Mel Schwartz, L.C.S.W. M.Phil. writes:
I have come to believe that the way the term self-esteem is used is actually a misnomer. The first half of the expression, self, would seem to indicate that esteem, the second half of the expression, is derived from one’s self. Yet if we look closer, we find that most people seek a sense of worthiness from that which lies outside of them. For a student, it might come from good grades; for a businessperson or worker, it’s derived from a promotion or a raise; and for most individuals, praise or acknowledgement provide a temporary increase in esteem. Our society generates billions of dollars in revenues from inducing people to seek the quick fix of vanity as a means toward feeling better. Yet none of these actually contributes one iota to self-esteem. Ironically, they may even get in the way.
Continue reading: Self Esteem or Other Esteem? | Psychology Today.
Interesting perspective from Dr. Guy Winch:
People usually wish they had higher self-esteem because they want to feel more confident and assured. But having higher self-esteem can do much more for us than simply boost our confidence. A variety of studies have begun to demonstrate that self-esteem can endow us with a layer of emotional resilience when we encounter common psychological injuries such as rejection and failure, as well as insulate us from stress and anxiety. The picture these studies are painting implies that in many ways our self-esteem functions very much like an emotional immune system.
Self-Esteem as an Emotional Immune System
Although experts are still debating what self-esteem actually is (defining such constructs is always tricky in psychology research), we do know quite a bit about what it does. In terms of its general behavior, our self-esteem fluctuates from day to day and sometimes, from hour to hour—much as our physical immune system does. When we’re having a ‘good self-esteem day’, we not only feel different about ourselves but we respond differently to stresses from our environment.
Source: Does Self-Esteem Function as an Emotional Immune System? | Psychology Today
Go to the source to get the rest of his thinking on the topic, especially his thoughts on How to Boost Self-Esteem and Enhance Your Emotional Immune System…
Have you tried to pump up your self-esteem? Kristen Neff explains why it doesn’t work in the long run:
In this incredibly competitive society of ours, how many of us truly feel good about ourselves?
I remember once, as a freshman in college, after spending hours getting ready for a big party, I complained to my boyfriend that my hair, makeup, and outfit were woefully inadequate. He tried to reassure me by saying, “Don’t worry, you look fine.”
“Fine? Oh great, I always wanted to look fine . . .” Continue reading
Lately, I have been finding wisdom and refuge in Kristen Neff’s book Self-compassion [which I highly recommend!]. Here is a recent passage that resonated with me…
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A great quote from Kristen Neff’s book on self-compassion which I highly recommend…
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