The term self-esteem is defined as our perception of the self. In other words, it is how we evaluate ourselves and perceive our self-worth. It is different for the concept of self-efficacy, which focuses instead in our perception of self-competence, or what we are capable of doing in specific circumstances. An important question to consider is if we look at our self-worth based on what others think about us? Or we believe that our self-worth will reflect what others think of us?
“My Self-Esteem Dilemma” by Samuel Ramos (Post 2)
In my experience I’ve seen it happen to me pretty often. My wife is the one who brings this to my attention by means of sarcasm. She will imitate me when I ask her if how feels about her looks in a certain day, and she would say: “I look awful of course” Then she smiles cynically and lets me know this is exactly how I react every time I’m given the opportunity to rate myself. Although I don’t like how she points out this issue, I admit that after she is done that a few times I’ve become more aware of my low self-esteem tendencies. I do think I’m the least loved of my siblings by my parents. I think less of me when I compare myself to each member of my family. That also reflects on my self-efficacy, meaning I can’t imagine being capable of performing job tasks with competence and efficiency.
I have theories on how and where it started, but I prefer to comment that I’ve sensed an environmental influence in my perceiving of the self through social comparison. Because all my friends who are important in my social circle tell me so, I started to notice certain patterns that made me believe to a certain extent that I’m indeed not the favorite child in the family. Then I compare my friend’s relationship with their families to use as a base. In the other hand, with enough life experience I can also tell I’m miles apart from being a true competent professional at work. Therefore, if someone complements me at work I won’t probably believe I deserve that compliment; rather I think my supervisor is just being nice.
Despite of all of this, I’m still a very willing and happy person. I’ve learned to cope and increase my awareness of this issue. Finally, by being patient with others and me I believe I will eventually see the world differently.