52 responses

  1. Robert Chen
    March 18, 2012

    Hi Laura,

    I am glad you enjoyed this article!

  2. Nelson
    March 22, 2012

    Great write up Rob.

    I think this is a good thing you’re doing.

    • Robert Chen
      March 22, 2012

      Thanks Nelson for the encouraging words.

      • Nicole
        April 30, 2012

        After I finished reading your article, with pleasure I might add, and then saw your picture, I immediately thought to myself, “Wow, that guys is doing what he’s meant to be doing, & that’s quite amazing thing that he is doing at that!”.

        Thanks for the thought provoking read.

      • Robert Chen
        April 30, 2012

        Hi Nicole,

        Thank you for such kind words. I am finding it very rewarding to pursue my passion and I am happy that you enjoyed the article. I would be interested to hear about any successes and challenges that you might be facing while you are striving for your dreams as well.

  3. self defined
    November 10, 2012

    Consider the idea that self esteem IS as self-esteem DOES. Here, a strong, well-constructed self-concept can be bolstered through engaging in diverse behavioral activity in a variety of areas (i.e. more eggs in more baskets). In this model, strengthening self-esteem occurs indirectly — through behavioral activities that give rise to a wider range of beneficial knowledge and expertise. Thus, improved positive self esteem is the product of a “wider” self-concept, defined by “widening” one’s behavioral repertoire.

    • Robert Chen
      November 13, 2012

      Thanks for your comment!

      Excellent point. To add to the idea of a wider behavioral repertoire,a broader self-concept also leads to becoming more resilient when something goes wrong in one area of life. For example, workaholics who are laid-off often take a big hit in their self-esteem because that’s what they are known for. Those who have a much broader self-concept, can rely on other aspects of their lives to keep a positive self image.

  4. Gyan SHARMA
    December 11, 2012

    Thank you Robert for such and en-lighting article, after reading the same , i now realize that my son who would be attending the uni from next year, may be having low self esteem. He doesn’t likes to be praised even wining after winning three gold medals in regional English test , which is first time for any one to achieve in the history of the school.
    He does not even want t to face people or take up doing task for for the fear of failing and have difficulties in simplest decision making. He is full of negativity about his capabilities and i fear how will he be able to to stand up to the challenges of the life. MY son desperately needs to be assisted out of his negativeness . pls i need your help .

    • Robert Chen
      December 13, 2012

      Hi Gyan,

      Thank you for reading my article and for your comment. It must be scary for you as a parent to see these warning signs but it is something that can be turned around if your son realizes it and wants to change. If he doesn’t recognize it or if he doesn’t see the benefits of it, it’ll be tough for you to be able to influence him.

      As a parent, praise his efforts and not his intelligence. When you label someone as “smart”, they tend to do easy things because they don’t want to fail and lose that identity. Help him realize failure is not only ok but a prerequisite to real success. A great way is to have him read the life of people he admires. Also encourage in him the feeling of self empowerment.

      It is important to make the distinction between high self esteem and being vain. Many people adopt actions of low self esteem as a way to not be perceived as a braggart. The problem with that is your actions influence the way you think and acting like someone with low self esteem can actually lower your esteem.

      I hope this helps.

  5. International Coaching News
    December 18, 2012

    This is a very great post Robert! Thank you for sharing it. It is very enlightening and makes me rethink of how I’ve been behaving lately (not that I’ve been misbehaving). It has also made me think about a friend of mine who is used to joke about a friend that would make us all laugh. So after reading this post, I;m thinking who has the lower self-esteem – the joker? or the one who’s being laughed at?

    • Robert Chen
      December 18, 2012

      Thanks Shariza for your kind words. The one making the jokes shows their low self-esteem but putting others down. The one being laughed cannot control people from making fun of him/her and has low self-esteem only if he/she takes the joke seriously and allow it to lower his/her self worth. A person with strong self-esteem knows that what others say really don’t mean much and still act confidently despite it.

      • Khumalo
        May 19, 2014

        Hi Robert, I work for multinational service delivery firm as the IT guy. When I first got there I was very nice and I had this huge self-esteem I carried around with me. After a while some of my colleagues(females) will always say something in their language that I do not understand and looking at me and laugh. I always avoid them and don`t ask why or what they are saying and why they are laughing because it is clear that they are saying something about. I will feel a little down as i really wish I knew what they were saying so as to get back at them. Then i thought to myself, I am a man and men do not engage in open confrontation with a lady and moreso at a corporate environment. Please tell me what to do in this type of situation.

      • Robert Chen
        May 21, 2014

        Khumalo, thank you for sharing your experience. When you allow others to have such an effect on you, you’re giving them your power. Just because someone laughs at you or thinks a certain way about you, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Only you can determine your self-worth. I encourage you to separate fact from opinion. Your females colleague looks at you and laughs – that’s a fact. They are making fun of you – that’s your opinion. Your reaction is usually to your opinion of the situation which is in your control.

