Self-esteem is your general opinion of yourself. It is the belief that you are a worthwhile and important person. Self-esteem is important because it effects your happiness and your achievements in life. Low self-esteem is the belief that others are better than you, that you deserve to treated badly by others, and that you don't deserve happiness or success.
Can you have too much self-esteem? Too much self-esteem is called narcissism. It is when a person is self-centered and arrogant. It is when a person thinks that the whole world is here just for them. Nobody else is important.
Your self-esteem begins forming when you are a young child. If your parents and teachers praise you when do something right and encourage you and are patient with you when you make a mistakes, then you acquire high self-esteem.
If your parents and teachers focus more on your shortcomings and mistakes and they try to control you by making you feel inferior and worthless, then you acquire low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can feed on itself. Supervisors, teachers, and friends judge you by how you judge yourself. If you stand and sit proudly and exude self confidence, if you impress people with your positive attitude, they accept your self judgment and treat you with respect and present you with opportunities.
If you have poor posture, are shy, and avoid looking other people in the eye, they accept your self judgment and assume that you can't do anything right, that you would rather not participate, and they treat you with little respect.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Since a person with low self-esteem believes they are inferior, they have difficulty making their own choices. They feel someone elses choice would be better.
A person with low self-esteem is desperate for approval so they will automatically say "yes" to any request, even though they many not have the time or desire to comply.
One way a person with low self-esteem avoids criticism and embarrassment is to avoid social interactions altogether.
A person with low self-esteem doesn't attempt a lot of things because self-doubt and pessimism leads them to believe they would only fail.
Signs of High Self-Esteem
When a person with high self-esteem needs something, they ask for it because they feel they are deserving of their needs.
When a person with high self-esteem has a question, they don't hesitate to ask it, because they feel they are as smart as anyone else so they are not embarrassed to no know everything.
A person with high self-esteem doesn't avoid criticism because they can either accept and learn from the criticism, or they can reject it.
A person with high self-esteem will attempt a lot of things because they believe they have a high chance of success and if they do happen to fail, it does not lower their value as a person.
How to Build High Self-Esteem
Remember, you are competing only with your self. Work to improve yourself such that you do better this time than you did last time.
Remember my fastest gun rule. No matter how fast you can draw your gun, there will always be someone faster. The same thing applies to any quality or talent that you excel at. There will always be someone better. That's just the way life is. That doesn't mean you are not great at what you do.
Take a realistic look at other individuals. The competition is almost always not as good as they seem. You may as good or better than them and not even realize it.
Take a realistic look at yourself. You have many good qualities and talents. You choose for yourself what you want to be good at. Keep learning and growing. Get more experience. Judge yourself not by the achievements of others, but by the path that you are on.