moulded out of faults

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kastoria, greece

“They say the best men are moulded out of faults; And for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad”.
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act V, Scene ii


“You’re always reading all these psychological books,” she told me, looking the book in my hands with the unquestionable title “self-esteem”. “What are you looking for? Are you lack of self-esteem?”. I can’t resist to these topics; in the end all is psychology. 

Self-esteem, a difficult term to define and measure even nowadays, plays important role in every aspect of life. From close relationships with our spouse, our family and our friends to the way we manage our career and our life, or we invest our money, all are, among other factors, matter of self-esteem.  The way we evaluate ourself determines our thoughts, our emotions, our behavior and our choices in life. 

A study at the University of Cambridge have found that successful entrepreneurs have, among other characteristics, greater self-esteem and take part in riskier activities. Christophe André and Francois Lelord in their book, Self-Esteem, compare self-esteem to asset and give an enlightening example. Big investors with large asset make riskier investments than small investors. And, paradoxically, they earn more, even if they sometimes may lose. Likewise, people with high self-esteem invest and risk more; thus, they win more, materially and psychologically. Moreover, high self-esteem accept challenges of life more easily. Another interesting research about self-esteem have shown that people with high self-esteem exert greater effort, when the challenge was demanding than when it was undemanding. On the contrary, low self-esteem would exert greater effort when the challenge was undemanding. 

Still in searching if it’s trait or state, the next time you have to act, to make an effort or to choose, think first what your higher self-esteem would do in that case. Besides, if you don’t believe in yourself, then who will; as Marilyn Monroe aptly remarked once.

References

Sigall, Harold; Gould, Robert, The effects of self-esteem and evaluator demandingness on effort expenditure, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 35(1), Jan 1977, 12-20.
Christophe André & Francois LelordL’Estime de soi: S’aimer pour mieux vivre avec les autres, 2008, Posh Odile Jacob.
Sigall, Harold; Gould, Robert, The effects of self-esteem and evaluator demandingness on effort expenditureJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 35(1), Jan 1977, 12-20.