One may wonder as to what does Self Esteem have to do with either Science or Mathematics? Actually, one’s psychology and self-belief have a strong relationship with overall academic performance. There are many studies to prove that but I think it is pretty logical. We don’t need a research study to prove everything, Isn’t it? So let’s dig into Self Esteem…

Self-Esteem is a measure of how much you value, respect and feel confident about yourself.

It helps to see yourself honestly and to like or at least accept yourself. I really loved the way Professor Christopher Mruk has explained the concept of self-esteem in his book “Self Esteem – Research, Theory and Practice”, ( with the help of the four quadrants given below:

In the above diagram, the horizontal line shows competence, which means how good a person’s abilities are in doing or creating something. In this case -10 means very poor performance and +10 means highly successful performance. ‘0’ on each scale means average. The vertical line in the diagram shows worthiness, which is more of an internal feeling that tells how good one feels about her or himself. Here -10 on the scale means very depressed and self-hating state, on the contrary +10 is a very high level of self-worth.

Pause for a while. Re-look at the quadrant and quickly mark your self, virtually. And yes, no need to share your scores in the comment section below 🙂

I am sure it is not the first time you have come across the word Self-Esteem but I think the quadrant gives us a clear picture. More importantly the two parameters – Competence and Worthiness. It was new to me.

The fluidity of Self-Esteem: So, don’t be too happy if you currently fall in the 1st quadrant of ‘High Self-Esteem’, and don’t feel sad if you fall in the 3rd quadrant. The scores are not static, depending upon a situation or one’s mood it keeps changing. But we need to find where does it fall most of the time (average). Our behavior can tell us that.

Characteristics of people with High Self-Esteem:

  1. These people are more ambitious in what one hopes to experience in life.
  2. They are self-confident and wants to be with other self-confident people.
  3. They are capable of having open, honest and appropriate communications with others.
  4. They don’t worry about how others will judge them.
  5. They are nicer to be around, their ideas are met with interest because other want to hear what they have to say.

Characteristics of people with Low Self-Esteem:

  1. These people are fearful of change.
  2. They are often uncertain of own thoughts and feelings; eventually losing faith in themselves.
  3. They have a hard time forgiving their mistakes and make them pay the price forever.
  4. They believe they can never be as good as they should be or as others. They are dissatisfied with their lives.
  5. They often complain, criticize and worry about everything and do nothing.

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If you think your scores didn’t match the characteristics then you may consider to re-evaluate yourself based on the 4 quadrants. And please don’t think of people while reading the ‘characteristics of people with Low Self-Esteem’. It is not a cool thing to do 😉 As parents, you may try to give the score to your child. With a purpose to nurture positive characteristics in them. It is actually recommended to do so. Share it with your family and we can have the entire family being plotted on the quadrants. It is a good exercise to do on weekends.

By the way, if you are wondering how did I (science-maths person) come across this amazing content on human psychology then let me share the news. I am doing my Bachelors degree in Education (B.Ed.) from Mumbai University. The course content is fantastic and I am enjoying it. More interesting things are on the way, stay HIGH (on Self-Esteem) till we get our next article.