Self-esteem could be described as one’s worth in his/her own eyes. I realized early in my life that we usually give huge weight to others’ opinions of ourselves and as a result strive to be what others want us to be rather than who we actually are. This led to a life full of contradiction and I eventually decided to learn more about myself including my strengths and weaknesses. Surprisingly, this approach also helped me better understand other people and my friends soon started trusting me just as one trusts his/her own family members. They would share everything with me because they claimed I do not judge people and can put myself in others’ shoes. The experience proved to be more educational than I could have ever imagined as if I had completed an academic degree in human relations or psychology. As I learnt more about myself and about other people, I became more confident in my abilities and also learnt to ignore others’ skepticism regarding my abilities and goals. But at the same time, improved self-esteem has also made me more appreciative of human potential and I now focus more on the good side of the people rather than the negative side. I make active efforts to recognize the true potential in people and encourage them to become the best they are and this approach doesn’t only define my personal life but also my professional life. As I see the world, there are seven billion people on earth but everyone wants to feel important and be valued. They want to be appreciated for their individual traits and they are constantly seeking approval from others to boost their own morale. Just as negative opinions hurt one’s morale and even self-esteem, positive reinforcements sometimes do more to inspire people than any other incentive.
Self-esteem has also taught me to be respectful towards people from different generations as well as cultural backgrounds. Just as there are certain universal truths, there are also universal traits shared by different cultures. I have also learnt that respect is the key to open communication and ensuring cooperation from others. Everyone has a different view of life and the world and one may have different opinions but it is always possible to make others feel important by showing respect for their views. Similarly, when we display positive behavior such as protecting others’ self-esteem, we also influence others to adopt the same behaviors in their lives.
I am proud of what I have been able to achieve but I have not come this far just because I had self-esteem but also because many others demonstrated their trust in me. A society prospers when we take care of those who are most vulnerable and this is why I have been inspired to pursue in career in nursing whether as a care provider at the moment or a nurse educator in the near future. People surprise us when they are in a supportive environment. Thus, the key to a more prosperous society is to have high self-esteem and also to encourage others to be their best.