Self-Esteem: What is it and How is it Developed


We have all heard the term self-esteem. Likely, we have also heard we should have a high or healthy self-esteem. However, many of us probably don’t spend much time thinking about our self esteem, much less, how we can develop it.

As a result, many of us are unaware of what self-esteem is, let alone how to improve it.  It is easy to go through periods of time without paying attention to our feelings, our thoughts, or our level of self-esteem.

Self-esteem is based on our belief in our own worth – the confidence we have in ourselves. It is a subjective assessment of ourselves that will change over time, and possibly even day to day. The term self-esteem is often used interchangeably with terms such as self-worth, self-confidence, and self-regard. For instance, people who have a positive self-esteem are usually more self-assured, and therefore, often willing to take more chances that lead to positive results. They are less concerned about making mistakes and looking foolish to others.

Conversely, those with low self-esteem may second-guess themselves, feel somehow “less than,” and be overly concerned about what other people think of them.  Although, if we are willing to intertwine self-esteem with our resilience, we empower ourselves to grow and learn from our mistakes.     

How is Self Esteem Developed?

Self-esteem is the result of our interactions with people whose opinions shape our core personality.  Moreover, the opinions and interactions of authority figures such as parents, teachers and others play a significant role towards developing our sense of self.  In other words, we see ourselves as others see us, especially as children. For example, children who receive messages from parents and educators that they are loved, accepted, valued and worthy are more likely to view themselves in a positive light.  On the other hand, the opposite is also true. Those who are belittled, demeaned, unappreciated and judged will obviously have a lessor sense of self worth. It is common to recognize patterns of low self-esteem that impacts someone’s life. Oftentimes, we find it is rooted in childhood experiences and learned from the behaviors and interactions of others.  Consequently, it can begin early and impact all areas of a person’s life.

By understanding how self-esteem is developed, it is important to be consciously aware of our own self worth. Firstly, we enhance our self esteem by becoming more aware of our thoughts, our feelings and how we treat ourselves.  Secondly, we become aware of how we treat others.  Moreover, we can then begin to inspire others to do the same.

After all, you and your children are worth it!

Below are a few simple self-esteem boosters we can start to implement in our daily routine towards empowering ourselves and our children.

  • Begin to verbalize positive affirmations  (this is most helpful by speaking and looking into a mirror)                                   
  • Set realistic, positive intentions/goals for your day
  • Take inspired action and follow through
  • Incorporate Kind Attention throughout your day
  • Implement a daily practice of Gratitude
  • Have a willingness to learn something new


Self-Esteem Ladder:

  1. Expectations leads to accountability.
  2. Accountability leads to responsibility.
  3. Responsibility leads to choices.
  4. Choices lead to rewards or consequences.
  5. Consequences lead to critical thinking.
  6. Critical thinking leads to taking more calculated risks.
  7. Taking risks leads to success and failure.
  8. Success and failure lead to learning.
  9. Learning leads to growth.
  10. Growth leads to confidence.
  11. Confidence leads to achieving goals.


About the Author:

Terry J. Walker, M. A., is a Success Coach and Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Author.  She is the owner of Inspire and Motivate, IAM, LLC and the founder of Bridging the Gap Training and Soul Stretching Success Principles.


To find out more about her books, trainings, and coaching, visit her website: or 

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Namaste’ my friend—