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How’s your self-esteem? Here’s a test to help you improve it

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Shutterstock - InesBazdar

Sheila Morataya - published on 01/27/23

Healthy and vigorous self-esteem is key to good mental health. But how can you know how much you love yourself?

After more than 30 years of experience as a therapist and coach dealing with the field of self-esteem, which began when I was giving classes on personal image and self-esteem, I still find that the concept we have of ourselves is often fragile. It was fragile when there was no internet (I am from that era) and it is fragile today — perhaps even more so.

The pictures of women and men with perfect faces, hair, bodies, and muscles, especially on Instagram, are enough to leave any normal person with body image problems. This is why many of my patients, whether men or women, decide at a certain moment in their lives to close their social networks. “It lowers my self-esteem a lot,” they tell me.

The fact is that healthy and vigorous self-esteem is key to good mental health.

It influences our most important decisions and shapes the kind of life we create for ourselves. That’s why perhaps we should dedicate this year 2023 to fostering deep awareness of our  self-esteem: to healing the wounds that our self-image suffered in childhood and continuing to restore it during adulthood.  

But how can you know how much you love yourself?

Since I started coaching aspiring models and beauty queens many years ago, I have used the Rosenberg test, which was and still is one of the most widely used forms of self-esteem measurement.

This test consists of 10 questions you have to answer with a “yes” or “no.” It’s important to take into account that the first answer that comes to your mind is your real answer. You need to be honest with yourself.

  1. I feel that I am a worthy person – at least as much as others.
  2. I am convinced that I have good qualities.
  3. I am capable of doing things as well as most people.
  4. I have a positive attitude toward myself.
  5. I am generally satisfied with myself.
  6. I feel that I don’t have much to be proud of.
  7. In general, I am inclined to think of myself as a failure.
  8. I would like to have more respect for myself.
  9. There are times when I really think I am worthless.
  10. I often think I am not a good person.

Get your score

From sentence 1 to 5, give yourself 1 point for every “yes” and subtract one point for each “no.” From sentence 6 to 10, do the opposite: subtract 1 point for each “yes” and add one point for each “no.” Add up the total. Less than 0 points means an inclination toward wounded self-esteem, more wounded the closer you get to -10. The more positive points you score, the healthier your self-esteem.

When Holy Scripture tells us, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” it takes for granted that healthy self-love is an indisputable, natural, and universal fact. But sadly, not everyone has it. A vast majority of people do not love themselves, or do not know how to love themselves properly. Identify which are the enemies of your self-esteem, and work on improving it.

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