What Does Self-Esteem Look Like?
From a physical perspective, self-esteem manifests in a number of characteristics. It expresses itself in a face, manner and way of talking and moving that projects the pleasure one takes in being alive. We see eyes that are alert, bright and lively; a face that is relaxed and (barring illness) tends to exhibit natural color and good skin vibrancy; a chin that is held naturally and in alignment with one’s body; and a relaxed jaw. We see shoulders that are relaxed yet erect; hands that are graceful; arms that hang in an easy, natural way; a posture that is unstrained, erect and well-balanced; a walk that is purposeful (without being aggressive and overbearing). We hear a voice that is modulated with an intensity appropriate to the situation.
But there is far more to self-esteem than a stiff chin and straight back. Self-esteem expresses itself by talking directly and honestly about accomplishments and shortcomings. It expresses itself in being open to criticism and a comfort about acknowledging mistakes, because a person’s self-esteem is not tied to perfection. It expresses itself in the harmony between what a person says and does and how they look, sound and move. It expresses itself in an ability to enjoy the humorous aspects of life, in oneself and others.
Self-esteem expresses itself in a person’s adaptability and openness to challenges, secure in the strength of their own mind. It expresses itself in a person’s comfort with assertive (but never belligerent) behavior in oneself and others. It expresses itself in an ability to preserve a quality of harmony and dignity under conditions of stress.
There is no uniform face of self-esteem- it is merely comfort in (and acceptance of) your own skin. But it is a quality that cannot be faked or mistaken.