In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. As a young trainer running the workshop ‘Creating Your Own Rainbow ‘, I often asked participants: are you happy with yourself? The answers usually puzzled me.

Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one’s own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. It is often seen as a personality trait which means it tends to be stable and enduring. It is also sometimes known as self-respect, self-worth, self-value.

I was looking back on my presence at the Saree Queen contest yesterday. While I was nostalgic about my presence at a venue that made me feel good, I used to play badminton there when I was young (many years ago J); I could not help feeling the good work done by the Association. I could at least think of two things. In a world that is dominated by modernity and western tastes, it was good to revisit tradition. The saree is an elegant piece of dress just as every other traditional dress. More importantly, to me I thought it was an exercise in boosting the self-esteem of these and talented young ladies.

Without getting into the debates of whether these events are sexist or not, I personally thought they did boost the self-esteem of these young people. Some of them were medical students. There is a saying that ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’; none of my choices for the Queen won the contest but each one of them was a winner. They spoke confidently and carried themselves gracefully.

My late Professor of Psychology Dr. Paul and recently Kendra Cherry have talked about how self-esteem can be an important part of success. Too little self-esteem can leave people feeling defeated or depressed. It can also lead people to make bad choices, fall into destructive relationships, or fail to live up to their full potential. But what about too much self-esteem? Narcissism can certainly be offensive and can even damage personal relationships. A realistic yet positive view of the self is often considered the ideal. Self Esteem has three important components: one, it is an essential human need vital for healthy development, two, it arises automatically from within a person’s beliefs and three, it happens in conjunction with a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Positive affirmations help grow self-esteem within a person. To me, last night, the Saree Queen contest, sorry that word is incorrect, the Saree Queen celebration was an evening of positive affirmations. It reinforced the good thoughts within the young people who need an overdose of positive self-esteem in a negative world that is becoming less magnanimous by each day.