Maintaining healthy self-esteem is important for your overall well-being. And in fact, it increases your chances of having a successful and enjoyable life.
When you have high self-esteem, you believe in yourself and strive to achieve your goals, no matter how far-fetched they might seem. And you’re more likely to make healthy opinions and choices and stand by them confidently.
But can a person have overly high self-esteem? Unfortunately, yes. And having too much of it can be just as problematic as having too little. So, it’s important to strike a balance.
And now, keep reading, as in this article, we will answer these questions:
- What is self-esteem?
- Why is high self-esteem important?
- What are the not-so-great effects of an overly high level?
What self-esteem is
Simply put, self-esteem is how you see yourself. It is what you think about yourself, how worthy and valuable you think you are, and also importantly – how you think others see you.
Whether you know it or not, your self-esteem is a result of everything that defines you as a person. It is dependent on your goals, aspirations, environment, talents, family background, past and present relationships, and body image.
And your sense of self affects everything you do. It determines how you relate with other people and build relationships with them. It impacts how you react to success and failure, and most importantly – it influences the level of your life satisfaction.
What is high self-esteem?
Generally, having high self-esteem implies seeing yourself in a positive light. It is a mindset that allows you to value yourself and feel secure in your opinions, choices, actions, beliefs, and goals, no matter the challenges. But it doesn’t mean thinking that you’re perfect – it’s about valuing and respecting yourself, regardless of your imperfections.
Why is high self-esteem important? Well, it helps you remain resilient through stressful times. That’s because you have a strong belief in yourself, you’re self-compassionate, and you’re able to deal with life’s challenges and setbacks in a healthy way.
In short, when a person has high self-esteem, they:
- Don’t allow the opinions of others to affect their self-worth
- Believe in their abilities and skills
- Understand that failures are part of life
- Have a positive attitude towards challenges
- Are in charge of their lives
- Take care of themselves
- Make a conscious effort to become a better version of themselves
Benefits of high self-esteem
Your confidence and high-self esteem level directly affects how you approach your goals and aspirations, and it strongly impacts your well-being. Let’s take a closer look at some other benefits of high self-esteem.
1. It allows for authenticity
How would you feel if you had to pretend to be someone else every time you hang out with your friends or communicate with your colleagues? Quite a strange and alienating experience, right?
Having high self-esteem reduces the chances of this ever happening because it makes you comfortable in your own skin. This means that you don’t have to be someone else to fit in, it reminds you that you are unique and perfect just the way you are.
When you have a healthy sense of self, you love and accept yourself for who you are. And you have no need to compare yourself to others or try to be someone you’re not.
2. It gives you the confidence to get what you want
Confident people know what they want, and they’ll do everything within their power to get it. Having high self-esteem can make you feel confident enough to pursue or ask for things you want, while not feeling insecure, guilty, or ashamed about it.
For example, you won’t settle for less in relationships and will openly discuss your needs. You will set boundaries with others and claim the respect you deserve.
Besides, you will know that you are capable of accomplishing what you set your mind to. As a result, you will be more likely to take risks and pursue your dreams.
3. It empowers you with the drive to succeed
People with high self-esteem stand a higher chance of succeeding at whatever they do. And it has nothing to do with arrogance, an inflated sense of self, or superiority.
Instead, they’re doomed for success because they believe in themselves and their abilities and have a clear understanding of their limitations. And most importantly: they don’t let their mistakes define them – they learn from the experiences instead of dwelling on them.
Also, they’re proud of their accomplishments, even if they seem small.
4. It gives you a sense of purpose
When a person has high self-esteem, they can easily decide what they would like to do with their lives. It is essential for living a fulfilling and purposeful life.
This understanding helps them plan how they will achieve their greatest goals and fulfill their biggest dreams. They know that their efforts will make a difference.
5. It helps face challenges healthily
One of the best ways to spot people with high self-esteem is to look at how they react to difficulties.