        Short answer: stop worrying about what others think because it’s out of your control. Take comfort to know that other people’s opinions have no impact on your self-esteem unless you allow it.

      • Khumalo
        May 21, 2014

        Hi Robert,
        Thank you for the response. Actually you said it right. My approach now is to get closer and natural with them. I have realized that getting closer and doing my work and not being their friend but a colleague is really making them on edge.

        I also realized that, they are the ones with low self-esteem not me. I show them an innocent face and act according to as work demands; like sorting IT related queries and that is it.

        Thank you Robert

      • Robert Chen
        May 25, 2014

        My pleasure Khumalo – best of luck to you.

  6. M
    December 22, 2012

    I thought this was quite interesting.
    I feel that I have low self-esteem because my parents always praised me too much when I was a kid (I was always “the smartest” and “the prettiest”) and I felt like I was never allowed to have flaws, to fail at things, and that I couldn’t possibly live up to the standards they were setting for me. What do you think? Have you heard of similar cases?

    • Robert Chen
      December 25, 2012

      Hi M,

      That situation is quite common as parents try to show their kids their unconditional love by praising them all the time. Praise is good but it must be done the right way. There was a study done about this very topic where it showed that kids who were praised to be smart took the easy way out more often because they didn’t want to disappoint their parents by doing something challenging where they may possibly fail. In contrast, children who are praised for their effort will continue to take on more challenging tasks because they are more confident about their efforts.

      Of course, your parents probably didn’t know about this study and they acted in what they thought was the best thing to do at the time. The important thing for you is to know that your self esteem is in your hands now and that you can have high self-esteem if you choose to. Never allow our past to dictate your future.

      Great comment and insight M. Let me know if you have my questions

  7. Anita
    January 17, 2013

    Being indecisive is what is bothering me lately and I was glad to stumble upon this article. After digging into the causes for the same, I came up with the possibility that there could be a self esteem issue involved. After reading this , I feel I am still unclear about what i really want out of the situation. Actually, I have always been an individual who has always weighed ‘What is right’ more than ‘what I really want’. So maybe it has been pressing down on me because what I currently want out of the situation is not a ‘generally accepted’ thing. Plus I have been let down the last time I took an offbeat path. So maybe I’m just little nervous. Once bitten twice shy is quite a normal defence mechanism, isn’t it?

    Could you suggest me if this is my intuition trying to warn me or is it that I am just scared to row the boat my way or is it really a self esteem issue?

    • Robert Chen
      January 18, 2013

      Hi Anita,

      If you are in a situation where “what is right” is in competition with “what I really want” then there is a good chance that your values for “what is right” has come from someone else. Growing up we adopt a lot of our values from our families, authority figures and society. We accept them without really questioning whether they are valid or not.

      This might be a time to decide whether “what is right” is really what you consider to be right or what someone else has said is right. “Acceptance” depends on those around you and if you change your environment, you will change what is accepted. This makes it somewhat crazy to try to gain acceptance because it will always change independent of what you do. I have found that no matter how others view me, I am who I believe I am. The most I can do is to make myself happy.

      Someone with low self-esteem usually allows others to dictate how they should feel about themselves. Those who think of themselves highly, usually will consider the opinion of others but understand that it is their own opinion that really matters.

      I hope this helps.

  8. Linda
    February 26, 2013


    I can certainly identify with “Being Indecisive”. I look forward to reading more posts. Thanks again…

    • Robert Chen
      February 27, 2013

      Hi Linda,

      I had many of these warning signs myself and it’s interesting how tell-tale they are.

      Thanks for your comment!

  9. Suzanna Khan
    February 27, 2013

    Thank you for writing this!

    • Robert Chen
      February 27, 2013

      I’m glad you enjoyed this article Suzanna. Thank you for reading.

  10. ArchibaldHukler
    March 4, 2013

    I have such great self-esteem that I realize that all value is subjective, it’s all up to me. So I might trash talk if I think it will be fun. I don’t care if the other person feels put down or not, that’s not my objective unless I’ve decided that’s part of the fun. They can even think that doing so means I have low self-esteem. I don’t care. I have such great self-esteem that I don’t care if other people or this article think I have low self-esteem.
    When I say “I was late because of stupid train delays” inside I am still perfectly aware of all the things I could’ve done differently and I quietly imagine in my head how I will do things differently so train delays won’t be a problem in the future. I just say that because logically I see no reason why the other person has to know I screwed up. It’s not because of some stupid emotional attachment I have to the person’s opinion either. I want more promotions, I want more money, I want more respect so why give that information to another person? Maybe if the person is a close friend who already knows all my faults I will tell them. Otherwise why limit my future financial opportunities?

