The term «esteem» is derived from the verb estimate, which means «to evaluate». Self-esteem refers to an evaluation of self.

The «self» is an extremely complex and constantly changing entity, which means that any total and permanent self-evaluation, whether positive or negative, will be necessarily inaccurate. Self-esteem comes as a problem, especially when it is low. This usually corresponds to a tendency for self-deprecation, that is, a tendency for a person to assign certain events a meaning that leads him/her to feel bad about himself/herself.

A high self-esteem is seldom presented as a problem. However, although positive, the person's evaluation of himself/herself is still total and permanent. And such an evaluation exists until the day when something or someone questions it ... in a total and permanent way.

A good counterpoint to self-esteem (low or high) is self-acceptance. Each person can evaluate the different events of his/her life, and the various aspects of himself/herself. However, these aspects are not interpreted in terms of personal value. They are part of the person, but they are not the person. This perspective is easier to manage on an emotional level.

Also, from this perspective, it is easier to see change as possible, and the self as sufficiently complex and flexible to achieve it. «Acceptance» does not mean «giving up» ... it can mean the exact opposite.