A Definition of Self Esteem?

Last Updated: March 30, 2021

Or, A True Self Esteem Guide?

Why bother with self esteem? With something else you have to fix (or boost/improve) in yourself? Why not learn to be okay being you and leave it at that? Well, my definition of self esteem shows you how to do just that.

definition of self esteem quotation


Introduction: A Definition of Self Esteem

A lot has been written about self-esteem, over the years:

  • the definition of self esteem,
  • low self esteem symptoms, and even
  • how to improve self esteem (including self esteem building activities)

Much of which has not been really helpful, to be honest. Because…


Self Esteem: The Facts

Fact is, sometimes you have low self self-esteem symptoms, and sometimes you don’t. (Whoever you are!)

Fact is, the more you realise that you are okay, that you are not broken (no matter what you or others say to the contrary), and the more you understand the inside out nature of your experience , the less likely you will take your low self esteem symptoms seriously.

Fact is, the definition of self esteem is a simple one: You Being Okay Being Yourself.

  • So, let’s let go of the symptoms – the fear and the uncertainty, the feelings of loneliness, being hindered by perfectionism, letting fear rule your life, believing that the world is a ‘bad place’, being highly skeptical and over-critical…
  • And let’s ignore so-called self esteem building activities (other than for you to deeply know and feel that ‘you are okay’, as is).
  • And let’s take a look at the True You, below, via what I’m going to call my true self esteem guide.

Yes, I want to speak to Who You Really Are, now, rather than who you can be on a bad day (when you’re taking your thinking seriously, or you’re in a low mood)!

Is that okay? Will you let me do that, if only just for a moment? Thanks…


My Definition of Self Esteem

My Self Esteem Guide to You – Be Okay, Being Yourself!

1. You are NOT Your Habits
The self-help gurus would have you believe that your salvation lies in improving your habits, improving your thinking, and being with others doing the same.

Addressing the symptoms of your dis-ease like this can be beneficial, absolutely, but it’s much better to address the source of the dis-ease (a simple mis-understanding of how human beings create their own reality).

Once you understand the inside out nature of the human experience you naturally start being so much more gentle with yourself… which is a good thing! And your habits become wiser, healthier, more in tune with who you are – naturally so.


2. You are NOT Your Body!
Now maybe what you feel about yourself depends on what your body is looking like or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe your body looks like society says it ‘should’ or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you truly love the gift of your body or maybe you downright hate it.

Whatever you think about your body, you are still NOT your body.

(You are not the thoughts you have about your body, either – see 5. below.)


3. You Are NOT What Has Happened To You!
Other than to say the past (and future) simply does not exist I don’t really know right now how to point out this truth of you. Let me rely, instead, on the somewhat repeititous words of one Carl Gustav Jung…

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

– C.G. Jung

And choosing to become (or choosing to think about the past or the future) is a choice we get to make anew every single moment of our lives…


4. You Are NOT the voice in your head!
Hmm, the little voice in my head is now telling me I can’t use another quote here to explain myself, as I may come across as not knowing what I’m talking about. Hey ho!…

“You are not the voice in your head. You are the one that listens.”
– Unknown (?)

Keep reading for what this means about you…


5. You Are NOT The Thoughts You Have!
I think I can say with certainty these three things about you: i) you think ii) you often think the same thoughts over and over again, and iii) sometimes you have no idea where that last thought came from.

Truth is, we human beings are thinking creatures – thoughts seem to flow through us, almost river-like.

The less we can identify (or resist) the thoughts that flow through us the better. Symptom: not taking yourself (or your thinking) seriously.

You are NOT the thoughts you have, you are the one that is listening to them.


6. You Are Not The ‘Mistakes’ You Make
If you are a human being then, by definition, you make mistakes, and you will continue to make mistakes. Phew! Thank goodness for that, then, eh!

By all means learn from your mistakes. You could even attempt to make fewer mistakes – well, you could! – but much better to realise that making mistakes is part of the game of being human. That is all. It is most certainly not something to use to define who you are.

I know you know this. I know I know this. And I know we all need reminding, sometimes…


7. You Are Not In Control
You are not in control, it’s true. You are not in control of what people think of you. You are not in control of what you think of you. And you most certainly have little to no control of ‘what’s coming next’.

Yes, you can exert some level of influence over proceedings, over your thinking, but the sooner you let go of wanting to control the better it is for you, and anyone that knows you…

(I promise.)


8. There Is More To You Than Meets The Eyes!
Fact is, you really are quite a remarkable person. And I’m not just sayin’ that to flatter you, either. You’re really quite amazing – especially when you let go of trying to fix your symptoms of low self esteem, and you just start to enjoy being yourself more.


  • You notice yourself – your good moods and bad.
  • You think surprising thoughts, sometimes.
  • You get inspiration, often from ‘nowhere’.
  • And despite the whole world (and you) marvelling at the emperor’s new clothes most of the time, part of you can see his nakedness (metaphor: part of you can see the Inside Out nature of the human experience, despite the all-pervading outside in paradigm).

You are truly remarkable. A pleasure knowing you. Do come again!…



  1. You can download a much shorter version of this self esteem guide (PDF) at the link below (no email required)! It’s called One Page Self Esteem Guide
  2. You can read more self esteem quotes here!
  3. And you can listen to/watch me share this ‘definition of self esteem’ post here…
    A Definition of Self Esteem? by Steve M Nash


A Coaching Conversation Might Help

Reading blog posts is good. Watching videos is good, too. But sometimes having a meaningful conversation about the issue you're experiencing is best. To experience a transformative coaching conversation where you get to ask YOUR questions, and to experience YOUR insights. Well, I can help you with that...