Several educational policy makers around the world have bought into the idea of building the self esteem of learners. In several countries, they have stopped comparing children’s academic performance against their classmates’. They don’t rank kids in a class. The aim being to have each child do their best even if their best may not reach the level of another child. This is so much better for building children’s self esteem because children, just like adults, have varied capabilities. One child might be great at math but struggle in history. Another is great at history but struggles at math. Or One child could be good in all academic subjects but struggle in football while another struggles to get good grades but is great at football. Each of us is different. It reminds me of the Jeffersons theme song. It went “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some..” Each of us in unique and we should be proud of our uniqueness.
A strong self-esteem is a very good thing. We all must aim to develop and grow our self awareness and self esteem.
However, there’s a point at which self esteem morphs into ugly, entitlement territory. When you have a healthy self esteem, you believe in your importance to the world and also believe in others’ importance to the world. You understand that people are different, have had different experiences, have had different challenges and process things differently. You understand that the world does not provide a level playing field to all and that we all have different capabilities. The ugly territory of self-esteem has people believing that they are more important or superior to others. That,if people have not been able to accomplish certain goals within certain timelines, or if they have not accumulated a certain amount of wealth by a certain age, then they are losers and you are superior to them. The ugly territory of self-esteem is judgmental and tries to establish dominance over others.
Another ugly territory of self esteem is building your self esteem based on affirmations and feeling superior to others without any accomplishments or physical results produced by your efforts to back it up. In a team, you expect differential treatment just because of who you believe you are. You contribute nothing productive to the work being done, spend time criticizing what others are doing and yet expect to be treated like a little god.
If you have switched over to the ugly side of self esteem, you are building your house on sand. The workforce has several people who are on the ugly territory of self-esteem. They believe that their colleagues are privileged just to be in their presence. They act like they deserve a winning prize just for showing up. That’s it. That’s all they need to do. They just need to show up and they get a prize for participation.
If only things worked that way. Sadly, a lot of people who base their self-esteem on the fact that they happened to show up know deep down inside that their confidence is hollow. They know that this is not the way real life works. They know that the world may have some rude surprises waiting for them. No wonder, many people with supreme self-esteem are very frustrated and confused.
As long as you’re feeling okay about yourself, then there’s really not much difference between what you think and what everybody else thinks. You are entitled to your estimation of yourself, the rightness of your action, so on and so fort.
What this created is self esteem that produced a very hollow self confidence. People definitely can feel that they can do stuff, but they can only do it in theory. When they’re actually given challenges to produce and deliver results, most people, who focus primarily on self esteem without the matching competence, fall apart like a house of cards.
Self esteem without competence is a recipe for failure. If you’re having a tough time in any area of your life or you feel you’re frustrated or stuck in any area of your life, maybe it’s because of this. Sure, you feel good about yourself and it seems like you have a high estimate of your ability to get things done.
Unfortunately, unless and until that high estimation is based on actual experience and results, you’re just wasting your time. It’s probably going to be very hard for you to overcome challenges. It’s probably very tempting for you to just quit the moment you’re confronted with actual difficulty.
If you’re suffering from any of these, thankfully there is a fairly straightforward and simple solution. Click here for the solution.