Why focus on yourself? By asking that question, you might assume that I’m indirectly promoting egocentrism. Absolutely not! Egocentrism – regarding oneself as the center of everything – is often considered to be the major impediment to critical thinking. I think we should focus on ourselves, but not in an egocentric way. What does that mean?
Well, one important reason to focus on ourselves is to help us improve. You see, many of us are very quick to point out the many faults and problems that others have. It is not unusual to hear people routinely talk about the imperfections and defects of others. I think many who are so quick to point out the problems of others are trying to reassure those who are listening that they are confident with a high dose of self-esteem. But, do they have a such a high-dose?
Generally, what good is done by pointing out the faults of others? In a twisted manner, aren’t they just trying to make themselves look better and “more perfect” than the ones they are finding fault with? Take, for example, how some people will point out the faults of others in matters of preference. Preference choices such as style, taste, beauty and music are simply choices that one makes and they usually depend entirely upon what a person prefers. There usually isn’t a right or wrong choice, just a choice! There’s no fault to find in such choices. Where is the fault if you prefer baggy-pants? What is wrong with preferring the taste of vanilla? Why is it a problem if you think a certain painting is beautiful? What defect do you have just because you like “smooth and relaxing elevator-music?”
Regarding high self-esteem, do you think that people who have high self-esteem think they are perfect? Is that how and why a person has high self-esteem – because the person thinks s/he is perfect? I don’t think so! Actually, it’s quite the opposite. In my opinion, the people with low self-esteem tend to point out the defects and faults of others. People with high self-esteem are confident enough with who they are to focus on themselves. They find it much easier than someone with low self-esteem to look for ways in which they can improve.
People with low self-esteem will often find and point out the faults of others in order to make themselves feel better. I think that the low self-esteem people do not want to focus on their own problems because of low self-confidence. This, of course, is only an opinion. As a person who has, now and then, an episode of low self-esteem, I can safely say that is how I would react. When I’ve felt low self-esteem, it seemed so natural to point out faults in others. If for no other reason than to direct criticism away from me. Now please don’t misunderstand the using of myself as an example. I am not professing a problem that I think I have, but simply using this as a humble example of how and why I think this way.
You see, I think that people with high self-esteem will naturally look for ways to improve. I also believe that all people will have times of high and low self-esteem. But, a reasonable question you might have is: “Am I, overall, a person of high self-esteem or low self-esteem?” I think, though I will have at least a small feeling of low self-esteem from time to time, I am generally a person with high self-esteem. And, frankly, I don’t mind focusing on myself, especially, when it comes to daily self-improvement through self-assessment.
What does it mean to be a person with high self-esteem? I think it means the person is always seeking ways to improve. The person with high self-esteem will know that you must be aware of your problems before you can solve them. S/he will be humble and honest enough to look for ways to improve and feel competent and capable of doing what needs to be done. Therefore, a person who has or wants high self-esteem will have to spend time focusing on her/himself!
So, why focus on yourself? To find your problems that you need to solve, to discover your mistakes that you need to learn from, and to change what you don’t like about what you are focusing on!