Self Esteem – Free Ebook

Liking ourselves, having high self-esteem as we tend to put it is crucial to any feeling of well-being. What’s odd then is just how unpredictable the allocation of esteem often turns out to be. There are people with modest jobs, unspectacular bodies and unglamorous friends, who confidently, nevertheless lay claim to buoyant levels of self-esteem They seem to like themselves despite the absence of any vigorous signs of approval from the world at large. And then there are others, for whom no amount of achievement, prestige and financial security ever seems to do the trick. They anxiously chastise and critique themselves. Always feeling that they’ve under performed, never quite trusting that they really deserve to exist. Having sound levels of self-esteem ultimately appears to have precious little to do with hitting any verifiable benchmarks. It seems connected up with a stranger, more internal, more subjective kind of logic with factors immune to standard notions of achievement. Three factors stand out in particular Firstly: What your same-sex parent did the single greatest determinant of how much you will esteem yourself is how you compare with your same-sex parent. Whether you have achieved more, or less, than mum or dad. Rather brutally, it seems that comfortable levels of self-esteem are only available to those who manage outpace their same-sex parent. Those from a poor background have a big unwitting advantage here. You might only be driving a beaten up old taxi around Manhattan and living in one room in Harlem. But, if your same-sex parent was a subsistence farmer from Eastern Burkina Faso you will at times feel princely nevertheless. Similarly, yet more darkly, you might have grown up in ostensibly privileged circumstances but if your same-sex parent made a few hundred million and you’re only managing to pull in a middle-class salary you’re liable never quite to shake off the haunting feeling, that you’re a disgrace. Secondly: What your peer group is up to. We don’t feel inadequate in relation to everyone who has more than us Only those we’ve come to see as belonging to another crucial determinant of self-esteem: our peer group By this we mean the people who were educated with us who are around our age and who live in our part of the world. These people matter infinitely more to our sense of well-being than the population at large. It’s a piece of extreme bad luck and a matter for particular commiseration and assistance if ever our peer group produces someone who starts a billion dollar company or, God forbid, ends up running the country. Every time someone we went to school with, does better than us, a small part of us will die. We should therefore take immense care, to attend very ordinary schools, and after graduation to throw all invitations to reunions straight in the trash. Thirdly: What kind of love you received in childhood. A lot depends on what kind of affection we were the recipients of in childhood, in particular, how many conditions our love came attached with. Some of us had parents who only knew how to give out the conditional kind of love. It was all about the grades in the schools reports, we therefore grew up, of course, to be high achievers. But it’s not so easy, running around your whole life long, desperate to put out the raging fires of self-hatred striving to impress everyone you meet in search of an unsatisfied desire for a parental approval you never knew. But others, the blessed ones, who’ve known unconditional love from the start, will be ok just to be. They won’t have to do quite so much pushing they’ll have an inner basic buoyancy guaranteed by the knowledge that they once mattered immeasurably A big reversal like being fired will be unpleasant. but It won’t necessarily have to be a tragedy. Knowing about the odd internal origins of self-esteem is crucial because of how often we pursue goals in the belief that success will, at last give us the keys to feeling good about ourselves. but It seems the truth is slightly darker. You might ostensibly be doing very well at work but if your dad was a big shot, or your school buddy became president or your parents didn’t tank you up with the right unconditional sort of love no amount of striving goalscoring and medal-winning is ever really gonna do it. This change is where you should imagine our challenges lie. Feeling good about ourselves isn’t ultimately something we can bring about through professional or economic achievements alone. In huge part, it’s going to be about coming to terms with ourselves. The result of understanding our past and the dynamics of shame, conditionality and humiliation that might lie there. It turns out that high self-esteem seems largely to be prize of psychology rather than the fruit of anything we might achieve out in the world in relation the economy.

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