The Self-Esteem Shield -'s Study Reveals the Protective Factor of High Self-Esteem

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Recent study indicates that strong self-esteem can act as a buffer against disappointment or worry. The study was conducted by and in 2008 to 2010, using their Self-esteem Test.

Solid self-esteem helps us deal with life’s ups and downs.

Solid self-esteem helps us deal with life’s ups and downs.

People with solid self-esteem go through life’s ‘milestone minefields’ - like the awkwardness of puberty, major rejections, dating and breakups – with a lot less bruising to their ego.

How amazing would it be if we could cast a protective shield spell around us like a Harry Potter character? In this case, a type of psychological barrier where no insult, criticism, or discouragement could ever touch us? According to researchers at who conducted a study using their Self-esteem Test, this form of self-preservation exists – in the form of strong self-esteem.

People with high self-esteem, much like optimists, walk around with an aura. They speak with passion and excitement. They smile and laugh easily. Nothing seems to bring them down; in fact, it seems as if nothing bad ever happens to them. It’s like they live in a different reality compared to low self-esteem people or pessimists, leaving the downtrodden either wondering what their secret is, or disgusted by their never-ending gush of icky, Pollyanna-pink frosting.

Researchers at, however, offer their assurance that high self-esteem people are not hiding a secret stash of happy-go-lucky pills. The secret to their success and their ability to deal with life’s ups and downs is as plain as the nose on their happy face – their development and nurturing of solid self-esteem.

According to data collected from 12,920 people who took their Self-esteem Test, solid self-esteem creates an impermeable barrier that bounces off negative life experiences.

After assessing their sample’s self-esteem, Queendom researchers asked the following questions:

Do you get discouraged easily?

  •     The group that answered “Yes” had an average self-esteem score of 38 (on a scale from 0 to 100)
  •     Those who answered “Sometimes” scored 65 on average
  •     And those who said “No” scored 81 on average

In the span of a day, how often do you criticize yourself?

  •     Those who answered “Very frequently” had an average self-esteem score of 36
  •     The group that said “Occasionally” had an average score of 65
  •     And those who reported that they “Never” criticize themselves scored of 79 on average

Do you ever find yourself worrying about whether your friends, family, or significant other still love you?

  •     Those who answered “All the time” had a self-esteem score of 36
  •     The group that worries “Sometimes” about being lovable scored 59 on average
  •     And those who “Never” question others’ love for them scored 79 on average

Have you ever been diagnosed with depression?

  •     Those who reported “I am in therapy right now” had an average self-esteem score of 44
  •     The group of people with a history of depression had a self-esteem score of 53
  •     And those who have never been depressed –had an average self-esteem score of 65

“When self-esteem is developed at an early age, a person is more likely to go through life’s ‘milestone minefields’ - like socialization, the awkwardness of puberty, major rejections, dating and breakups – with a lot less bruising to their ego,” points out Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. “This isn’t to say that if you didn’t get a good start in a supportive and encouraging environment, you’ll never be able to develop self-esteem. You can, but it will require effort on your part to change old habits of thinking and viewing yourself. It may seem like an impossible feat, but as you can see in our data, it’s well worth the effort.”

“Look at self-esteem as a painting. Every compliment, encouragement, and success adds a splash of color to the painting – as does every insult and failure – creating the picture of who you are inside. Some people think they need to stay with that painting and can’t change the colors because it’s who they are… but that’s not true. Self-esteem can be rebuilt, developed, and strengthened. You can start fresh with a totally new coat of paint,” concludes Dr. Jerabek.

Here’s what the researchers at recommend:

  •     Learn from - but let go of - mistakes. Absolutely everyone, no matter how perfect they may seem, messes up from time to time. This is how we learn - like the process of learning to walk as children. If we don't stumble, we won't learn how to get up and keep our balance. Keep this in mind as you venture out into the world. Be gentle with yourself.
  •     Don't rely on others to make you feel good. One potential trap of a shaky self-esteem is a dependence on others. The fact is, if you feel a void inside, no one can fill it but you. While healthy relationships are important for happiness, what's more important is the relationship we have with ourselves.
  •     Don't compare yourself to others. You may look at someone and think they possess some quality or advantage that you don't, but the fact is they may be looking at you and thinking the very same thing! Besides, someone who is seemingly happy or successful may be going through difficulties that you don’t know about. Judge yourself by your own standards, because every person is unique.
  •     Associate with people who affirm who you are. Do you have toxic relationships with people who constantly criticize you, and around whom you feel insignificant? Take a good look at the people you surround yourself with and how they affect your self-esteem. Discuss the issue with those who frequently belittle you; maybe they mean well and don’t realize the effect they have on you. If they are unwilling to change the way they behave around you, try to minimize or eliminate contact with them.
  •     Do things for others. It's easy to get wrapped up in your own little world and forget that there are people out there who are in need. Give to others - your time, company, whatever you have to share - and you'll find yourself feeling much better about yourself.
  •     Practice positive affirmations. This isn’t just a philosophy – it has a scientific basis. The success of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, lies in the reprogramming of the brain. Write 5 or 10 self-affirming statements (“I am healthy, wealthy, and wise”) and repeat them to yourself every day for several times a day. Basically, don’t just say them 3 times, and then spend the rest of the day criticizing yourself or complaining! Say your affirmations as often as you can, whether you’re on the way to work, cleaning the house, or shopping. When a negative thought pops into your mind, replace it with something positive – and say that positive statement three times. Continue to practice your affirmations for as long as it takes for them to sink in. It will feel silly at first, even fake and untrue, but that’s from years of brain programming in the opposite, negative direction. It can be done, if you make it a habit.

Interested to find out what how your self-esteem compares to other? You can take the Self-esteem Test at: A version of this test for counseling purposes is also available. Visit for more information.

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About PsychTests AIM Inc.:
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek, PhD
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