Women and Self-Esteem [Study]

Quality of life is a complex topic and is treated in many spheres as a science in itself.  Academics have studied it from different disciplinary approaches to help policy makers and marketers innovate and improve services, products and spaces to affect positively the quality of life of citizens.  

Defining Quality of Life

One of the main insights about quality of life is that there is an objective, exogenous (environmental) component about it but there also is a subjective, endogenous (personal) level of perception about the environment.  Which basically means that your perception about yourself, your life and your surroundings affects your quality of life in general.  People who live in the same house may have different perceptions about their quality of life based on their subjective appreciations.

This study dived into how American women are thinking, doing, what they eat, who they admire and what they associate with good quality of life.  One of the most important concepts covered during the study is self-esteem.  Here are a few findings that can bring light into ways to improve your notion of well-being:

What you can do

Walking is the activity that most American women relate to feeling good about themselves, followed by reading, working and spending time with family.  Walking was deeply related with dogs, being outdoors and doing exercise in general.  Reading books in print and digitally also makes women perceive a good quality of life.  Working was also high on the list and included not only nine-to-fives but also entrepreneurship and volunteering in different social organizations and non-profits.

What you can get

Books, phones and computers are some of the most cherished items women refer to when asking about their quality of life.  This of course has to do with access to information and nurturing the mind, as well as staying connected with friends, family and like-minded individuals and groups.  Women find great quality of life in reading, which they can do in any of these preferred items.

The second set of things that women related directly to their quality of life and well-being have to do with their outward experience and how they are able to portray themselves in social settings.  One of the concepts they used to refer to this kind of items was self-care. Some of these items are care products for the hair and skin, clothes, shoes, makeup and jewelry.  The underlining importance of such items is their effect in identity, expression and confidence, as they repetedly said.

Who and what to follow

Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres and Oprah are the most frequently admired public figures, and the topics that were most associated with good quality of life ranged from positive, self-help content to parenting tips.  Also family values- oriented content and home decor were prevalent in this study.

Self-Esteem and Well-Being

According to this study, when asked about there general well-being and quality of life on a scale of one to five the average score was 3.67 and the median was 4, which amounted to a little over 38%.  Twenty percent scored their well-being with a solid 5 while a bit over 2% scored a 1 and 7% a 2.  That’s nearly 10% with a negative perception of their quality of life, in general, while 31% scoring a 3 and the remaining 59% having a positive outlook.   

Interestingly enough, when asked to rate their self-esteem, the average was close but a little lower at 3.4.  It is relatively easier for women to rate their general quality of life and well-being slightly better than their self-esteem.  Only 12% of the sample rated themselves as empowered, while most rated themselves as having a positive self-esteem and 27% as average.  Nearly 20%, double the general quality of life rating, rated themselves having a low self-esteem.  

Work on your self-esteem and see your perception about quality of life improve

What is interesting about these findings is that amongst those women with higher self-esteem, the score for the general well-being goes above 4, while amongst the women with lower self-esteem their quality of life goes straight to the 2’s.  

The trick is to understand that working on self-esteem is something in the power of everyone, that involves acquiring relatively simple habits that might have a positive effect in self-esteem and in the holistic sense of well-being and quality of life.  

Taking up walking and reading, increasing the time spent working, volunteering and with family, switching to health eating with a controlled dose of indulgence and investing time and resources in feeling more confident outwardly are bound to have a positive effect in your self-esteem and in your quality of life, as perceived and lived. 

In a May, 2018 survey, Holistics International, an independent research firm that focuses on Business Culture and Quality of Life, aimed to learn about how they understand and define their well-being in today’s America.  The study was sponsored by RK – Sample Size: 521 complete responses (95% confidence level +-4% error).


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JD Rico is the founder of Holistics and Partner and Editor of the Digitalist Hub. He is a researcher and entrepreneur in the topics of Business Intelligence, Digital Media and Venture Capital. He holds degrees in Anthropology (BA), Economics (BSc), Project Management- Innovation (MSc), Cultural Studies (Min) and Artificial Intelligence Product and Service Design (Cert.). He serves at the board of companies in Emerging Tech, Wellness, Food Tech and Cultural Impact. He writes Cap∙Hackers, a newsletter for 33,000 business owners and investors.

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