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Nathaniel Branden's Self-Esteem Every Day

377 posts in this topic

January 1 – Self-Esteem Every Day

There are two questions that all human beings, with rare exceptions, ask themselves quite often. The rare exceptions are the persons who know the answer to the first of these questions, at least to a significant extent. But everyone asks the second, sometimes in wonder, sometimes in despair. These are the two questions: How am I to understand myself? How am I to understand other people? To both questions the principles of self-esteem provide an important key. If you know what a person ties his self-esteem to, you can understand a good deal about his motivation.
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January 2 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The "I," the ego, the deepest self, is the faculty of awareness, the ability to think. Across a lifetime, knowledge grows, convictions may change, emotions come and go; but that which knows, judges, and feels—that is the changeless constant within us.
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January 3 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The drama of our lives is the external reflection of our internal vision of ourselves—of our competence and worth.
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January 4 – Self-Esteem Every Day

None of us can be indifferent to our own self-evaluation—just as we cannot be indifferent to the face we see in the mirror.
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January 5 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Although most of us do not experience this directly, the "self" we are esteeming—or not esteeming—is our mind: our ability to think and to cope with the challenges of life.
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January 6 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Self-esteem is always a matter of degree. I have never known anyone who was entirely lacking in self-esteem, nor have I known anyone who was incapable of growing in self-esteem.
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January 7 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If self-esteem is not reality based, if it is not rooted in such virtues as rationality, self-responsibility, and integrity, it is not self-esteem.
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January 8 – Self-Esteem Every Day

It is foolish to equate any experience of "feeling good" with self-esteem. All sorts of things can make you "feel good"—for the moment.
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January 9 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Self-esteem is a particular way of experiencing the self. Its two components are self-efficacy and self-respect. Self-efficacy is the experience of competence in thinking, learning, making appropriate decisions and responding effectively to the challenges of life. Self-respect is the experience that success, achievement, love, joy, fulfillment—in a word, happiness—are natural and appropriate to us.
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January 10 – Self-Esteem Every Day

To provide a formal definition: Self-esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the challenges of life and as worthy of happiness.
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January 11 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Self-esteem is an intimate experience. It resides in the core of your being. It is what you think and feel about yourself, not what someone else thinks and feels about you.
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January 12 – Self-Esteem Every Day

You can be loved by your family, you mate, our friends yet not love yourself. You can be admired by your associates yet regard yourself as worthless. You can project an image of assurance and poise that fools almost everyone yet secretly tremble with a sense of inadequacy. You can fulfill the expectations of others yet fail your own. You can win every honor yet feel that you have accomplished nothing. What shall it profit a person to gain the esteem of the whole world yet lose his or her own?
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January 13 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If self-esteem is the judgment that one is appropriate to life—if self-esteem is self-affirming consciousness, a mind that trusts itself—no one can generate this experience except oneself. Others can support one's self-esteem but they cannot create it.
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January 14 – Self-Esteem Every Day

A sure sign of of troubled self-esteem is the delusion that self-esteem can be acquired as a free gift from others.
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January 15 – Self-Esteem Every Day

When we appreciate the true nature of self-esteem, we see that it is not competitive or comparative. It is not about making myself higher by making you lower. It has nothing to do with you. It is joy in my own being.
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January 16 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Arrogance, boastfulness, and overestimation of our abilities reflects underdeveloped self-esteem rather than, as some people imagine, too much self-esteem.
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January 17 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Sometimes people ask, "Can a person have too much self-esteem?" Can a person have too much physical health? In both cases, the answer is no.
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January 18 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Self-esteem and grandiosity are not on a continuum; grandiosity is not "excessive self-esteem" but a compensatory defense mechanism for lack of self-esteem.
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January 19 – Self-Esteem Every Day

To say that self-esteem is a basic need is to say (1) that it makes an essential contribution to life; (2) that it is indispensable to normal and healthy development; and (3) tht is has survival value.
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January 20 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If you face life without confidence in your own powers, you succumb too easily to setbacks and adversity; you lack the will to persevere.
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January 21 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If you face life without the conviction that you have a right to be happy, you will not fight for your happiness.
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January 22 – Self-Esteem Every Day

In the nature of our existence, we must act to achieve values. And in order to act appropriately, we must value the beneficiary of our actions. In order to seek values, we must consider ourselves worthy of enjoying them. In order to fight for our happiness, we must consider ourselves worthy of happiness. Many people put up with a life of suffering because they feel they deserve no better.
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January 23 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The greatest barrier to achievement and success is not lack of talent or ability but rather the feeling that achievement and success, above a certain level, are outside our self-concept—our image of who we are and what is appropriate to us. The greatest barrier to happiness is the wordless sense that happiness is not our proper destiny.
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January 24 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The level of our self-esteem creates a set of implicit expectations about what is possible and appropriate to us. These expectations engender the actions that turn them into realities. And the realities then confirm and strengthen the original beliefs. Self-esteem—high or low—is a generator of self-fulfilling prophecies.
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January 25 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Some enthusiasts of self-esteem believe good self-esteem solves nearly all the important problems in life. This is untrue. Struggle is intrinsic to life. Sooner or later everyone experiences anxiety or pain—and while self-esteem can make one less susceptible, it cannot make one impervious.
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