Does having a high self-esteem in itself guarantee happiness?
For sure a common trend among the most successful and happy people is a high sense of self worth, an inner peace and and outward expressions of self confidence.
So yes, to help become happier, more productive, achieve greater things in your life it makes sense to build self confidence, but…
As is pointed out brilliantly in the "Achieving Greatness Program" , boosting self confidence does not always equate to more happiness or positive achievements.
If someone is headed down the wrong path – has already been influenced to hang around with the wrong crowd, take the easy way out or aligns themselves with values that are not congruent with their own, then raising their self esteem will simply make them more effective at following this wrong path.
Many studies have demonstrated that top criminals, gang members or otherwise mis-aligned people have quite a strong sense of self confidence, but are often unhappy, filled with anxiety and are certainly not what we would typically think of as high achievers.
So, what's missing?
The basis for any program designed to build self confidence must be an accompanying introspection – a discovery of what values and beliefs will truly make you happy.
From this inner discovery can come a the launchpad for building self confidence that will help to more confidently achieve goals and objectives that will be fully in line with what makes you happy.
For example, the author of "The Parents We Mean To Be" Richard Weissbourd points out in this article that our focus to raise children with high self esteem, to be individually high achievers may in fact be training them away from what they internally value. Instead of aligning their self confidence and associated behaviors with an inner value of giving, our kids are taught to ignore others and focus instead entirely on their own thoughts and actions.
So, we risk our children becoming highly efficient, self confident achievers but extremely unhappy, selfish and destined to health and emotional problems in the future due to not being aligned with their inner values, beliefs and life purpose.
Is it important to build self confidence – Yes!
But, it is equally important to recognize our own internal values and life purpose in order that we target further self improvement on the right target.
What do you think – can self esteem be dangerous?