I'm curious about people's views on self-esteem. On one hand, having good self-esteem leads to a positive and happy life. People with high self-esteem are confident, friendly, out-going and not afraid of taking risks. On the other end of the scale you have people with very low self-esteem and I think this is a key issue for many people with a history of depression (including myself)
so is self-esteem just another way of saying "ego" or are the two concepts unrelated? A Buddhist quote comes to mind, there are many variations but it goes something like this:
"you can search the universe looking for someone more worthy of your love and admiration than yourself but you'll never find them"
I've started doing metta practice and I find it difficult to start the practice with myself. Also, it's recently started to dawn on me that I don't like myself very much. A therapist I saw a couple of years ago said I needed to love and respect myself more. My question - and one he was never able to answer - was how? If it was that easy I would have done it, but how do you go about increasing your self esteem? Are there are specific practices/exercises (Buddhist or otherwise) that people know of which could help?