Self-esteem can be understood as our personal value, how we see ourselves and even more importantly how we feel about ourselves. It can also be seen as our perception or opinion of ourselves. Our self-esteem can be made up of our beliefs surrounding our worth, appearance, behaviours, emotions and integrity. Self- esteem is usually categorized as either high (a positive outlook of oneself) or low (a negative outlook of oneself).In this article we will consider another angle of understanding self-esteem, understanding that another element which plays a role in the formation of self-worth is the ego. We consider the manifestations of fake self-esteem (steeped in the ego perspective and focused on surface-level beliefs) or true self-esteem (understanding beyond the ego). We shall explore how to cultivate true high self-esteem through the embodiment of spiritual practices and philosophies.
True vs. Fake Self-esteem
In order to understand true self-esteem, we must first become fully aware of the human ego. When the ego is unchecked it results in fake self-esteem. The ego can be understood as the construction of who you are within the world, the ego is not innately negative or positive but it can cause confusion and separation from the truth as it is usually concerned with emotionally charged elements such as our beliefs, expectations, fears or fantasies. The ego causes us to become focused on our identity, labels and roles; it is also the part of the human psyche that causes us to feel superior or inferior to others, to compare ourselves and hold ourselves to these mental constructs. Fulfilling the desires of the ego can often result in fake self-esteem; this form of self-esteem is shallow and ephemeral as the ego usually does not stay satisfied for long. Knowing this, we can understand that true self-esteem definitely involves cultivating a conscious relationship with your ego as well as delving into practices that bring you in touch with the deeper aspects of yourself, the true eternal spiritual nature within each of us.
Cultivating True Self-esteem
In this section of the article we shall explore the spiritual practices and philosophies that can assist us in cultivating true self-esteem:
- Integrating Your Ego
Integrating the ego involves seeing it for what it is, the role that it plays and understanding that it is not all of who you are. You can do this through self-observation and introspection as well as embodiment. The embodiment of an integrated ego can look like noticing when you want to respond from a space of conditioning, fear or comparison and choosing to rather respond or interact from a deeper level of consideration. Seeing the beyond the illusion, separation, anxiety and blame of the ego and feeling the truth of connection, gratitude, presence and acceptance. When you know yourself on all levels, the ego and beyond, it is a strong foundation for true self-esteem.
- Trusting Your Intuition
Trusting your intuition comes a lot easier when you have observed and learned to recognize the voice of your ego, when you are in touch with your inner world you will naturally receive guidance (in the form of thoughts and feeling ) regarding how to best flow through life. When you trust this voice and flow with it you will experience a deep trust in yourself and so increased true self-esteem.
- Taking Responsibility for Your Energy, Reaction & Actions
When you actively and presently take charge of the energy you radiate, the way you react to life and the actions that you take you will easily experience a deepened level of true self-esteem because you are choosing to intentionally show up for your life as best you can without blaming; making the best of what you have control of.
- Embodying Your Higher Self
Practices that bring you into awareness of your higher self such as simple intentional presence, meditation, breathwork, prayer, time in nature or even entheogenic explorations can allow you to embody true self-esteem. When you are in touch with the energy that is your truest nature there is a clear view of you as a piece of uniquely expressed perfection.
- Self-Care/Self Love
Honouring yourself through self-care practices that are physical, mental and spiritual. Committing to taking care of your mind, body and soul is a great way to energize and stay aligned to the vibration of self-love, worthiness and enjoyment that cultivates true self-esteem.
- Honouring ‘Others’
Even though at first self-esteem may seem to be all about you, a powerful way to cultivate self-esteem is to honour your connection with others, acknowledging that each being is worthy of experiencing true self-esteem as each being at the core is an expression of the same eternal energy you have discovered within yourself. You can embody honouring others by taking care of yourself so that you can show up best for everyone, being of service to others in the ways that you feel called. The fulfilment of feeling this connection will also increase your feeling of self-worth which contributes to true self-esteem.
Now that we have learnt how spiritual understanding and embodiment can nurture true self-esteem take some time to further contemplate where your sense of self-esteem is arising from, be honest with yourself and wherever you may find yourself at this point, enjoy the journey of getting to know yourself deeply and continually experiencing new depths of true self-esteem. Choose the practices that work best for you, the practices that remind and align you. Committing to self-exploration and mastery through various powerful spiritual practices is the work of embodying a deep level of true self-esteem.
__Written by Music Of Wisdom team