Self Esteem or Other Esteem?

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.

Does Self-Esteem Function as an Emotional Immune System?

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

Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem

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 “Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem”

Self compassion and negative emotions…

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…

Click image to enlarge...
Click image to enlarge…

What is this self inside us…

A great quote from Kristen Neff’s book on self-compassion which I highly recommend…

Click the image to learn more…

10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis

Madison Sonnier writes:

Bad days can be extremely overpowering sometimes. When we’re having a bad day, everything feels wrong and the day seems to get even worse as we sink further into frustration and despair. By the end of the day, all we want to do is pull the covers up over our heads and block it all out.

When I clawed my way out of a depressive phase last year, it was a daily challenge to keep myself from falling back into that phase again. I had to go through a process of re-building my self-esteem and re-evaluating my life. But there were days when I was not very successful with these things and the negative thoughts that stayed with me for so long would interfere again. Continue reading “10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis”



Neff, Kristin_400Kristin Neff writes:

So what’s the answer? To stop judging and evaluating ourselves altogether. To stop trying to label ourselves as “good” or “bad” and simply accept ourselves with an open heart. To treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and compassion we would show to a good friend, or even a stranger for that matter. Sadly, however, there’s almost no one whom we treat as badly as ourselves.

Neff, Kristin. Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (Kindle Locations 105-108). William Morrow. Kindle Edition.

Continue reading “Self-compassion…”

Technology and mindfulness…

  1. :-D
  2. The Pope is hardly the first person to lose interest in their real job so soon after joining Twitter.
  3. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting…
  4. WISDOM 2.0 will guide our interactions toward greater meaning, productivity, and wellbeing via @SFGate
  5. Wisdom 2.0’s Compassionate, Chaos-Reducing Brand Of Leadership
  6. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin
  7. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin
  8. For business leaders out there, Wisdom 2.0 provides out-of-the-box practical thinking – you can get more videos by downloading the HBR…
  9. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving Deeper wisdom comes from the school of hard knocks.
  10. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving What wisdom do you really get from inexperienced lives?
  11. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving Wisdom from college students, docs, lawyers and business
  12. Watch Wisdom 2.0 2013 on @livestream:… There’s a conference on wisdom! How come nobody told me. I’m totally there!
  13. @Padmasree Padma watching your Wisdom 2.0 presentation on HBR! Totally inspiring. I am showing this to my team to spread the wisdom.
  14. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting…
  15. The Shift: Exploring Your Life Purpose with Wisdom 2.0 Founder Soren Gordhamer. #Wisdom2conf
  16. Like—》RT @AlliPolin: >Mindful curiosity can take you on new paths of understanding & discovery via @ThinDifference
  17. Food for thought: Wisdom 2.0. @harvardbiz: How to Be Mindful in an ‘Unmanageable’ World
  18. Great post by Jack Kornfield. His interview with Bill Ford was one of my favorite ones. Enjoy another perspective of Wisdom 2.0, from the driver’s seat!
  19. “Without a connection to our inner world, to our own thoughts and body, the creative mind becomes inaccessible amid the mass of other content we digest.” Soren Gordhamer – Wisdom 2.0…

  20. Yoga e maestri zen contro lo stress digitale. L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0 —>…
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
  23. Check out the music of Abraham, at We were both at the Wisdom 2.0 summit this past weekend. I just love that the Bay Area is at the center of such cool stuff like mindfulness technology.
  24. The conference I helped to host this weekend, Wisdom 2.0 is written up in this great summary by Arianna Huffington. She recognizes the energy and unique spirit of this event and the amazing people who pour their time into creating this space to process the collective spirit from technology to mindfulness in daily life.

    We sat down with Congressman Tim Ryan this weekend to chart out collaborations for a new foundation focused on creating environments throughout our daily lives that support taking a deep breath, listening, processing deeply with each other and sharing our best selves in the collective conversation.

    I am so happy to share a glimpse here and host these conversations with you in future gatherings. The happiest place on earth.

  25. Arianna Huffington agrees with me – the Wisdom 2.0 Conference was really, really special.
  26. When I’m listening to the signals my body gives, I do very strange things. Like take Caltrain down to Mtn. View for the Hacker Dojo, stay for 15 minutes and go right back to San Francisco. I can make up a reason (too tired, day too full, energetic mismatch) but I don’t need to know. My inner compass is screaming “go back, sleep early, wake up at 5am and have a productive day.”
  27. Many of you have asked me what Wisdom 2.0 was like. In this post, Tony Schwartz shares some of his insights from the 2013 conference …
  28. Wisdom 2.0 2013 Session Proposal – Holacracy: Building a More Conscious Organization
  29. From Suffering to Seeking to Achieving: What Consciousness Can DO! – Wisdom 2.0 – 2013 Conference


Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

Self-acceptance is a more humble term than self-esteem or self-love. Self-love has tones of narcissism—me first and to heck with you. Self-esteem rings of pride—holding our­selves up higher than everybody else. Self-acceptance is that gentle place we get to when we make peace with who we are.

