Self Esteem is a concept that has been contentious for many years, and it has kept psychologists busy in their academic booths to date. Till now, we don’t have a unanimous consensus on facts about self-esteem. Recently I was talking to a journalist about my journey through medicine, and some of the things that inspire me; I noticed candidly that it all comes down to self-esteem. And for this reason, all I do for my patients is anchored to this principle. She also made me more aware, of how much subconsciously I believe in this concept. When I looked back in my life after my chat with her, I noticed that it has been very instrumental in all I do, and I am happy to bring that to all my patients during my journey in Ocularisty.
For many years, psychologists are able to practically study and demonstrate self-esteem. So this is not a mystical phenomenon. And I disagree that one has to understand it in depth to really benefit from its positive earnings. Knowing about its existence and it’s unrecognized influence in our daily life’s journey, will be just enough to give us a leap ahead of our own achievement. Most of us drive the car so well like they were the inventor, but we barely know the mechanics that make that possible.
While I discuss self-esteem in a big picture, as opposed to an academic one, and you will notice that it helps us achieve our full potential. I occasionally and silently study people’s behavior and responses, to different life’s stimuli and situations, and later predict their future response in other different situations. I always find that self-esteem plays a big role in this life game of roulette. There was a psychologist called Abraham Maslow; who by the way I think resembled the aged Bill Gates, that believed the same thing I do about self-esteem. That everyone has an innate desire to be self-actualized. This means the maximum realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities. Maslow thought that this can only happen when we first fulfill other requirements in life that are basic. Self-esteem being the last before we self-actualize.
The first level is the achievement of the basics of human needs like food, shelter, sleep. No wonder you will not find a homeless man thinking of going out to party and making new friends or finding a new bar opening up just after a natural disaster.
The second level is the fulfillment of safety needs, which is the next level of need for survival. The freedom from fear like employment security, health, and safety from harm. This a stage we are more paranoid than ever. Don’t wonder why after you have achieved the sleep, food, and shelter, you are now paranoid on how to maintain your rights to their possession, security from robbers and maintaining its existence. Welcome to the second level to self-actualization and don’t wonder why you will have to look for a job with better pay and security, pay for health insurance, save money and worry a lot about pleasing your boss.
The third level is attaining social needs, which involves our need to belong to a group This is us longing of relationships, which in my opinion, I find from all other levels, it influences our motivation and behavior the most. We will look for a sense of love, trust, and affection. Belonging to a group with an identity like family, work or friends. Again, don’t wonder why marriage in our society is considered an ultimate level of achievement, and why you are joining the Rotary club that you pay to join, and barely gain anything financial in return. Or going through many torturous years to a medical school to become a doctor but not a one week course to become a painter. This level is very interesting to me and most of my observations are between the crossover from this level to the second last, fourth level; self-esteem needs. A lot of our behaviors crafted to achieve this crossover, hugely determine our probability of attaining self-actualization. I also think that the third and fourth level is more individually achieved as opposed to the first and second level achievement contributed by society and community. For this reason, they determine a lot about our destiny in achieving goals later on in life, when and if we ever self-actualize.
Ok, the long-awaited fourth level is Self-esteem needs. At this level, we strive to attain this that pertains to self-esteem, like self-worth, social recognition, and accomplishments. Abraham divided these into two categories. Esteem for oneself which includes independence, mastery, and dignity. And Esteem from others, which includes the desire for status, respect, and reputation from others. You can already tell that this is where most of us don’t appreciate how more individualistic this gets to achieve this level, in order to attain the final level of self-actualization. During our search to fulfill this level we look for the meaning of what and who we are, and what we meant to do in our lives. We are curious to test waters; trying to win acceptance and respect from others. We want to feel appreciated and beautiful outside, to win other’s acceptance to better our esteem levels. So don’t wonder why I will wear a tie because am a doctor and my fellow doctors wear ties too. Or why you will buy an expensive phone and not a regular common phone; rent a house in an expensive neighborhood to win the respect and admiration of others. This is the sweet-sour subconscious search to attain higher levels of self-esteem. When you achieve this level. You are now self-actualize.
The fifth and final level is self-actualization. Where you realize personal potential and a sense of self-fulfillment. At this level you are confident of what you do and don’t know, accept other for who they are, tolerate uncertainties, be more pragmatic, trying new things instead of sticking to safe zones, have better emotional intelligence and ability to listen to your own feeling in evaluating a situation, instead of following traditions. Now don’t wonder if you are less concerned about other people’s opinions but more with personal growth. Or you are more self-aware, knowing your limits and being comfortable with them.
Don’t wonder why, what all your baby did was to breastfeed and sleep, and while 2yr old, they cried seeing you going to work and leaving them home. When they become a teenager, they will join a basketball team, get a girlfriend, experience sexuality and meanwhile, they desire to be an engineer and an astronaut of all professions but not a house painter. Later on, looking out for their old school friends, joining a church group or biking club, and looking for a mate to get married. Thereafter they will want to buy a car better than yours and neighbors’, move out of your home and start renting. Employ a cook to feel better about their achievements while doing a master’s degree, then they make a fancy expensive wedding for everyone to see.
Finally, if they get over the self-esteem deficiency, they are out there to better their lives and care less about which type of car they drive or what kind of hairstyle they have.
For all my patients I try to help them achieve the self-esteem boost by giving them the inner and outer beauty, to attain self-esteem and begin their journey to self-actualization. Likewise, low self-esteem will end the dreams of self-actualization.
The primary goal of making someone an eye, improves their cosmetic look, boosting self-esteem and kick-starting their journey to self-actualization. Opening up door to achieving all kinds of things that were seemingly impossible just because they were stack at the level of self-esteem needs. Basing on this understanding, you could also do something for people you get in close contact with, that will boost their chances to transcend to the next level.