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Q/A: What is Self Esteem - Define Self Esteem

How to define self esteem, when so many definitions exist?

Self esteem is central to our survival. It is the basis of our well being. Entire books have been written on the subject of self esteem and yet, there is no single one unifying definition of self esteem.

Because of the complexity of definition of self esteem, on this page you will find definitions from a variety of sources. You will learn a definition from:

  1. A dictionary
  2. 5 definitions from leading psychologists
  3. 7 Definitions from lay people


A confidence and satisfaction in oneself. ~Webster's dictionary

Expert's definitions

  • Self esteem is a confidence in our ability to think, to cope with the basic challenges of life and confidence in our right to be successful and happy. ~Nathaniel Branden
  • Self esteem means having a positive image of self. ~Don Simmermacher
  • Self esteem is an evaluation of the emotional, intellectual, and behavioral aspects of the self-concept. ~Diane Frey & Jesse Carlock
  • Self esteem is a state of mind. It is the way you feel and think about yourself and others, and is measured by the way you act. ~Connie Paladino
  • To trust one's mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self esteem. ~Nathaniel Branden

Lay people

And how do other people define self esteem? Here is what some people said self esteem means to them:

  • Self esteem is when I feel good about myself.
  • I don't know what self esteem is. I just know I have low self esteem. I am very shy.
  • Living by my own values, beliefs, and convictions.
  • Self esteem is the absence of self hate.
  • Being confident that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
  • A state of total and absolute freedom. Freedom to choose to be myself.
  • When I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

It is interesting how we define self esteem. We define it by declaring feelings. We talk about how we feel. High self esteem is associated with positive feelings and low self esteem with negative feelings.

To learn more about what is self esteem, continue from Define Self Esteem to Importance of Self Esteem.

Related articles:

Self Esteem and Identity
Self Esteem Theory
Quotes about Self Esteem
Perfectionism - The Dangerous Trap



Return from Define Self Esteem, to Stress Relief Tools


Words of Wisdom

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
~Sydney J. Harris

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
~Chinese Proverb

There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
~Henry Kissinger

Humor, a great stress reliever!
Laugh, be happy and have less stress!
~Catherine Pulsifer




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