Does a High Self-Esteem Lead to Success or Does Success Lead to High Self-Esteem?
Many people believe that having a high self-esteem leads to success. However, this is just a myth! Only because you think you can do something good or you’re attractive does not necessarily mean that you will have better outcomes than someone who has a low self-esteem.
Self-esteem is the evaluation on oneself which can be negative or positive (Deckers 2010). It results from the successes one has of their pretensions or goals; that may be from others approval, appearance, competition, academic competence, family support, virtue, and god’s love (Deckers 2010). Therefore, in order for self-esteem to increase one must reduce the number of pretensions or by increasing the number of successes (Deckers 2010).
Vohs and associates (2003) find several studies that prove this idea. They include some in their article about the relationship between self-esteem and success. For example, studies conducted on students did not prove that having a high self-esteem led to academic success, instead, high self-esteem was due to academic success. Other studies found that having high self-esteem did not contribute to occupational success as much as occupational success contributed to high self-esteem. Another important finding was that drug usage and unhealthy sex in youth with high self-esteem was high. Thus, it’s safe to say that not using drugs or having unhealthy sex increases self-esteem too. Even more, they found that people with high self-esteem were not as popular as most claimed. Again, this may be because having friends or being liked results in high self-esteem and not vise-versa.
Like many other people, I always assumed that having a high self-esteem leads you to be successful. But now that I evaluate this idea “how can anyone have high self-esteem if they have not had success”. Self-esteem, then originates from somewhere - taking your first steps as a child, winning a game, passing an exam, earning a raise, getting married and so on.
What comes to mind when I think about this is that everyone has had success at one point in their lives. Then, why do so many people have low self-esteem? I think that the only reason for this is that unsuccessful pretentions weight more than successful pretensions. This may be because it affects us more physically, psychologically, and behaviorally. We think about it more, we dwell about it more, and we let us affect us more.
But why let this affect us more? We are diverse ! This is the way it was intended… Distinct personalities, traits, physical characteristics, and physiological and psychological abilities which all motivate us differently and in turn causes unique successes. So if you are a person with low self-esteem remember that you do have some success even if accomplished in different ways from others.
I found the following quotes to be very inspirational and true. I hope you do too.