I am providing some information about self-esteem that I found to be useful when working with clients, from The Self-Esteem Workbook, by Glenn R. Schiraldi.
I hope you find it useful as well. I’ll be breaking it up in sections and posting, but here is understanding self-esteem:

What is self-esteem? It is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself.

Some concepts that relate to self-esteem include:
1. Identity: Who am I? What defines me?
2. Appreciate: to think well of, to value and to enjoy; recognizing the quality of worth of someone or something.
3. Accept: to receive, believe in, and to respond favorably. One may acknowledge one’s weaknesses, be determined to improve, and still accept oneself.
4. Self Confidence: is a belief in one’s ability; to one’s competence and self-efficacy. Self-confident people might say to themselves, “Because anyone can do just about anything, why can’t I? I may not do it as quickly or completely as others, but the end result will be desirable.”
5. Pride: there are two sides to pride in self-esteem: self-defeating and healthy. Self-defeating pride is the attitude that one is superior, more valuable or more important than others. Self-defeating pride includes attitudes such as: arrogance, conceit, pretentiousness, vanity or narcissism (selfish and grandiose sense of self). Healthy pride is a realistic sense of one’s own dignity or worth. Self-respect, gratitude and happiness in one’s achievements.
6. Humility: There are two sides of humility: self-defeating humility and healthy humility. Self-defeating humility is a lack of self-respect. Healthy humility involves recognizing one’s imperfections and weaknesses; being conscious on one’s own shortcomings and ignorance.
7. Selfishness: the purpose of self-esteem is to transcend the self. The person with self-esteem loves by choice from a secure base; thus building self-esteem warrants our best efforts.

Some people don’t build on self-esteem because they don’t know how. But others resist building self-esteem for various reasons. So let’s do a cost/ benefits analysis before discussing ways to build self-esteem…..

List all the advantages of self-dislike. Then list all the disadvantages of it, as shown below. I’ve provided some examples.

Your Personal Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros/ Advantages
(The good thing about self-dislike is…)
-there is no risk
-no expectation of myself
-I understand why people don’t accept me because I can’t accept myself
-I can get pity and attention sometimes

Cons/ Disadvantages
(The bad thing about self-dislike is…)
-it is painful
-it creates a vicious cycle: because I have a low opinion of myself, I don’t try and then people treat me poorly, their poor treatment confirms my low opinion of myself…
-life is no fun
-it leads to psychosomatic symptoms and disease

Review your list and ask yourself, what would be the positive consequences of my having a realistic and appreciative opinion of myself?

Some of your responses may include:
I’d be more motivated by personal satisfaction
I’d be happier
I’d try more
I’d be less selfish and self-protecting
I’d worry less
I’d be less questioning of myself when things go wrong

Write some of your own responses here:

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