Truly loving oneself connects with a number of attitudes about self. Three very important examples are:
Self Confidence – confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.
Self Respect – due respect for oneself, one’s character, and one’s conduct.
Self Control – restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.
Feeling the right way about oneself does not require appoval from others. We find we may be tempted to equate being lovable with the sense of being loved by others. Rather, we will have discovered we must develop the attitude within that we are worthy of respect and love, even with our imperfections and our critics.
Self Image – The conception that one has of oneself, including an assessment of qualities and personal worth. (This definition is clearly neutral)
Self Worth – Pride in oneself; self-respect. (Self-worth can be a confusing term. Watch out for pride)
Our perception of self can get out of control on our journey. Out of control self-image becomes self-centeredness. Self-centeredness is usually based on a denial and cover-up of low attitudes about self.
Self-Esteem is a word that has gained much attention in recent years and has confused many. Low self-esteem and high self-esteem are presented as an “either/or” – low is bad and high is good. That is the basis of the confusion. Healthy self-esteem is a better description of one who has the best attitudes about self.
Pride in oneself is an attitude that can become out of control. Too much pride in oneself leads to a “better than everyone else” attitude. We will have discovered on our joyful pursuit of happines excessive pride can lead to lethal attitudes about self and is the First of the Seven Deadly Sins.