In my previous article, Self-Esteem: A Missed Diagnosis, I proposed that a devaluation of one’s self lies at the heart of most psychological and emotional disorders. Let’s now explore more deeply what the term self-esteem denotes and come to appreciate what we mean by it as well as what gets in our way of attaining it.
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 contribute one iota to self-esteem. Ironically, they may even get in the way.
• Mel Schwartz Psychotherapy & Marriage Counseling • 246 Post Road East, Suite 275 Westport, CT 06880
BROWSE THE BLOG CATEGORIES
RECENT BLOG POSTS
- Our Quest for SignificanceJanuary 21, 2018 - 12:19 pm
What would it feel like to live your life with a deep sense of meaning and purpose? Many of us long for this, but sadly few of us achieve it. Some of us never even consider this question. With few exceptions, most people are diminished due to feeling insignificant. The days turn into years in […]
- Integrating your Intelligence and Intuition to Achieve WisdomNovember 29, 2017 - 8:26 pm
Intelligence and intuition are very different ways of knowing. We might think of them in opposing ways. Most people tend to default into operating from one or the other. Generally, men tend to value rational intelligence — notwithstanding that we often act completely insane and non-rationally— while women are inclined more toward the intuitive process. […]
- Detoxing Your MindApril 14, 2017 - 5:40 pm
Many people participate in cleanse programs to eliminate toxins they’ve accumulated over their lifetime. These poisons drain our vitality and denigrate our health. Detoxing has gone mainstream as more and more people seek wellness. As well, a vast number of us work out regularly, tending to our physical wellbeing. But there’s a most important aspect […]