Our Comprehension of Reality Is Always Incomplete
The blind wise men struggled to comprehend the reality of their first experience of an elephant. The first, standing next to the creature’s massive front leg, confidently proclaimed, “Ah, it is clear that the essence of elephant is very like a tree, with its trunk firmly rooted in the ground.
The second wise man, leaning against the elephant’s side, thought for a while. He opined, “You are wrong! An elephant is more like a large hut, with strong plastered walls.” Read More
Has the emphasis on Self Esteem paid off?
There’s been a backlash among the psychology talking heads, as they assert the emphasis on self esteem hasn’t paid off as intended. Rather, as Michael J. Formica EdM describes in his article “Self Esteem Doesn’t Make Better People Of Us” there may have been unintended consequences. Read More
Here’s a plan for building self-esteem in twelve steps:
1. Stop beating yourself up.
Let go of regrets, self-blame, and all the things you should have done. The past is over. Today is where you are. Give yourself credit for being interested enough to read this blog post.
2. Take care of yourself.
Remember what they say on the airplane about oxygen? Read more
It’s easy to panic when you’re confused, especially if the stakes are high. Don’t know the answer to a GRE or SAT question? Knowing that your performance on the test likely has an impact on where (and if) you go to grad school or college, it’s a few short steps to getting panicked about it.
Read my blog post, Calming Your Confusion, on how to calm yourself when you’re confused.
Self confidence, like most things that are learnable, grows in small increments. Just as you once learned to walk (which included a number of pratfalls and false starts), you can learn to be self confident.
Read my article, Learn to Be More Confident, on growing real and sustainable self confidence on The Blog at David Yarian PhD.
In this post I want to continue the theme of cultivating self esteem by developing habits that affirm the self. One of the most powerful self-affirming habits is the practice of meditation. There are many different styles of meditation – the kind of meditation you do is less important than that you do it!
The most basic form of meditation is to simply pay attention to your breath. Breathing naturally, with eyes closed, just notice the physical sensations of the air moving into your nostrils, filling your lungs, and then flowing out of your body. Continue to focus on your breath, and repeat through several cycles of inhalation and exhalation.
An important side effect of this practice is relaxation. Read more
When you are faced with a daunting task it’s easy to get discouraged. And it’s easy to express discouragement, doubt, dismay, fear and other negative emotions through negative self talk. Examples:
“I can’t do this.”
“There’s not enough time/money/hands to do this.”
“I don’t know how and I can’t learn how to do it.” etc. Read more
Self esteem is more than a feeling – it’s a habit. It is possible to systematically build healthy self esteem. Like most habits, it takes a commitment and some practice. I remember visiting my dentist who told me I needed to change my brushing practices in order to keep my gums healthy. It feels odd to change something you do the same way every day. But, for several weeks, I took care to brush my teeth in this new way as my dentist instructed. Now the new way has come to be habitual, and I do it without a lot of conscious thought. Now it would feel odd to do it the old way!
Self esteem results from treating yourself well. Read more
I’ve noticed accumulating fears about my Novel Writing Workshop, that begins in about a month. When I signed up for the workshop I was excited about finally getting the guidance I need for my fiction writing.
The creeping fears since then come from the scary questions the evil elf persists in whispering into my ear: “What if you have no talent? What if you just can’t write? I don’t think you know how to tell a story. You just pull together a list of ‘interesting’ fragments and put it out there and leave it to the reader to piece together. You can’t close the deal!!!”
The ugly munchkin is shouting by now. And he’s traded the questions for accusations. Read more
Returning to Alex’s comment, I want to address the question of high self esteem/low self love.
“How similar is self-esteem to self-love? As I ponder this, the more I think about the construct of self-esteem the more I see it aligning with the ego. I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing but I can see how high self-esteem could hide some of the symptoms of low self-love. Perhaps there’s a difference between high self-esteem and healthy self-esteem.”
The “high self-esteem” Alex is referring to I would characterize as an expression of the false Self. Read more