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Self Esteem: Reflecting True Identity

Thought of writing this article came to my mind because I wanted to share the lesson with all the readers that I learnt during one of the guest lecture taken by Mr. Rajiv Thakker, Head (L & D), Intellivate Capital (Investment Bank). That lecture left me in deep thought for quite a few days. It rejuvenated all the dreams that lost its luster due to the pressure of fulfilling high expectations, tension of scoring marks and getting a good job for a better livelihood. I would have never realized how a simple two-hour lecture could leave this kind of impact until I myself attended the same. With this article, I want to express the importance of high Self Esteem to achieve the desired goals.


One should focus on two things, self-image, and self-ideal. Self-image is what a person is in present and self-ideal is what a person wants himself to become. In other words, self-ideal is that imaginary identity that an individual wants to become.

I would like to explain this by taking an employee of any XYZ company i.e. ordinary human being who has certain desires as an example. Now, I would point out where he is now and what he wants from life.

1. Working in SBI Life
2. Owns Bajaj Pulsar
3. Owns Maruti 800
4. Salary of Rs. 6 lac per annum
5. Flat on rent in New Delhi
6. Nokia N72
7. Titan watch
8. Travel by Train
9. Honeymoon at Shimla
10. Stay at a Normal Hotel

1. Working in World Bank
2. Owns Suzuki Hayabusa
3. Owns Porsche Carrera GT
4. Salary Rs. 1 Cr. per annum
5. Owns a Row house
6. Vertu
7. Louis Vuitton
8. Travel by Flight
9. Honeymoon in Paris
10. Stay at ITC Maurya


The following figure depicts the relationship between self-image, self-ideal, and self-esteem.

Unarguably, everybody in this world will have a self-image and a self-ideal. The point I want to make is that how a person is able to close that gap between self-image and self-ideal. How an individual can achieve success and how others cannot in spite of how much he tries? What is different in Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayan Murthi, Bill Gates, Barack Hussein Obama, JRD Tata and the likes of them? They were also common people.

They also had an aim, a goal in life as every one of us has, and, most important, they had a self-ideal too. How did they achieve the enormous amount of success? They did nothing magical. Even God was also unbiased towards them. The only thing they have in common was a HIGH SELF ESTEEM. They never had a fear of failure. They worked as if they know they deserve to achieve what they want. They had a clear vision that no matter how many times they fail they will achieve heights one day. They believed in, ‘Greatest glory does not lie in falling, but in every time you get up.’ The figure above says that higher the self-esteem, the more near you are towards your goal and thus, justifying their success. They never blame others for their failures. However, they follow, “A failure isn’t a failure until you say someone pushed you.”

Let me point out that there is a difference between success and achievement. Success happens when people clap for you but achievement happens when you punch in the air and say, “Yes, I have done it.” They never seek for success; they never focused towards the ultimate goal but towards the path of achieving that success. That is what they called achievement.

The sense of achievement varies from person to person. A school going mediocre kid works hard and unexpectedly tops one subject, which is achievement for him. Similarly, when scientist invents something after putting on a lot of hard work, which is achievement for him. An achievement for someone may not be an achievement for other. Solving a Sudoku puzzle may be an achievement for those who solved them for the first time but it may not be an achievement for those who keep solving it on a regular basis

Now focusing towards the self-esteem, I found out the relationship between respect for self and respect for others. There are four aspects for it.

Aspect 1: High respect for self, low respect for others
People having high respect for self and low respect for others tend to be aggressive. They are egotist (do not confuse with egoist). They are boastful of themselves. They think that no one is better than they are and in the process, they do not bother to care for small things. Trust me, they can never be trusted for big things.

Aspect 2:Low respect for self, low respect for others
People falling under this category are abdicating. They dethrone themselves with the power they can enjoy. They believe that the world is not a place to live in. They waste all their life cribbing about every little thing they came across. They neither are happy with others nor with themselves. Lack of motivation, mainly intrinsic, is what they are suffering from.

Aspect 3:Low respect for self, high respect for others
People having low respect for self and high respect for others tend to be submissive. They are suffering from lack of confidence. Most of the times these people gets fascinated with simplest of the works of others. They think that they are good for nothing and keep searching an ideal in every person they came across. One of the adjective that defines them is ‘Gullible’.

Aspect 4:High respect for self, high respect for others
People who fall under this category are assertive. These are the ones, who achieve everything in life. Success touches their feet in whatever they do, wherever they go. Unarguably, they are blessed with the ‘Midas Touch’ not because they are born lucky but because they got the basics right. They love themselves and love others. They do not have a fear of failure; rather they are willing to accept their failures. They are not ashamed of admitting their mistakes in public. They do not care what people say. They never discuss people but ideas and that is the key to success.

Now, you are the best judge. You yourself decide that you fall under which category and in which category you want to lie in. I would conclude this article by the quote by Zig Ziglar, “Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable.”

Contributing Writer:  Pranav Chawla
B.E. (Polymer), MIT Pune, MBA (Operations + Marketing), IMT Nagpur


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