Take for instance an easy case when you have a healthy debate about the values, set of ideas, or opinions of a person who’s very confident in themselves. Instead of cowering in fear or becoming flush-faced and feeling insecure, such a person will accept this challenge and assertively defend their stance. And even if they eventually discover their mistakes, they will likely be flexible and explore the issue deeper or change their mind.
Thus, people with high self-esteem don’t try to escape challenges, and they don’t fear rejection. Instead, they face these challenges, armed with the confidence that they can overcome them, respect for their and others’ points of view, and adaptability to any situation.
An interesting thing about challenges is that they help foster the belief that they’re an integral part of life. By tackling challenges, you can become more resilient and creative, especially when you go beyond the limitations of your comfort zone.
6. It creates room for optimism
Optimism is linked to many positive health outcomes, including better physical health, reduced stress levels, and increased life satisfaction. And it’s one of the best tools to have when you’re going through challenges in your life.
Besides, according to numerous studies, high self-esteem and a generally optimistic outlook on life are directly connected. The research also revealed that optimistic people are more likely to have such traits as empathy, kindness, and determination.
The disadvantages of high self-esteem
Now that we’ve covered some of the key high self-esteem benefits, let’s think of whether or not a person can have overly high self-esteem. Unfortunately, self-esteem can actually be too high, and it may create many problems. So, what are the disadvantages of overly high self-esteem?
1. It can lead to a lack of improvement
It is common for people with unhealthily high self-esteem to perceive themselves as perfect. They may have difficulty hearing and accepting constructive criticism while it remains one of the best ways to grow. Due to their elevated confidence in themselves, it is hard for them to believe that there might be a need for improvement somewhere.
Also, they often use defensiveness as a coping mechanism for feedback or in an attempt to hide their fears, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities – from others and themselves.
So, people with overly high self-esteem can outrightly reject and defy any suggestions on growth. Moreover, they may even say that other people simply feel jealous of their skills or achievements. Naturally, this prevents the growth and self-improvement process and undermines success in life.
2. It leads to arrogance and entitlement
Arrogance is defined as having an excessively high opinion of one’s capabilities and abilities while devaluing these of others.
People with healthy self-esteem see other people as equals. They’re confident in their own abilities but also recognize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. People who are arrogant and entitled tend to think that they are better than others and that they deserve special treatment.
As a result, this can cause problems in both personal and professional relationships. And it can also make it difficult for someone to learn from their mistakes and grow as a person. But there’s something even more interesting about this: arrogance may serve as a defensive mechanism in an attempt to hide their vulnerabilities.
So it’s important to have a healthy sense of self-worth and keep things in perspective.
3. It can cause problems in relationships
Obviously, people don’t like to deal with some unpleasant characteristics and traits of problematic self-esteem in communication: self-obsession, narcissism, arrogance, entitlement, the complex of superiority, and boastfulness. This can seriously affect the way people with self-esteem that’s too high build relationships with others.
Also, they may find themselves in conflict with others more often. For example, they may expect their partners to meet their every need and always agree with them while ignoring the needs and emotions of others. That’s because they tend to view themselves as superior to others and expect special treatment. This can put a lot of pressure on the relationship.
In addition, people with unhealthy self-esteem may have anger management issues and be slow to forgive.
4. It may feed the impostor syndrome
It might look like only people with poor self-esteem may experience the impostor syndrome, but research data shows that people with overly high self-esteem are also likely to deal with it.
It’s not uncommon for them to suffer from self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, and depression.
How to strike a balance
Perhaps, now you can agree that, after getting these insights, the concept of self-esteem looks a little bit more complex. The most important thing here is to find a natural balance since an overly high level is as unhealthy as a low one.
It’s perfectly normal to have ups and downs in how you feel about yourself. However, if you are having trouble trying to improve your self-esteem and maintain it at a healthy level, it might be time to seek professional help through online counseling platforms.
A licensed therapist can provide support and guidance as you nurture healthy relationships with the world around you and yourself. During therapy, you’ll explore the thoughts, beliefs, and past experiences that are contributing to your overly high or low self-esteem. You’ll also learn coping strategies for dealing with difficult situations. By taking small steps to nurture your self-esteem, you can enjoy a happier and healthier life.