GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
CHAPTER SIX REALIZING ONE’S SELF-WORTH
6.1 Introduction A person who has low self-esteem will usually feel needlessly unhappy. When people feel inferior to others, they are likely to feel miserable. Since humility is a great virtue and arrogance a great fault, the importance of feelings of self-esteem is often overlooked. To be happy and to accomplish in life you need positive feelings about yourself, while avoiding conceit.
The benefits of self-esteem and problems caused by lack of it.
A person who realizes the greatness inherent in every human being and hence
his own greatness, watches his behavior not to do anything that would be beneath the dignity of someone who is elevated. (Sanhedrin 37a and Rashi; Nachalas Yosef, Torah, pp. 54-5)
2. One who considers himself inferior will not be careful with his behavior. (Rambam to Avos 2:13)
3. If a person does not consider himself an “important person,” he will not free himself from his negative traits. (Rabbi Aharon of Karlin; Dor Daiah, vol. 1, p.167)
What a person believes about himself and his abilities serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believing he is inferior, untalented, unimportant or incapable, influences his actual abilities. One’s self-concept greatly determines what one can actually do. If you view yourself as unable to do things, you will be unable to do them. On the other hand, if you see yourself as talented, capable, and important, your self- concept will open up powers and talents that would have remained dormant had you thought of yourself in lesser terms. We have the ability to change our self- concept. Therefore, Rabbi Aharon of Karlin advised people to consider themselves as important, which enabled them to strive for greater accomplishments. Hardly anyone utilizes his entire capabilities. Most people use a low percentage of their potential and could accomplish much more than they realize. By raising your opinion of what you are capable of accomplishing, you will accomplish more.
REALIZING ONE’S SELF-WORTH