    • Robert Chen
      March 4, 2013

      You’re right ArchbaldHukler. No one can tell you what to do or how to feel. As long you believe in your worth, then that’s all that matters. Thanks for the comment.

  11. Phoua
    May 17, 2013

    Hi Robert! Thank you so much for you’re awesome article. I somehow, miraculously, stumbled upon it and it was definitely a pleasurable read. Not only that, I REALIZED so many things about myself. Unfortunately, that realization was that I MEET every one of your points. Being a person who have thought that I had higher than normal self esteem, I was in somewhat taken back. But I am very thankful for the realization. Every point you made was very valid and I realize that all these years that is probably all these things I found ‘little’ played a huge role in my personal development and self-esteem and thus how I lived my life. Now, I know what to focus on to get ahead. THANKS. :)


    • Robert Chen
      May 19, 2013

      Hi PY,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this article. I have similar revelations with every new book I read or person I meet. Self-awareness is powerful. Best of luck to you.

  12. JEAN
    June 1, 2013


  13. Lamb Burne
    August 10, 2013

    Great post Robert!! Really interesting.
    I can see a possible explanation here about self esteem.

    • Robert Chen
      August 11, 2013

      Thank you Lamb. I’m glad you found this article helpful.

  14. Kallisti
    September 3, 2013

    One symptom of low self-esteem, that I had was the attitude of doormat, and thats because I had a “benefit” , it took a couple of years..to realized that it was not good for me, and then I was ready to let go of such “benefit”..My self esteem went up and I decide to change the attitude. Its was not easy to let go, of what I have been living, because changes are scary, and yet necessary. The sun is always there…even in cloudy days….Thanks for giving the opportunity to express myself. Have a great life :)

    • Robert Chen
      September 3, 2013

      Thanks Kallisti for sharing your story and your inspiring message.

  15. Sandy M
    October 28, 2013

    Wow!!! I just stumbled on this accidentally!!! I cannot believe that I have low self-esteem! I fit every characteristic! Thank you so much, Robert. This has been a real eye opener. I’ve always been the push-over, self criticizer, perfectionist, shy, anti- social girl. After reading this, I will make gradual, but permanent changes in my life. I realize that it’s not good for me and others around me. I am the oldest of three and I do not want my younger sisters to pick up on my behavior because I know behavior is contagious. This will not be easy, but I’m willing to make the change! Thank you so much and good luck in all your endeavors and keep these articles coming.

    • Robert Chen
      October 28, 2013

      Thank you for kind words Sandy. I’m glad you found this article helpful and it’s great that you’re doing something about it. You’re right to lead by example and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Good luck!

  16. Wolfgang
    March 18, 2014

    Positive Affirmations are quiet simply short and powerful statements that you read aloud to your self on a daily basis, similar to positive thoughts, affirmations will slowly re-program the subconscious part of the mind and relay a new positive can do attitude to the conscious part of the mind.

    • Robert Chen
      March 19, 2014

      Thanks for sharing Wolfgang.

  17. Patent Lawyer
    May 30, 2014

    This is a real must read for everyone! Too many times do we see ourselves getting into these patterns and it just isn’t healthy.

    • Robert Chen
      May 31, 2014

      You’re absolutely right. These patterns are harmful for everyone involved.

  18. christopher
    February 9, 2015

    I had my suspicions that i may have a confidence issue, and yes to a lot of what has been explained,. I can see low self esteem now in myself.. But i can also see low self esteem in others too, sometimes thinking i may have confused rudeness with low self esteem!!

    • Robert Chen
      February 10, 2015

      Thanks for sharing Christopher. It’s interesting how low self-esteem manifests itself and when you begin to recognize it, you might begin to have more empathy for people who you thought were just rude or displaying other warning signs of low self-esteem.

  19. Mahendra Trivedi
    February 19, 2015

    It is nice article. I enjoyed it.

    • Robert Chen
      February 20, 2015

      Thanks Mahendra!

  20. Kathleen Suneja
    March 16, 2015

    Upon realizing the true self, we express the natural genius and
    open our minds to feel the flow of life energy as it courses through us. By experiencing
    the life form in its true creative genius we connect to our body, mind and
    spirit as it was meant to be. The learning from our inner experience in
    meditation allows us to know who we are. In meditation, we reevaluate life and
    are inspire ourselves to experience more fully our best selves.

    • Robert Chen
      March 20, 2015

      Thanks for sharing Kathleen

  21. Sara
    April 25, 2015

    Thank you, it was very helpful and eye opener Rober,

    • Robert Chen
      April 29, 2015

      I’m glad to hear the article helped you Sara.

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