The study of self-esteem is ultimately the study of the nuclear-propensity of a person.

When, self-esteem is unattainable, the autonomous individual becomes a highly explosive entity. He turns away from an unpromising self and plunges into the pursuit of pride — the explosive substitute for self-esteem.

Self-esteem is derived from action, hard-work, hard-knocks, something no one can take away from you. Pride however is entirely dependent on external validation. Depending on others for validation is handing away self-power into the hands of your worst enemies.

Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not part of us, while self-esteem derives from the potentialities and achievements of self. We are proud when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self, a leader, a holy cause, a collective body of possessions. There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is insensitive and uncompromising. The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection.

Self-rejection is found in inauthenticity. Adopting opinions that are not your own; taking actions that are incongruent with your beliefs.

There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts that are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses.

So that we can blame.

We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. …We are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.

Getting to know yourself is the most interesting quest.

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.

Link