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Are You Externally or Internally Driven?

The Meaning Of Education

 “How you see yourself determines what you see for yourself.” Veli Ndaba – ‘The NeuroEngineer’

Self-esteem represents an overall evaluation of oneself – the extent to which one feels positively rather than negatively toward oneself – and views oneself as a person of value and worth. Contingent self-esteem is self-esteem that depends on meeting self-imposed standards or expectations for performance, approval, or acceptance in order to be maintained. Contingent means: dependent, conditional, subject to, based on, determined by.

Contingent self-esteem (CSE) is self-esteem based on the approval of others or on social comparisons. Certain events will shape one’s self-esteem when the individual bases their self-worth on the outcome of those events. The success or failure of any situation can result in fluctuations of an individual’s self-esteem. A manifestation of someone with contingent self-esteem is excessive self-consciousness. Such excessive self-consciousness, as occurs with contingent self-esteem, involves extreme criticism of one’s self, concern of how they are perceived by their peers, and feelings of discomfort in social settings. One’s self-esteem is directly affected when domains of contingencies are used to measure one’s self-worth. Self-esteem can also be affected when an individual compares their appearance or success to that of someone else or when their self-esteem is contingent to the relationships around them.

People with high levels of CSE are prone to making social comparisons based on appearance. As a result, these individuals more than often feel diminished. Appearance related social comparisons are comparisons of one’s perceived appearance to the appearance of other people. Those who make social comparisons base their feelings of self-worth on meeting social standards and expectations.

Social media is notorious for creating unrealistic standards of beauty, success and happiness. Comparisons with media standards can cause an individual with high levels of CSE to acquire feelings of inadequacy.

Veli Ndaba is a NeuroEngineering Leadership Effect Speaker and Trainer, Brain Coach and Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!) and Newspaper Columnist. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on, or +27 83 304 9773