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Middle self-esteemers are self-doubters; they often have questions about their value and feel they must earn the love of others. Rather than taking venturesome risks, such persons play it safe in order to protect their feelings of self-worth. To avoid failure they tend to be conformists and are compliant toward others – especially authority figures – because they are quite dependent on interpersonal acceptance to validate their own worthiness.
Middle self-esteemers can be expressive and take some criticism. They have an average amount of confidence, given their relatively stable, contented self-feelings. As a result, they have moderate capacities and achievements in academic ability, leadership, and creativity.
Middle self-esteemers use social situations to validate their worth. They seek recognition and approval from others to erase self-doubt; being uncertain about their ultimate value, the approval of others is the key to personal well-being. often middle self-esteemers are people-pleasers, at all costs. They live with a driving ambition to succeed, are status seekers, are never quite satisfied, and continually are playing a role to please others. When others reject them or criticize them too much, self-doubt sets in.
These uncertain persons have a more optimistic view of life and of God than do the low self-esteemers. Life is an arena in which they must prove themselves, and as a result, it is a never-ending pilgrimage of achievement and approval, failure and self-questioning. Such persons may affirm the forgiving love of God as important to their belief system, but emotionally and behaviorally, they live out their Christian discipleship according to the law of achievement. Grace is merely a word, rather than a life principle. Religion is used for status purposes, rather than being a platform for creative, committed discipleship.