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Self Esteem

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Self-Esteem is a personal judgment of one's worth and the satisfaction or dissatisfaction with one's own self. By this definition Self-Esteem is how each individual person views them selves as a person both mentality and physically. According to William James, the American psychologist, self esteem involves only one mental perception of the own qualities and their physical. Self esteem plays an important role of who people are and starts at a very young age. There are both positives and negative cycles of self esteem. Self esteem is the one of the most important aspects in psychology because it can either give confidence or accept defeat.

William James introduced self esteem during his later years has a psychologist, to which a psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow continued his studies of self esteem. Abraham Maslow is most notably known for "Maslow Hierarchy of Needs."(Ciccarelli 343) Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a pyramid in which a person can not reach the top needs with out having the proper base. The needs are as follows (1) Physiological, (2) Safety, (3) Belongingness and Love, (4) Esteem, (5) Self Actualization. In the Physiological part of the pyramid a human's basic needs for life must be met: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. These physiological needs can control thoughts and behaviors, which can in turn cause discomfort, and sickness. Safety requires the feeling of security of ones self and personal property. Belongingness and Love require friendship, sexual intimacy, and support from either a family member a trusted individual. Esteem all humans have a need to be respected, to have self-respect, and to respect others. Finally Self Actualization sitting at the apex of the pyramid gives a person morality, creativity, and spontaneity, problem solving abilities, lack of prejudice and the acceptance of fact. (Ciccarelli 343) According to Maslow only through having all steps of the pyramid can self esteem be maximized, for ones actual acceptance of oneself is achieved.

During puberty often adolescent teens develop what is called an imaginary audience, the feeling of paranoia and self consciousness. (Ciccarelli 276) It is during this stage that I believe can affect the self esteem of a person indefinitely. Not only is an adolescent experiencing an imaginary audience but the adolescent is experiencing personal fable according to Piaget's formal operations. For instance if during this stage of a child's life they are ridiculed for being different then the others such as overweight, and/or unattractive this can be devastating to this child's emotional growth which can lead to a poor self judgment which leads to poor self esteem.

Carl Ransom Rogers emphasized the role of self concept, which consisted of three parts your ideal image, self image and self esteem. (Pushkarna) According to the three parts self esteem depend of the gap between your Ideal Self and you Self Image. The larger the gap between your Ideal Self and Self Image the lower your self esteem, and the small the gap between your ideal image and self image the higher your self esteem. For instance if an "D" average student had their eyes on becoming a doctor their ideal image is very high, and because the student is a "D" average student the self image is very low resulting in low self esteem. In certain occasions people must evaluate goals to be obtainable. Self esteem can be easily increase by the student by raising self image, lowering ideal image, or both. As they say, "A goal without a plan is just a dream."

Since self esteem helps individuals realize their full potential, self talents and capabilities how do we know where we stand? Well like Retail, to know exactly where we stand we must ask for feedback, mainly from family and close friends. Feedback can be an important part to the growth of one's self esteem, but it can also cripple the little self esteem you have. The are four different forms of feedback and they are: information known to yourself and known to others, information known to self and not to others, information not known to self but known to others, and finally information not known by you or others. The feedback given to us can also bring family and friends closer to you because you are asking for their input, however because self esteem is a personal judgment, you may need to take feedback with a grain of salt. Self esteem also has two interrelated components self efficacy, and self respect. Self efficacy is described as an individual's perception of how effective behavior will be in any particular circumstance. (Ciccarelli G-16) Self respect is described as a sense of one's own dignity or worth. Self efficacy can determine whether or not a person will accept a challenge or bow down in avoidance. Self respect will either raise or plummet because of efficacy. The concept of self-efficacy is the focal point of Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory. By means of the self-system, individuals exercise control over their thoughts, feelings and actions. Among the beliefs with which an individual evaluates the control over his/her actions and environment, self-efficacy beliefs are the most influential arbiter of human activity. Self-efficacy - the belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments - is constructed on the basis of the four most influential sources: enactive attainment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological as well as emotional factors. Self-efficacy plays

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