Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Boosting Self-Esteem

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

More and more lately, I notice that a lot of people's (namely, my friends') psychological and relationship problems stem from low self-esteem. Holding my friends as values, I of course want to help them. What are some methods of boosting your self-esteem? (I of course realize that only the people in question themselves can do something about it). Thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Well,

Inner peace, success, meliorated relationship, good health, felicity are all products of positive thinking. Positive thinking helps the daily movement of life to be smooth, and thus making life to look brilliant and worth living.Your brain is entirely the workshop of attaining self growth and self improvement. This is normally instituted in the subconscious part of your brain. When you change the content of the sub conscious mind you will have changed your habits, behaviors and attitudes. It is not through the reading of self help books that will improve your life; you are also required to put into practice all Nonetheless that you read

Success is a product of positive thinking? WTF have I been doing working so hard all these years. I should have been meditating... :P

Seriously a positive attitude might help but these things are hardly a product of positive thinking.

Nick, I'd say be a positive example for your friends and nudge, don't push them in the right direction. Like you said they have to work for it, they have to earn it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some good recommendations for this if you look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). You don't need to get too deep into the weeds, but relaxation and stress reduction measures contribute greatly to overall satisfaction with yourself. CBT emphasizes changing your negative thinking using simple logic; it's kind of like hitting the "reset" button on how you process and perceive external and internal stressors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some good recommendations for this if you look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). You don't need to get too deep into the weeds, but relaxation and stress reduction measures contribute greatly to overall satisfaction with yourself. CBT emphasizes changing your negative thinking using simple logic; it's kind of like hitting the "reset" button on how you process and perceive external and internal stressors.

I bought this book upon the recommendation of my therapist (CBT) and it's really got a lot of good stuff in it. Really, this stuff should be taught in school. Don't be fooled by just the title; it also addresses self-esteem and its nexus with stress and anxiety: http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Reduction...7230&sr=8-1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More and more lately, I notice that a lot of people's (namely, my friends') psychological and relationship problems stem from low self-esteem. Holding my friends as values, I of course want to help them. What are some methods of boosting your self-esteem? (I of course realize that only the people in question themselves can do something about it). Thanks in advance.

Don't ya know all the other gals are going to the "Dove Self-Esteem Sleep Over" tonight?

Some crap I saw on the glass teat. :blink:

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only sure way to boost self-esteem is to be rational, which is a virtue -- the means to an end -- with self-esteem being one of the primary values recognized by Objectivism. What this means is that one needs rational values, and to pursue them, and to accomplish one's values in order to have self-esteem. Self-esteem is our way of directly experiencing our efficacy in achieving values (and is often future oriented). If you have irrational values, then such values cannot be achieved without contradiction, and that will leave a nagging low self-esteem estimation in your subconscious. Of course, it is possible to have rational values and to have self-esteem problems, but these usually stem from a psychological problem, rather than from explicit, consciously held premises. Unearned guilt, which might be explicit if you are working your way out of an irrational value system -- i.e. religion -- can only be counteracted by continuing to be rational and to re-integrate to the best of your rational ability.

Rational self-esteem is not an easy value to accomplish, but no good value is easy to accomplish anyhow. So, be integrated towards reason if you want self-esteem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One interesting thing that Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) said is that people are more likely to be willing to take risks when they're invested in all sorts of different activities that bring them different types of returns. I read this to mean that we experience ourselves as more efficacious (which leads to self-esteem) if we're doing a number of different things. It makes sense--if you have 10 activities instead of one, at least one of those activities is likely to work out in some way and help you move forward.

So, if you're looking to boost your self-esteem, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Pursue as many avenues as you can handle at one time. If you look around at successful people, you'll find that most of them do this. Don't be afraid to load yourself down--you can always drop one or two of the less productive tasks later, and you won't feel bad about "failing" because you'll have other stuff that you're succeeding at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only sure way to boost self-esteem is to be rational, which is a virtue -- the means to an end -- with self-esteem being one of the primary values recognized by Objectivism. What this means is that one needs rational values, and to pursue them, and to accomplish one's values in order to have self-esteem. Self-esteem is our way of directly experiencing our efficacy in achieving values (and is often future oriented). If you have irrational values, then such values cannot be achieved without contradiction, and that will leave a nagging low self-esteem estimation in your subconscious. Of course, it is possible to have rational values and to have self-esteem problems, but these usually stem from a psychological problem, rather than from explicit, consciously held premises. Unearned guilt, which might be explicit if you are working your way out of an irrational value system -- i.e. religion -- can only be counteracted by continuing to be rational and to re-integrate to the best of your rational ability.

Rational self-esteem is not an easy value to accomplish, but no good value is easy to accomplish anyhow. So, be integrated towards reason if you want self-esteem.

