External Sources of Self-Esteem

Kid Being Congratulated

External sources of self-esteem are factors that are present in the environment- messages transmitted verbally or non-verbally, beliefs and ideas passed on by parents, teachers and significant others.

If a child grows up in an appropriately nurturing home environment, the likelihood is increased that he or she will learn the actions that support self-esteem (although there is no guarantee).  If a child is exposed to the right kind of teachers, the likelihood is increased that self-esteem-supporting behaviors will be learned.

If a person experiences successful psychotherapy, in which irrational fears are dissolved and blocks to effective functioning are removed, one consequence is that he or she will manifest more of the behaviors and actions that support self-esteem.  But it is a person’s actions that are decisive.  While external sources can act as catalysts for a healthy sense of self-worth, internal processes are what truly determine a person’s level of self-esteem.