Examining the Self in Self-Esteem

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It is worth spending serious quality time getting to know oneself. Think about it in the same way that you would want to know your best friend. The chances are you want to know as much about them as possible, what they like to do, what makes them tick, their favorite things, and so on.

Truly knowing who you are is essential in beginning to appreciate yourself.  You may be struggling with figuring out which courses to take, or finding friends that understand you. Perhaps you have a different conflict style to someone else in your family, where neither party understands where the other is coming from.

Are you an extravert, that is, a person who is outgoing, chatty and likes to work in groups? Or are you more introverted, someone who needs time alone to re-energize and recharge, who enjoys communicating by writing? If you are an introvert, then there is no point in beating yourself up for not being the life and soul of a party. Simply, it’s not who you are.

Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 All Quizzes

Tests to Try

Thankfully psychologists have done a lot of the hard work for us and devised tests which shed light on our personalities, together with how we perceive and interpret the world. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one such test, and you can take a free version here. To read comprehensive descriptions about personality types, click here. You may not necessarily agree with everything written, but often they are quite illuminating.

Not all tests available on the Internet were created equal, but there are some whose reliability and validity has been tested. This is a great site if you like quizzes about self-knowledge. A few words of caution, though:

What to Consider When Taking a Test

Always be honest in your answers. There is no point in writing what you think ‘should’ be the answer. Also, take the answers with a pinch of salt. They were designed to capture the general in the specific. If you have any concerns or queries about such tests and your results, discuss them with someone you trust, or consider reaching out to a mental health professional.

What Are Your Hobbies?

Another way of learning more about who we are is to look at things that we like to do. No two people have exactly the same interests. The passions we have that are unique to us often make us the most interesting.

Copy the table below and add any and all activities you enjoy. Include everything that you can think of, from watching television, chatting to friends on the phone, making people laugh, spending time with young children or elderly people, drawing, meeting new people, learning a new language, doing something with your hands, such as drawing or crafting.

Note, try not to evaluate your performance at any of these activities. The aim is to list all of the things that bring you pleasure, and how often you do them.

Why Do You Enjoy Your Hobbies?

Try to think about why you particularly enjoy that activity – you may well be surprised by your own answers. Here are a couple of examples to help you get started.

1. Activity 2. How often do you do it? 3. What is it about this activity you particularly enjoy?
Walking the dog Once a day Being outside; being with an animal
Cooking Once a week Becoming completely immersed in what I am doing, plus I love cooking for people!

How Can Your Activities Help?

What do you notice about the activities you enjoy? Do you make time to do these things weekly, if not daily? If there are lots of activities you enjoy but you are not doing them regularly, why not? Finally, try to look at your list objectively.

What kind of picture do you get about this person, judging from the things that they enjoy? Is it a kind, compassionate person who likes to help others and contribute to social groups? When we do something we enjoy, it’s natural that we feel good.

When we feel good, we’re more likely to reward ourselves by doing things we enjoy. By taking some time to know yourself and the activities you enjoy, it’s possible to start an upward positive cycle, where good feelings and actions build on each other.

Key Points

  • Knowing who you are is an important step in liking and appreciating yourself
  • Personality tests can be a useful starting point in learning more about ourselves
  • The activities we participate in regularly reflect our values and often our strengths
Full reference: 

(Dec 18, 2015). Examining the Self in Self-Esteem . Retrieved Jun 22, 2024 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/examining-the-self-in-self-esteem

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