Are You Self-Accepting?

 

by

 

Donald A. Cadogan, Ph.D.

 

 

Most of us want to be liked by others. But acceptance by ourselves is a more important need. When we have self-approval we usually feel more comfortable with our intimate companions and more confident in our world. In short, we must develop self-esteem if we are to fully enjoy our lives.

 

Sometimes we judge ourselves harshly for the mistakes we make in life and for our flaws and shortcomings. However, we all make mistakes and none of us is perfect. But the assessment we make of ourselves, whatever it turns out to be, is a crucial part of our identity. It influences the many choices we make in life, such as whom we marry, our careers, and our friendships. It also affects our capacity for leadership, our honesty and our potential for success.

 

Unfortunately, many people with low self-esteem are neither aware that their sense of self is below average nor how their behavior reinforces this undesirable state. Here is a short quiz to help you determine your level of self-esteem and at the same time show you some elements that are vital to the growth of a secure and positive identity.

 

Self-Esteem Quiz

 

In each question circle the letter choice that best applies to you. Do not look at the results section until you have completed the quiz.

 

1.     Do you judge your personal worth according to the opinions other people have of you?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

2.     Do you need everyone to like or accept you?

a) Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

3.     Do you believe that being alone means that you are unacceptable?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

4.     Do you downgrade yourself when your performances are not perfect?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

5.     Do you feel rejected whenever attention is not paid to you?

a) Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

6.     Do you compare yourself unfavorably to others?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

7. Do you set unrealistically high standards for yourself?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

8. Do you believe people can only like you if you are interesting?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

9. Do you estimate your general ability to be low or inadequate?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

10. Do you boast about your accomplishments or about the people you know?

a)     Almost never. b) Sometimes. c) Almost always.

 

Results

 

The a answers reflect an independent, self-assured and self-confident manner. If you scored high here you are able to accept your strengths as well as your shortcomings. Your close interpersonal relationships are probably enjoyable. Seven or more a answers indicate a very high level of self-esteem.

 

The b answers denote moderate feelings of self-esteem. Since most of us have some doubt about ourselves and need occasional reassurances from others, it is likely the average person would most frequently make this choice. The desire for approval is part of our nature as social beings and, in moderation, can motivate behavior that adds to our charm. If most of your choices were b choices, or if you chose as many a answers as you did c answers your level of self-esteem is most likely average.

 

The c choices reflect strong self-doubt, low self-confidence, and feelings of dependency and inadequacy. If you scored high here you tend to see yourself as less adequate than others, are probably very needful of their approval, and feel generally insecure. You may feel you cannot function well on your own. Resentment toward the people you feel dependent upon may develop if it is not already present. Your low assessment of yourself may be hampering your ability to enjoy life. If you had a c choice score of seven of more you probably have low self-esteem.

 

If you wish to boost your self-esteem you may find it helpful to be more assertive and less perfectionistic. Also, it may be useful to know that we all seek inclusion of some kind and to feel we belong. Thus, the people you desire acceptance from very likely want approval too. This fact gives us all an intrinsic value and makes our good opinion of others socially desirable. Take a look at your answers again and try to move your behavior into the a choice range.

 

It is important to note that the results of this quiz are only suggestions and are not intended to be definitive.