Definition of Self-Esteem

This theory talks extensively about Self and Sensing of Self, so I need to make a clear distinction between those ideas and what is commonly called ‘Self-Esteem.’ This is not an easy task, as I believe the two concepts have been synonymous to many people, because they lack true understanding the function of a (Natural) Sense of Self.

It is commonly understood (and I agree) that a certain level of Self-Esteem is a prerequisite to a healthy mind and body. Less commonly understood however is the fact that on a deeper level, a natural experience of ‘Self’ (Natural Sense of Self) is crucial to even being able to sense/hold anything like Self-Esteem or Self-Loathing. Before being able to esteem or loath something we must be aware of what it is we esteem or loath – that it exists, that there is something there.

Within this Theory, ‘Self-esteem’ is defined as feeling satisfied or dissatisfied with our performance or achievements. It can be looked at as being a reflection of a certain self-validation. However, it seems to me this kind of self-validation, this idea of Self-Esteem, always refers to something on the surface of our existence, something not profoundly deep in us or about us (therefore, it is what this Theory calls only a ‘Quality of Life‘ matter).

There are other significantly different definitions of Self-esteem that come much closer to our concept ‘Sense of Self’, e.g. the degree one ‘esteems’ oneself  worthy and able to live, or the conviction that one is worthwhile and worthy of love, independent of any performance or achievements. These understandings of the term go much deeper and certainly overlap in meaning of our Sense-of-Self; the latter means to be even more basic though and without any sense of ‘Self’-validation in it. It is more about perception than validation; one can validate something only after it has been perceived.

The emotions consequent to having more or less Self-Esteem definitely affect our quality of Self-experiencing  but are never a decisive factor in whether or not we perceive/experience having a reason for our existence. The degree to which we experience self-esteem can be seen as one that affects the quality of our existence but not as one that enables us to be aware (or not aware) of a profound – core-, felt-sense (or lack thereof) of an ‘I’ which ‘is.’

Self-esteem, even though it is based on performance and achievements, is, according to this Theory, not at all the same as nor involved with, the Substitute-Sense–of-Self-oriented System. Self-esteem only occurs in people with a Natural Sense of Self or Restored Sense of Self. It is completely realistic and not fear-based.

The analog in people who have a Substitute Sense of Self is feel-good-about-Self’ but that is fear-driven and based on performance and achievements which are held as compulsive, addictive Ego-References. That whole ‘scene’ includes a Hidden Agenda/Goal for performing well which has nothing to do with a normal, natural kind of self-validation or healthy pride in one’s achievements or performance.

The crucial difference is that Self-esteem is SELF-derived. It is one’s own opinion of oneself. A Substitute Sense of Self is completely derived from and based on, the opinions of others.

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