The Self-Esteem Equation

The self-esteem equation, for a healthy person, is as follows: “I am worthwhile. I am somebody. I have skills and I know what they are. If I diligently work at these skills, I WILL produce something of worth; something that I am proud of, and something that will impress people with good taste/similar perspectives.”

If the self-esteem equation is reversed, the feelings are more like this: “I must produce. If I don’t, I’m not somebody. I must prove to myself and others that I am somebody, and I must do it now. The clock is ticking.”

Note that the self-esteem equation refers to an overall, pervasive, largely subconscious feeling. It’s not that you consciously think these things, but you do feel them whether you are aware of it, and whether you intellectually agree with it, or not.