Self-esteem is a fundamental concept in social psychology that refers to an individual’s evaluation of themselves. It is a crucial aspect of our mental and emotional well-being, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In this article, we will explore the meaning of self-esteem in social psychology and its significance for individuals’ overall psychological health.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s subjective evaluation of their worth or value as a person. It encompasses an individual’s beliefs, attitudes, and feelings about themselves. Self-esteem can be thought of as the degree to which individuals view themselves positively or negatively.

The Importance of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem plays a critical role in shaping our thoughts and behaviors. It influences how we approach challenges, handle failure and success, interact with others, and make decisions. Individuals with high self-esteem are more likely to be assertive, confident, goal-oriented, resilient, and experience greater life satisfaction.

On the other hand, individuals with low self-esteem may struggle with feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and poor mental health outcomes.

Factors Influencing Self-Esteem

Several factors contribute to the development of self-esteem. These include:

Measuring Self-Esteem

Measuring self-esteem can be challenging since it is subjective in nature. However, researchers have developed several self-report measures to assess self-esteem levels. One of the most commonly used scales is the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, which asks individuals to rate their level of agreement with statements like “I feel that I am a person of worth” and “I feel I have a number of good qualities.”

Enhancing Self-Esteem

Individuals can take steps to enhance their self-esteem. Some strategies for improving self-esteem include:


In conclusion, self-esteem is a vital aspect of our psychological well-being. It influences our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and overall quality of life. While it can be challenging to change deeply ingrained beliefs about ourselves, taking small steps to improve our self-talk and engage in positive activities can lead to significant improvements in our overall sense of well-being.