What is the source of true self esteem, genuine self-worth?
This is a question that scientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are still unable to answer.
Depression affects even people who have achieved unimaginable success.
It affects even people who are loved deeply by family or fans.
All numbers and types of people are found to suffer from depression and other conditions.
Despite their success and being loved, they still feel an emptiness and void within them.
Why doesn’t outer success and love bring inner peace and fulfillness?
It is because there is nothing in the outside physical world that can be used to fill gaps in our inner world.
Nothing outward brings about true self esteem. That’s why successful people still need drugs and sometimes take their own lives.
In short, if you get it from something or anyone outside of you, it is not true self esteem.
No number of external validations – awards, medals, accolades, loving tributes, praise, wealth and indulgence in sensual activities can build inner self-worth or self-esteem.
It is quite simple, in theory.
Your true self is within you. Therefore true self-esteem must come from within you. Otherwise it’s not ‘self.’ It is someone else or something else.
Why scientists struggle for an answer
The reason why scientists are unable to pinpoint the true source of self-esteem or self-worth is because they are still debating the true source of self.
Is it the brain? Is it the mind, born of the brain? Or is it something entirely different and transcending the body and mind? If so, that would be the soul or spirit.
Of course, scientists would rather not go in that direction and prefer to reduce everything – our deepest self and consciousness – to the body and brain.
Be that as it may, accomplished sages from spiritual traditions across millennia from all over the world have asserted that our true identity lies in our spirit, our soul.
We are MORE THAN our bodies, or brains, or minds.
Why is it then, after practicing meditation which is not intended to reward people materially, do they achieve financial and worldly success?
It is because financial and worldly success is often a byproduct of a happier mind.
When we are happier, we are able to stay positive, bounce back when things hit rock- bottom, and we are able to find solutions to our problems because of our positive
state of mind. It is difficult to find a solution to a problem when one is convinced there is no way out.
Indeed, for most of us, worldly success is a welcome byproduct of a profoundly spiritual endeavor.
In the eyes of the great yogis, however, reveling in this material benefit from the practice of meditation is like going to a university to study and becoming stuck in its magnificent restrooms.
Alas, that’s where many people are and they should not be derided for it.
It’s a tough world. Even the yogis knew that. And we all need help. There is absolutely nothing wrong with utilizing meditation techniques to benefit one’s life and to help others, too. Nevertheless, it would truly be a worthy add-on if more people could imbue the spiritual component into their practice and to keep at least an eye towards dissolving the ego and remaining steadfast in the self: the source of true self-esteem.
As the Sage Patanjali defined yoga: “yogash chitta vritti nirodhaha.” Translation: “Yoga is the cessation of the modes of mind.”
Fortunately, this step of meditation techniques is not too difficult although it does require some practice. (Transcending the ego and acquiring super physical powers is what takes a lifetime, if you’re lucky.)
Here then, are the few simple steps clinically proven to bring about tranquility of mind and reduced levels of stress.
All the other material benefits are benign byproducts.
 This reference encompasses all the material preceding this point till the start of the article: The Relaxation Response [Paperback] Miriam Z. Klipper (Author), Herbert Benson (Author)