“Self-esteem has two essential and interrelated components: self-competence and self-worth.” Quora
It was in the 1990’s that I first met renowned executive coaching and training expert, Vance Caesar. Vance is a man of insight, intelligence, and a hugely deep heart for the people he serves.
Meetings with a Business Guru
It was during these early encounters that Vance first told me words that have stuck with me for more than 30 years. He stated that we, as coaches, need to always remember “The High Value of Low Self-Esteem.”
In fact, I told him these words were the title of a potentially brilliant book. And in his inimitable humility he told me, “The title is yours. Write the book!”
Well, obviously, I never did write the book, but I sure have used the hell out of his phrase.
Deep Holes and Shallow Fillings
The point goes something like this: There is within each of us a deep hole hungering to be filled with love and meaningful life. But for many, if not most of us, these core needs become obscured by daily work routines and hectic schedules.
We have learned to assume that the busier and more productive we are the greater internal value we feel. To me this is one of the great lies told American Youth who turn into American Executives. And for Vance Caesar, this frequently explains the extraordinary success of certain men and women in the US economy.
Successful people are often driven by a need to re-kindle some kind of temperate fire of self-worth. And we are taught that financial or organizational accomplishments are the perfect means for filling those needs. BUT IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.
It’s a square hole, round peg conundrum. Power, prestige, and possessions will never fill that common hole in every human for meaning and belonging.
Low Self-Esteem or High Self-Worth?
I once read the following, “Can you have low self-esteem but high self-worth? Self-esteem is the feeling of confidence and competence in one or more specific areas of your life. You can have low self-worth but high self-esteem regarding your physical abilities, appearance, career, and social media presence.”
While this may sound acceptable in the shorter term, it is simply not the answer to life’s fundamental issues of meaning and belonging.
Instead, I encourage us all to ponder deeply the most important people and service opportunities in our lives… right now.
Which wolf do you feed” Ego or soul?” That, indeed, is the question.
Self-Worth or Self-Esteem
Which Do You Value?
Photo courtesy of peterschreiber.media at istockphoto