It might not make much sense, but some of the most successful people in the world have no self-esteem and are totally other-esteem dependent.
Why? Because good enough is never quite good enough. Even the next achievement is never good enough — and the one after that isn’t enough either — nor is the next success good enough. When we keep raising the bar, how would we ever know when enough is enough? The same thing happens with earning money. When we are young, we may think, “I will be a success when I earn $100,000” or whatever that number might be. If we hit that mark, then the success gauge may change to $200,000, depending on how we see ourselves at the time. There is no way to measure up, no matter how great the accomplishment, because this individual keeps raising his own personal standards higher and higher after each accomplishment.
What’s wrong with that? Why isn’t it okay to keep raising the bar? Isn’t that a good thing? It would be if it were just for the rewards that often follow or just for the fun of it. But when it’s done to prove your worth — when it’s done because you worry about what others think of you, the rewards are seldom celebrated and hardly much fun. It’s more of a struggle than fun.