“For a long time, when I talked to certain people. I got squeamish and uncomfortable. like it wasn’t okay to be me.” a friend said. “I thought it was me being uncomfort­able with myself. I’ve finally learned that I’m responding to how uncomfortable some people feel about themselves.”

We might feel so awkward about ourselves that we believe we have to be different from who we are. Some of that comes from low self-worth, not believing that we’re okay. Or it can stem from a need to control. We think if we pretend to be different or better. we can manipulate how other people feel about us.

Continue reading “Self-acceptance…”


Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

Recovery is not about being right; it’s about allowing ourselves to be who we are and accepting others as they are. That concept can be difficult for many of us if we have lived in systems that functioned on the “right-wrong” justice scale. The person who was right was okay; the person who was wrong was shamed. All value and worth may have depended on being right; to be wrong meant annihilation of self and self-esteem. In recovery, we are learning how to strive for love in our relationships, not superiority. Yes, we may need to make decisions about people’s behavior from time to time. If someone is hurting us, we need to stand up for ourselves. We have a responsibility to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. But we do not need to justify taking care of ourselves by condemning someone else. We can avoid the trap of focusing on others instead of ourselves. In recovery, we are learning that what we do needs to be right only for us. What others do is their business and needs to be right only for them. It’s tempting to rest in the superiority of being right and in analyzing other people’s motives and actions, but it’s more rewarding to look deeper.
Today, I will remember that I don’t have to hide behind being right. I don’t have to justify what I want and need with saying something is “right” or “wrong.” I can let myself be who I am.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 47). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

Self-compassion; A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself

I ‘discovered’ Dr. Kristin Neff’s work on self-compassion reading Brene Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly’. What is it?

Here’s her TEDx talk on the topic:

Full story [including self-test] at: Self-compassion – A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself.

Letting go in love…

codependent no moreMelody Beattie writes:

When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying they don’t love you – they are saying they don’t love themselves.
Codependent No More

Gentle people, gentle souls, go in love.

Yes, at times we need to be firm, assertive: those times when we change, when we acquire a new behavior, when we need to convince others and ourselves we have rights.

Those times are not permanent. We may need to get angry to make a decision or set a boundary, but we can’t afford to stay resentful. It is difficult to have compassion for one who is victimizing us, but once we’ve removed ourselves as victims, we can find compassion.

Our path, our way, is a gentle one, walked in love – love for self, love for others. Set boundaries. Detach. Take care of ourselves. And as quickly as possible, do those things in love.

Today, and whenever possible. God let me be gentle with others and myself. Help me find the balance between assertive action taken in my own best interests, and love for others. Help me understand that at times those two ideas are one. Help me find the right path for me.

via Blog | Just For Today Meditations.

Wholeheartedness = courage, compassion and connection…

220px-Brene_portrait_cropWEBTime to mix things up again. Thanks to my friend Tim Kastelle for sharing Brené Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability. She writes here on cultivating worthiness…

Practicing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives is how we cultivate worthiness. The key word is practice. Mary Daly, a theologian, writes, “Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” The same is true for compassion and connection. We invite compassion into our lives when we act compassionately toward ourselves and others, and we feel connected in our lives when we reach out and connect. Before I define these concepts and talk about how they work, I want to show you how they work together in real life—as practices. This is a personal story about the courage to reach out, the compassion that comes from saying, “I’ve been there,” and the connections that fuel our worthiness.

Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are (p. 7). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

Here’s the TED Talk in case you haven’t seen it yet…

The benefits of “I’m sorry…”

Melody Beattie writes:

Did you ever do something stupid that hurt someone’s feelings? Did you ever treat someone wrong and there was no justification for how you behaved? I have. It’s an awful place to be, when we realize what we’ve done.

The more we value that person, the more we want them to know how genuinely sorry we are. We’d give any­thing to see their facial muscles soften and hear them say, “It’s okay.”

