Nathaniel Branden's Self-Esteem Every Day


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January 26 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Think of self-esteem as the immune system of consciousness. If you have a healthy immune system, you might still become ill, but you are less likely to; If you do become ill, you will likely recover faster—your resilience is greater. Simiarly, if you have high self-esteem, you might still know times of emotional suffering, but less often and with faster recovery—your resilience is greater. A well developed sense of a self is a necessary if not sufficient condition of your well-being. Its presence does not guarantee fulfillment, but its absence guarantees some measure of anxiiety, frustration, or despair.
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January 27 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Do you know which of your actions have a positive effect on your self-esteem? Do you know which ones have a negative effect?
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January 28 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Your choices have psychological consequences. They way you choose to deal with reality, truth, facts—your choice to honor or dishonor your own perceptions—registers in your mind, for good or for bad, and either confirms and strengthens your self-esteem or undermines and weakens it.
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January 29 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The will to efficacy is the refusal to identify your ego or self with momentary feelings of inadequacy or defeat. It is impressive to see a person who has been battered by life in many ways, who is torn by a variety of unsolved problems, who may be alienated from many aspects of the self—but who is still fighting, still struggling, still striving to find the path to a fulfilling existence, moved by the wisdom of knowing, "I am more than my problems."
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January 30 – Self-Esteem Every Day

One of the core meanings of enlightenment is liberation from false and spurious value attachments that blind you to your true essence. When and if I learn that I am ultimately my mind and my manner of using it; when and if I understand that ego is only the internal experience of consciousness, the ultimate center of awareness, I am free.
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February 1 – Self-Esteem Every Day

To accept struggle as part of life, to accept all of it, even the darkest moments of anguish; to be motivated by love rather than fear, by confidence rather than insecurity: these are the benchmarks of high self-esteem. The wish to avoid fear and pain is not the motive that drives the lives of highly evolved men and women: rather it is the life force within them, thrusting toward its unique form of expression—the actualization of personal values.
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February 2 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Poor self-esteem does not necessarily render you incapable of achieving any real values. Some people may have the talent, energy, and drive to achieve a great deal in spite of feelings of inadequacy for unworthiness—like the highly productive workaholic who is driven to prove his worth to, say, a father who predicted he would never amount to anything. But it does mean that you will be severely restricted in your inability to enjoy your achievements. Nothing you do will ever feel like enough.
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February 3 – Self-Esteem Every Day

The feeling that I am enough does not mean that I have nothing to learn, nothing further to achieve, and nowhere to grow to. It means that I accept myself, that I am not on trial in my own eyes, that I value and respect myself. This is not an act of indulgence but of courage.
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February 4 – Self-Esteem Every Day

When parents ask what they can do to support the growth of self-esteem in their children, I emphasize the importance of cultivating their own self-esteem. They must work on becoming and exemplifying that which they wish to teach.
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February 5 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Research tells us that one of the best ways to bet ahead start towards self-esteem is to have parents with good self-esteem. When children see what serene confidence and self-respect look like, they are more likely to internalize such attitudes, believeing that is how human beings are meant to be.
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February 6 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Parents cannot give a child self-esteem,. No one can. But they can make the road to self-esteem immeasurably easier—by treating a child not only with love, but also with respect and acceptance, by communicating confidence in the child's competence and moral and intellectual capabilities, by providing appropriate guidance, by upholding reasonable expectations that inspire rather than oppress, and by giving a child the experience of living in a rational universe.
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February 7 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Children whose thoughts and feelings are taken seriously and treated with respect tend to trust themselves, believe in themselves, and respond to challenges with confidence.
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February 8 – Self-Esteem Every Day

children who are loved and respected by parents who see them realistically (and not as angels or saints) usually experience themselves as lovable and deserving of respect. An important consequence is that as adults they will be much less likely to tolerate abuse from others. They will treat others decently and require that others treat them decently.
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February 9 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Children who are raised with rational expectations (not based on a parent's neurotic needs) tend to hold rational expectations for themselves.
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February 10 – Self-Esteem Every Day

One of the most important issues in a child's development is what parents do when they see the child making mistakes. Do parents teach that mistakes are reprehensible or that they are normal and are to be learned from so that they will not be repeated in the future?
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February 11 – Self-Esteem Every Day

One of the most important issues for anyone's self-esteem is one's reaction to one's own mistakes. Are they treated with self-blame or even self-damnation—or as opportunities for learning and growth?
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February 12 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If you are terrified of making mistakes, you will be reluctant to acknowledge them when you do make them—and therefore you will not correct them.
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February 13 – Self-Esteem Every Day

For children matery entail struggle, this means they must be permitted to struggle. If parent inappropriately stop in to "help" —they sabotage inportant learning. Among other things, the child is unlikely to discover the advantages of perserverance and self-discipline.
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February 14 – Self-Esteem Every Day

One of the most significant yet rarely recorded traumas in a child's life is the discovery of how common it is for adults to lie. This can undermine a child's sense of reality—respect for the distinction between the real and the unreal. It can also instill the idea that lying is normal.
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February 16 – Self-Esteem Every Day

If parents do everything right, it does not follow necessarily that their children will grow up with healthy self-estee. Life is more complex than that. children play an active role in their own developmetn; they are not mrely passive clay molded by biology and environment. Parents' behavior can be3 impeccable, yet the child might grow up insecure or self-doubting. Sometimes parents who seemingly do everything wrong rear children who do well in school, form good relationships, operate self-responsibly, and give all the evidence of having a good level of self-esteem. It is almost as if these children were put on earth to drive psychologists crazy. But it would be irresponsible for any parent to count on having one of these "invulnerables."
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February 17 – Self-Esteem Every Day

So long as children continue to struggle, so longas they do not give up the will to understand, to make sense out of their experience, they are psychologically safe, no matter what their anguish or bewilderment; they keep their mind and their desire for efficacy intact. Whey they surrender the possibility of achieving efficacy, they surrender the possibility of achieving full self-esteem.
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February 18 – Self-Esteem Every Day

Children who cling tenaciously to the will to understand may suffer enormously in the early years if they are caught in an irrational environment, but in the deepest sense they will survive psychologically: they will continue struggling to find their way to the rational view of life that should have been exemplified by their elders, but wasnt; they will doubtless feel alienated from many of the people around them—and legitimately so; but they will not feel alienated from reality. They will not feel that it is they who are imcompetent to live.
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