Self-esteem might help with happiness, but is self-esteem the key to happiness? In answering this question, let’s look at the similarities between self-esteem and happiness. Both depend on your thoughts, both come from inside of yourself and they often go hand in hand. For example unhappiness or depression can trigger self-esteem issues and vice versa. Neither self-esteem nor happiness depend on externals such as money, status, possessions or other people. You can be happy or have healthy self-esteem regardless of these. Self-esteem and happiness nurture each other, therefore, building self-esteem can help you to become happier.
How is Self-Esteem Linked to Happiness?
Low self-esteem is associated with negative thoughts about yourself; and negativity feeds unhappiness. Conversely, a healthy self-esteem means being more accepting of yourself and your life, with far fewer negative thoughts.
Signs of a healthy self-esteem include:
- Being authentic; pursuing the things you enjoy doing and that are good for you
- Being assertive and speaking up for yourself
- Not worrying excessively about what others think
- Focusing on your own life without the need to compare yourself to others
- Less worry about rejection, failure or not fitting in
- Talking and thinking about yourself in a healthy way
- Seeing the positives in your life
- Pursuing real friendships and relationships
- Being okay with being alone
- Having healthy boundaries
- Looking after your own needs rather than people pleasing
- Loving yourself as a whole person, flaws and all
- Believing that you deserve a fulfilling life and to be loved
- A healthy interest in other people and things, as well as yourself
- Accepting responsibility for your life instead of blaming other people or your circumstances; that means taking action to change the things you don’t like that are changeable
A healthy self-esteem empowers you with the freedom to be yourself, to do the things you enjoy doing and to follow the right path for you. You’ll be more inclined to seek genuine friendships and feel comfortable with who you are. The overall focus will be more positive and that can help with happiness.
So, Is Self-Esteem the Key to Happiness?
While self-esteem may help with happiness, it is not the magical solution. That’s because there is no single, magical solution. Happiness is complex and there are many factors that can influence it. However, every little bit counts and building self-esteem can make a huge difference. While it may not be the key to happiness, building self-esteem is certainly a building block towards happiness.
Building Self-Esteem for a Happier Life
In this self-esteem video, I talk about building self-esteem for a happier life.