I agree with this statement and it is true...and this is the method of CBT. The problem is that it's easy to say "be rational", and a lot of people attempt to do it, but for various reasons-- the way we grew up, the way we were taught, etc., a lot of people have no idea where to begin. CBT fills this gap and teaches you to correct your thinking and gives you strategies on how to think rationally in a *consistent* manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't work for me because I have to pour all my energy into one thing or else I won't be doing the best I can do.

Though, Ayn Rand did take 12 years to write AS and I'm pretty sure she did a lot more in those years.

-PKD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Miovas about rational goals / efficacious action being the only way to gaining true self-esteem.

To take this one step further, your friends could benefit from (a) Adopting or at least learning about Objectivism. It is important to have a clear, rational philosophy in your toolbelt if you ever want to learn how to systematically act in your interest and thus gain self-esteem (B) Reading some self-help books (I also advocate reading books by cognitive behavioral therapists) in order to help break bad patterns / break through the paralyzing "hang-ups" of fear, inability to execute goals, bad "computer code" in your subconscious

Harry Binswanger's wife, Jean Moroney is a professional who teaches managers and other professionals how to use targeted thinking to grapple with the pace and complexity of business. She suggests a few books on her website that I think could help your friends on the path of changing bad habits / vicious cycles. I own a few of these:

David Allen "Getting Things Done"

Dennis Greenberger & Christine Padesky "Mind Over Mood"

Alan Lakein "How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life"

James Prochaska, John Norcross & Carlos Diclimente "Changing for Good"

Barbara Sher "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was"

LINK TO JEAN'S WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION

** Just remember, self-esteem is the PRODUCT of a particular way of living. Your friends can't try to gain self-esteem *as such* but must live a life that promotes true self-esteem.

Edited by athena glaukopis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I've noticed is that my overall efficaciousness and therefore my self-esteem go up when I am engaged in a long-term project. For me, that usually means writing, such as writing posts to oo.net (long-term goal of aiding in understanding Objectivism) and I am at my best when I am writing a short story or working on a novel (which are a little more long-term than writing essays on oo.net). So, while I agree that having multiple areas of efficacy is important, I think what is most important is to have one overall integrating purpose. I wouldn't say one needs other areas of efficacy as a kind of back-up of one's overall goal, but if one can learn other skills and integrate them, one's self-esteem most certainly goes up. In other words, a central, rational long-term purpose is very important; and can be used to integrate one's other skills to that purpose.

When one is young, however, which I think most people on oo.net are, it might be a good idea to have a wide array of skills that one can later learn how to integrate together. For one thing, you may not yet have decided on your long-term purpose, and one can assess one's skill-level and enjoyment at learning a multitude of skills to find out which one is best suited for you.

Due to my ability to explain things, others have suggested I go into teaching or technical writing; but I haven't decided on that, yet, and enjoy writing and would like to find a way to earn a good living from writing. I'm still working on how to do that. I basically have "an itch" to write a book on Objectivism due to my 30 years or so experience of presenting it on various forums, but I'm not sure how to put it all together into one book. Novel writing is a great experience, for me, enjoyable and mind engaging; but one may well work on one for many years, as I did, and find a crucial logical flaw in the story that one didn't spot while writing it (because writing one chapter at a time doesn't always give you the wider overview).

Anyhow, the point is to decide what is best for you and what you enjoy, as opposed to going by what others say you can do well. This may well mean learning new skills, but that is half the battle or half the fun -- depending on how you approach it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More and more lately, I notice that a lot of people's (namely, my friends') psychological and relationship problems stem from low self-esteem. Holding my friends as values, I of course want to help them. What are some methods of boosting your self-esteem? (I of course realize that only the people in question themselves can do something about it). Thanks in advance.

Hi Nick,

I think it is essential to define what self-esteem is. I find this definition to be one of the most useful:

"Self-esteem is the experience that we are appropriate to life and to the requirements of life. More specifically, self-esteem is...

1. Confidence in our ability to think and to cope with the challenges of life.

2. Confidence in our right to be happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts."

- The Power of self-esteem p.8 - Nathaniel Branden, PH.D.

Self-esteem is something a person has to give to themselves. No man can give another man confidence anymore than he can breathe for another man. Much like physical health, the level of a person's self-esteem is not established overnight, it is the result of many choices, stemming from their contextual knowledge. Sometimes (quite often), people can develop a pseudo self-esteem and look to their friends, lovers, family etc. as a source of their self-efficacy and thus they create a false confidence. A social metaphysician is a person that is unable, or, has not yet learned to self generate their self-esteem, think and act with independence and of course, true happiness becomes impossible for them to reach. Instead a social metaphysician in principle ties the value judgments of others to their self-worth. This does not necessarily mean that the value judgments of others must be positive or negative.

