The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it.
Smith and Mackie 2007.
One of the areas I am very aware of that feeds the depression I am continuing to fight is that I allow low self-esteem to chip away at my positive self-concept.
Nathaniel Brandon in 1969 puts it nicely when he defines self-esteem as ‘The concept of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness’.
It is particularly the last part of that sentence I struggle with regularly. I know I have lots of positives to be proud of. Lots of aspects or facets of my life that I know I have achieved in. Still I question my ‘worthiness of happiness’.
Allowing this attitude or approach to manifest chips away at the self-concept I hold of myself. Creating that familiar trait of depression, the false perception of what is going on around me. My worth within the world I occupy.
With most challenges it is best to get a good understanding of what you are up against in order to counter it. Hence, starting by defining what self-esteem is above.
The next thing to do is objectively assess what condition your self-esteem is in. Thankfully there is an online tool available to quickly give you a snapshot indicator. Based on the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale created by Morris Rosenberg in the mid 1960s. It comprises ten questions which you rate your agreement or disagreement with. Although this is not a diagnostic test it will give you a pointer as to where you are right now. I have included the link to the online test below.
In my case I found that even when entering answers I thought might produce a more negative result I was in fact above the scoring that would indicate low self-esteem. This was a nice surprise for me and in itself has made me feel a little better about things. Especially, giving my self-esteem and hence self-concept a boost.