked off.
 

Valentas

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When I work my ass off and make stuff work! That makes me feel clever and persistent, maybe even slowly making dumb trait of impatience go away, :]
 

pizzashere

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After I reduce a tangled, messy web of interconnected ideas to a single, elegant thought, I feel like I've moved myself and the entire human race just that much farther up the cosmic ladder of knowledge. And afterward, I feel like I can do anything.

That's my self-esteem story.

-Duxwing

That's a pleasant way to describe it. Do you often find that you can't put this 'elegant thought' into proper words to eloquently pitch it to others? Some times, my intuition makes my ideas clear and crisp in my head but I struggle to get it verbatim. Does it matter to your level of self-esteem, if others understand or don't understand how you've untangled the web?
 

pizzashere

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Sad to say that I think my self-esteem comes from feeling superior to others. Generally intelligence, as I've never played sports or done anything else remotely competitive. Often when I mess anything up, even if it's fairly small, it's a huge blow to my pride, whether or not anybody else noticed. So it might be less superiority to others than just feeling superior. I'm pretty sure this is an unhealthy way to live but I don't know where else I might derive self-esteem, or how I'd manage to go about changing it.

I've been harsh on myself when I mess up as well. I am often my worst critic. I grew up building self-esteem through superiority even though I didn't deliberately show it. What mattered to me was that I recognized how I was better and as long as it made sense to me, I didn't care to make sure others knew. My actions (being intelligent) should be enough to prove my superiority.

It was an unhealthy way to go about thinking for so many years but I think I needed to experience being thrown in my own shitty, egoistic thoughts and to fail miserably to recognize just how wrong that thinking pattern was. Stay cautious!

Where does your intelligence come from then? In what situation do you find yourself saying something like, "Yes, that signifies that I am intelligent and therefore superior...wow I'm worthy of love and self-respect, hooray!" What is intelligence to you? How do you measure it in yourself?
 

pizzashere

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I've read that self-compassion is better and more resilient than self-esteem. I think my self-esteem is boosted by my accomplishments.

I read this as well. Not only self-compassion but also unconditional self acceptance. It's healthier than trying to match yourself to the characteristics that reflect a high level of self esteem.
 

redbaron

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I don't really know to be honest. People and things just are, and I just am. I don't really measure myself or others against any sort of strict standards.

I can't really tell if I have high or low self-esteem, I've just thought of it as being content with who I am. I never really bought into this whole self-esteem movement I guess. I don't think that increasing the personal evaluation of one's own worth is really going to make a difference to your life.
 

JASSY

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Yes. and i believe the fact that i value myself highly is what makes me strong and knowing that gives me an edge. I may not have sorted out every single thing in my head. But i know who i am. I appreciate that im lucky enough to feel that way, flaws and all.
 

Duxwing

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That's a pleasant way to describe it. Do you often find that you can't put this 'elegant thought' into proper words to eloquently pitch it to others? Some times, my intuition makes my ideas clear and crisp in my head but I struggle to get it verbatim. Does it matter to your level of self-esteem, if others understand or don't understand how you've untangled the web?

A bit of effort usually lets me translate the thought into understandable terms because the "elegant thought" is usually the solution to a mathematical or logical problem; conversely, I rarely, if ever, receive incomprehensible insights. If I were to be unable to express my knowledge, then I would think myself most useless. So yes, communicating my ideas is very important to experiencing the full rush of self-esteem from a discovery.

-Duxwing
 

Antediluvian

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Nothing boosts my self-esteem, because I know what I am.
 

snafupants

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Self-esteem. Self...esteem...self...esteem - sounds pretty egotistical. Why not other-esteem? :D
 

FlowerThug

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Not sure. I do lack confidence, but I've never been able to pin point self esteem, and whether it's high or low.
 
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