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Positive self-esteem is a basic human need. It is essential to normal, healthy development. If you lack positive self-esteem, your psychological growth will be stunted.

      Positive self-esteem operates as the immune system of consciousness, providing resistance, strength and a capacity for regeneration. When our self-esteem is low, our resilience when facing life's problems is diminished.

      Example: To contemporary women - who are shedding their traditional gender roles, fighting for emotional and intellectual autonomy, starting their own businesses, invading one formerly male bastion after another and challenging age-old prejudices - self-esteem is indispensable. It is not all that is needed for success, but without it the battle cannot be won.

      A common trap: When self-esteem is low, negatives have much more power over us than positives. We are motivated more by the desire to avoid pain than to experience joy. But if we do not believe in our-selves - in our efficacy or in our goodness and lovability - the universe is a frightening place.

High Self-Esteem

      Women and men who have realistic confidence in their self-worth and feel secure within themselves will most likely respond appropriately to today's challenges and opportunities. Positive self-esteem empowers, energizes, and motivates.

      It inspires us to achieve, and allows us to take pleasure and pride in our achievements. It also helps us pick ourselves up more quickly after a fall, leaving us with more energy to begin anew. The more solid our self-esteem, the better equipped we are to cope with the troubles that arise in our careers and personal lives.

      Characteristics of people who have high self-esteem:

Ambitious. People with high self-esteem tend to be more ambitious in what they hope to experience in life emotionally, romantically, intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. They have a strong drive to express the self, reflecting the sense of richness within.

Goal-oriented. They seek the challenge and stimulation of worthwhile and demanding goals. Attaining such goals nurtures good self-esteem.

Communicative. People with high self-esteem are more capable of having open, honest and appropriate communications with others. They believe their thoughts have value. As a result, they welcome clarity in-stead of fearing it. They want to be understood.

Loving. They form nourishing relationships instead of toxic ones. Vitality and expansiveness in others are naturally more appealing to persons with good self-esteem than are emptiness and dependency.

Attractive. Self-confident women and men are usually drawn to each other.

Low Self-Esteem

      Characteristics of people who have low self-esteem:

Fearful of change. These people aspire to less and, therefore, achieve less. People with low self-esteem seek the safety of the familiar and undemanding. Confining oneself to what is already known serves to weaken self-esteem.

Non-communicative. People with low self-esteem become muddy, evasive and inappropriate in their communications because of uncertainty about their own thoughts and feelings. And they feel anxious about the listener's response.

Insecure. Like those with high self-esteem, these men and women tend to be drawn to one another. They often form destructive relationships that reflect and increase their essential lack of self-worth.

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