I first learned about the value of forgiveness when 1 was in treatment for chemical dependency. I didn’t realize how much I’d hurt other people until I’d been sober for a while. When I became aware of my guilt, it was paralyzing and thick. I just wanted it to go away, and I didn’t think it ever would. The antidote for guilt is forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness from others or God puts us in a vulnerable place. There is nothing we can do except wait until we get word—and believe—that it’s okay.

I recently read a magazine article about the physiolog­ical benefits of saying, “I’m sorry” Acknowledging to someone that we’ve hurt them, saying we’re sorry, and genuinely meaning it improves health.

Recovery programs have known for a long time that becoming aware of the harm we’ve done and making direct amends are essential for the well-being of the person making amends. But making amends doesn’t just benefit us. It helps the other person too.

As hard as I try not to, I still make mistakes and do things that hurt others. Sometimes I know what I’m doing is wrong, and I do it anyway Other times it’s an accident.

Forgiveness isn’t just a value we need if and when we’re recovering. It’s a value we’ll need all our lives.

Value: Forgiveness has many components: self-inspection, self-responsibility compassion, living by a set of ethics, letting go of our defenses, letting go of resentments and judgments, humbling ourselves, wanting to be close to God, acknowledging to other people that they’re impor­tant to us, knowing that others care enough about us. All these aspects of forgiveness are good. Whether we’re extending or receiving forgiveness, it’s the value this week.

via January 8 – from “52 Weeks of Conscious Contact”.

Stop Beating Yourself Up… Start Loving Yourself Radically!

kute-blackson-261x3001Kute Blackson writes:

It can be easy to judge yourself at times.

Many of us do it quite well.

We beat ourselves up. Criticize. Treat ourselves harshly. We often strive to make ourselves different from what we are.

From the moment we are born, we get conditioned. We are told who we should and shouldn’t be. We are told repeatedly that who we are isn’t enough. It gets reinforced by the advertising in the media that wants to sell you something.

When you accept yourself for being who you are and who you are not, a powerful freedom is yours.

Beating yourself up to try and fit some idea of who you need to be in order to be loved and accepted by others only creates more stress and suffering.

Beating yourself up to be something often keeps you feeling like nothing and can keep you stuck where you are.

Judging yourself in an effort to change simply reinforces the very patterns you are seeking to change.

No matter what has happened to you, know this:

You are perfect as you are.

So what if you didn’t need to change, improve, or be anything other than what you are already?

What if you were to radically, completely accept who you are and not in this moment?

Not accepting only causes you more suffering.

Acceptance is the key to your freedom. It’s in acceptance of who you are and where you are in your process of being a human being that you create the space to truly be with yourself as you are. It’s this space of non-judgment that is profoundly healing. Even to simply accept your non-acceptance is freedom.

Acting like some idealized version of yourself that you think you should be doesn’t make you authentically who you are or truly free.

The real freedom is in dropping all the “shoulds” of who you think you should or shouldn’t be, and allow yourself to simply be. Then the real you can blossom.

As you begin to accept yourself totally even those parts of yourself that you judge or think are “bad” will heal in the space of love, compassion, and acceptance.

Judging yourself is easy. But it takes real courage to love yourself radically.

To love yourself radically is to not only love just the parts of you that you like, but also the parts that you don’t like.

What parts of yourself have you been judging?

What if you committed to loving that?

What if you committed to loving even the part of you that “can’t” love?

It’s in loving radically that you set yourself free.

It’s time.

Love. Now.

Source: Stop Beating Yourself Up…Start Loving Yourself Radically!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say Anything

LindseyRamage340There is a new contributor at MindBodyGreen, Lindsey Ramage. She shares:

“Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?” – Sai Baba

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I’m quite a talker.

I love words.

They run fluidly from my brain and through my veins. Adrenalized. Excited. Anxious. They are ready to inspire. To heal. To touch. To move.

I remember being a child, sitting on the floor in my over sized T-shirt and striped leg warmers, writing in my Lisa Frank journal, knowing that I would someday make a difference with my words.

But what good are words if they are not compassionate, full of validity, or essential?

This Sai Baba quote above means a lot to me. What’s most moving to me is when he asks “does it improve on the silence?”

We hear, read, and exchange words all day long, but only the most stirring words affect us in the quiet hours of our day.

What are your words really saying?

Here are five questions to ask yourself the next time you’re in a conversation to be sure that you’re using your words to spread love and kindness:

1. Am I being mindful?

It’s so important to be mindful during conversations. It’s normal for our minds to wander when our co-worker is talking about her daughter’s recital, but is it polite? Are we genuinely listening? If there is one thing people have in common, it’s that we all just want to be heard! We want validation.

