The High Self-Esteem Armor
October 25, 2013

The High Self-Esteem Armor

Are you someone who would consider yourself having high self-esteem or low self-esteem? High self-esteem people are happy, cheerful, and positive more than they are not, while low self-esteem individuals suffer from insecurities, sadness, and negativity more. If you are the former, then your high self-esteem may be providing you with a protective shield of sorts. Why is that?

“According to data collected from 12,920 people, solid self-esteem creates an impermeable barrier that bounces off negative life experiences. After assessing their sample’s self-esteem, Queendom researchers asked the following questions:

Do you get discouraged easily?

  • The group that answered “Yes” had an average self-esteem score of 38 (on a scale from 0 to 100)
  • Those who answered “Sometimes” scored 65 on average
  • And those who said “No” scored 81 on average

In the span of a day, how often do you criticize yourself?

  • Those who answered “Very frequently” had an average self-esteem score of 36
  • The group that said “Occasionally” had an average score of 65
  • And those who reported that they “Never” criticize themselves scored of 79 on average

Do you ever find yourself worrying about whether your friends, family, or significant other still love you?

  • Those who answered “All the time” had a self-esteem score of 36
  • The group that worries “Sometimes” about being lovable scored 59 on average
  • And those who “Never” question others’ love for them scored 79 on average

Have you ever been diagnosed with depression?

  • Those who reported “I am in therapy right now” had an average self-esteem score of 44
  • The group of people with a history of depression had a self-esteem score of 53
  • And those who have never been depressed –had an average self-esteem score of 65″

Here we see that high self-esteem leads to fewer feelings of discouragement, less self-criticism, less worry, and fewer chances of depression. It seems that self-esteem is that force field that protects individuals from some of the psychological struggles and stressors of the world.

High self-esteem should not be mistaken for being egotistical or conceited. High self-esteem means having confidence in yourself without being a jerk about it to everyone else. High self-esteem is about being positive not acting like we are better than others. High self-esteem is good. Conceited is bad.

Good, high self-esteem is something that anyone can improve at any point in their lives, but it is best to foster and develop at a young age. We all know that the world is full of struggle and heartache, but high self-esteem helps to buffer these and helps us to deal and grow. If you struggle with your self-esteem, has some advice:

  • “Learn from – but let go of – mistakes. Absolutely everyone, no matter how perfect they may seem, messes up from time to time. This is how we learn – like the process of learning to walk as children. If we don’t stumble, we won’t learn how to get up and keep our balance. Keep this in mind as you venture out into the world. Be gentle with yourself.


  • Don’t rely on others to make you feel good. One potential trap of a shaky self-esteem is a dependence on others. The fact is, if you feel a void inside, no one can fill it but you. While healthy relationships are important for happiness, what’s more important is the relationship we have with ourselves.


  • Don’t compare yourself to others. You may look at someone and think they possess some quality or advantage that you don’t, but the fact is they may be looking at you and thinking the very same thing! Besides, someone who is seemingly happy or successful may be going through difficulties that you don’t know about. Judge yourself by your own standards, because every person is unique.


  • Associate with people who affirm who you are. Do you have toxic relationships with people who constantly criticize you, and around whom you feel insignificant? Take a good look at the people you surround yourself with and how they affect your self-esteem. Discuss the issue with those who frequently belittle you; maybe they mean well and don’t realize the effect they have on you. If they are unwilling to change the way they behave around you, try to minimize or eliminate contact with them.


  • Do things for others. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little world and forget that there are people out there who are in need. Give to others – your time, company, whatever you have to share – and you’ll find yourself feeling much better about yourself.


  • Practice positive affirmations. This isn’t just a philosophy – it has a scientific basis. The success of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, lies in the reprogramming of the brain. Write 5 or 10 self-affirming statements (“I am healthy, wealthy, and wise”) and repeat them to yourself every day for several times a day. Basically, don’t just say them 3 times, and then spend the rest of the day criticizing yourself or complaining! Say your affirmations as often as you can, whether you’re on the way to work, cleaning the house, or shopping. When a negative thought pops into your mind, replace it with something positive – and say that positive statement three times. Continue to practice your affirmations for as long as it takes for them to sink in. It will feel silly at first, even fake and untrue, but that’s from years of brain programming in the opposite, negative direction. It can be done, if you make it a habit.”

Having good self-esteem helps us to feel better about ourselves and our lives. It provides the tools we need to cope with whatever life throws at us, good or bad. It also propagates positivity and happiness. Shouldn’t we all want these and more?

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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