Is Detachment the Key to Better Self-esteem?

When you think about the word “detachment” you may have a negative impression. After all, when we use the word we often think about people that are disconnected from the world and from others. But the truth is that detachment can play a very important role in your success, as well as your happiness.

Let’s take a look at what we mean by detachment and then talk about how it impacts your self-esteem.

What Is Detachment?

The dictionary definition of detachment is a lack of emotion or of personal interest, and/or the act or process of separating something from a larger thing. That’s all fine and good, but how does it relate to self-esteem? Let’s look at an example:

You’re at work and a co-worker criticizes an email that you sent to your team. Detachment means that you’re able to hear her criticism and take any relevant and useful pieces to make positive change, and let go of the rest. You don’t let her comment impact you emotionally, nor does it affect how you feel about yourself.

Sounds pretty great, right? How wonderful would it be to hear feedback and criticism and not have an emotional reaction to it? You’d be able to learn and grow but not take a hit to your self-esteem. The same is true for praise. When you’re detached, you’re able to receive praise without it affecting your self-esteem.

Isn’t Detachment Bad?

Not letting others impact your emotional wellbeing and self-esteem isn’t a bad thing. It’s perfectly okay to separate your self-worth and self-esteem from others. Your self-esteem is answered by the question, “How do I feel about who I am?” It doesn’t get answered by, “How do I feel about how others think about me?”

Detaching from what others think about you and how they communicate with you is a good thing. After all, whether someone thinks you did a good job or a bad job doesn’t impact who you are, right? You know who you are, so hold on to that.

Speaking of knowing who you are, have you met people who may have too much self-esteem? In the next post I will attempt to answer the question, “Can you have too much self-esteem?”

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