When you are sincerely listening to the person who is talking to you, they can feel it. It makes them feel valuable and worthy of your time. By being fully present during conversation, we create the power to change our relationships.

2. Is there a kinder way to say what I’m about to say?

We have all had that moment of instant regret as those last words left our mouth, or as I like to call it…word vomit. By allowing a short moment of silence in between our sentences we eliminate those impulsive and hurtful remarks and make way for a more kind and compassionate approach to our response!

3. Am I being honest?

As the saying goes, If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything!

It’s plain and simple: keep it honest, be sincere, and always be trustworthy! Even if the truth hurts, you will most likely be well respected in the end for your honesty!

4. Am I speaking with purpose?

Challenge yourself to only speak with motive. You will find that your voice will be of more importance to others around you if you keep your words wise, short, and sweet.

5. Would silence a better choice right now?

Every so often, silence says more than words ever could. As I stated before, we all just want to be heard. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for another person is sit with them in their grief. Be an open ear. Free of all judgement. Just present, loving, and listening.

via 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say Anything.

I look forward to more from her!

It all becomes art if you let it…

Chicken Bones In The Throat. « The Manifest-Station.

2 Corinthians 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Into the great unknown…

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

“When I go into the Unknown. I immediately start making lists,” one man said.

We each respond differently to loss, letting go. and the Unknown. We may try to fill up the vacuum immediately with something else. That usually doesn’t work, at least not well.

Try to he as present as you can for what you’re going through.

Action: Protect yourself. You’re vulnerable now. Do the simple. easy things that need to be done, one task at a time, even if nothing feels completely right. Remember the basics of self-care. Eat. Sleep. Shower. Get plenty of rest. Talk to trusted friends. Express what you’re feeling at the moment the best that you can.

We may vacillate between anger, rage, guilt, and sadness when we’re letting go. And then we may go numb and nor be able to think clearly. Don’t worry about that; your ability to think clearly will return. Don’t do anything that hurts yourself or anyone else. That won’t help. It’ll make things worse. Lists may help us stay on track.

Try not to see the big picture right nom It probably hasn’t been shown to you yet.” via December 3.

Building Your Self-Worth: Why You Matter

Vasavi Kumar shares this:

We all have fears and beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of, however, at a time where I felt the most helpless in my life, what filled me up was helping another human being. There is no way that our existence on this planet can be enjoyed to maximum fulfillment without serving humanity.

I’m grateful and blessed for my journey. It’s been a long road and along the way I have collected the lessons that were intended for me to learn, grow, and teach. It’s my privilege to share them with you.

1.  Never doubt how much YOU MATTER.

2.  Go with your gut. Always.

3.  What other people think of you isn’t your problem. So mind your business.

4.  You’re going to make a lot of mistakes. It will serve you in the long run.

5.  Trust that the Universe will always conspire on your behalf.

6. Have fun. Worrying and suffering are optional.

7. Number one spirit killer? Not being you. Take the mask off.

8. Whatever it is that you want to do, just start.

9. The company you keep will either move you forward or hold you back.

10. The path that you have been on is absolutely perfect for where you want to go.

11. Be your word. Everywhere.

12. When in doubt, look within.

13. The most influential relationship that you have is with yourself.

14. If you don’t like the rules, make up new ones.

15. Say yes. Especially to you.

16. You are the love that you seek.

Your time is now, so what are you waiting for?

Go to the source and read the rest of Vasavi’s article: Building Your Self-Worth: Why You Matter | FinerMinds

Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect

I posted a TEDTalk from author Brené Brown yesterday. Here’s an article she did on the CNN site:

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting, but as hard as we try, we can’t turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like “Never good enough” and “What will people think?”

Why, when we know that there’s no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No — the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.

We get sucked into perfection for one very simple reason: We believe perfection will protect us. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.

We all need to feel worthy of love and belonging, and our worthiness is on the line when we feel like we are never ___ enough (you can fill in the blank: thin, beautiful, smart, extraordinary, talented, popular, promoted, admired, accomplished).

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it’s a shield. Perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen and taking flight.

Living in a society that floods us with unattainable expectations around every topic imaginable, from how much we should weigh to how many times a week we should be having sex, putting down the perfection shield is scary. Finding the courage, compassion and connection to move from “What will people think?” to “I am enough,” is not easy. But however afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this:

What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think — or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?

Go to the source for more: Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect –

She is soooo on my radar! I’m looking forward to reading one of her books sometime soon…

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