Generally, to be of help to your friends, I'd suggest being a good role model and learn to improve your own self-esteem. If you cannot help yourself, you are not ready to help others.

Consider these six pillars of self-esteem:

1. Living Consciously. To live consciously is to be present to what we are doing; to seek to understand whatever bears on our interests, values, and goals; to be aware both of the world external to self and also to the world within.

2. Self-acceptance. To be self-accepting is to own and experience, without denial or disowning, the reality of our thoughts, emotions and actions; to be respectful and compassionate toward ourselves even when we do not admire or enjoy some of our feelings or decisions; to refuse to be in an adversarial or rejecting relationship to ourselves.

3. Self-responsibility. To be self-responsible is to recognize that we are the author of our choices and actions; that we must be the ultimate source of our own fulfillment; that no one is coming to make our life right for us, or make us happy, or give us self-esteem.

4. Self-assertiveness. To be self-assertive is to honor our wants and needs and look for their appropriate forms of expression in reality; to live our values in the world; to be willing to be who we are and allow others to see it; to stand up for our convictions, values, and feelings.

5. Living Purposefully. To live purposefully is to take responsibility for identifying our goals; to perform the actions that allow us to achieve them; to keep on track and moving toward their fulfillment.

6. Personal integrity. To live with integrity is to have principles of behavior to which we remain loyal in action; to keep our promises and honor our commitments; to walk our talk.

http://www.nathanielbranden.com/catalog/pd...urgent_need.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why allow others to see it?

Because psychological visibility, like any other human value, cannot be obtained by fraud. And because persuasion, speaking up for one's convictions is generally in one's self-interest. In deeper terms, are you asking why do people need or want friendships or romantic partners? Why is it necessary to live authentically?

Edited by Donovan.A
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Psychological visibility, as far as I know, was first identified by Nathaniel Brandon when he was writing for Ayn Rand's newsletter The Objectivist. What he noticed is that he got pleasure from the fact that he could play with his pet dog, Mutnik, and that he could not play with his plants. He noticed that the pleasure derived from the fact that Mutnik understood his intent to play, and he originally called it "The Mutnik Principle." Psychological visibility has to do with realizing that one is understood by another consciousness as to intent. It is a value in a social context because imagine what it would be like to be misunderstood by everyone around you; in such a case you would feel invisible to them on the psychological level. In those cases where one's intent is misunderstood, one feels that one is not known by the other consciousness; and in those cases where one's intent is understood by another consciousness then one is known by the other consciousness. It is a value in a social context because one can see it as the basis of friendship and romance -- to be seen psychologically by another as to one's true intent and purpose, and to be admired for those things one wants to be admired for.

As an example, I like to be admired for my writing ability, especially for my poetry and short stories, by those who understand them. If I was friends with someone who didn't even recognize them as meaningful, then I would feel as if I am not being understood on a deeper level than what I wear or how I speak.

But I do think that it is important in a social context and therefore it is not a metaphysical component -- one's relation to reality -- except insofar as someone else being aware of you and your values all the way down, so to speak. Of course, Objectivism is not primarily concerned with how others see you or understand you; but let's say it is certainly a nice value to have in a social context, since Objectivism is not about becoming a hermit and living off by oneself and being totally isolated. One likes to know that one's values are also important to significant others -- i.e. friends and lovers, and if one is totally misunderstood with regard to intent, it would be very difficult to be friends with them. But I guess the importance of psychological visibility is dependent on what importance one places on friendships and romances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Psychological visibility, as far as I know, was first identified by Nathaniel Brandon when he was writing for Ayn Rand's newsletter The Objectivist. What he noticed is that he got pleasure from the fact that he could play with his pet dog, Mutnik, and that he could not play with his plants. He noticed that the pleasure derived from the fact that Mutnik understood his intent to play, and he originally called it "The Mutnik Principle." Psychological visibility has to do with realizing that one is understood by another consciousness as to intent. It is a value in a social context because imagine what it would be like to be misunderstood by everyone around you; in such a case you would feel invisible to them on the psychological level. In those cases where one's intent is misunderstood, one feels that one is not known by the other consciousness; and in those cases where one's intent is understood by another consciousness then one is known by the other consciousness. It is a value in a social context because one can see it as the basis of friendship and romance -- to be seen psychologically by another as to one's true intent and purpose, and to be admired for those things one wants to be admired for.

As an example, I like to be admired for my writing ability, especially for my poetry and short stories, by those who understand them. If I was friends with someone who didn't even recognize them as meaningful, then I would feel as if I am not being understood on a deeper level than what I wear or how I speak.

But I do think that it is important in a social context and therefore it is not a metaphysical component -- one's relation to reality -- except insofar as someone else being aware of you and your values all the way down, so to speak. Of course, Objectivism is not primarily concerned with how others see you or understand you; but let's say it is certainly a nice value to have in a social context, since Objectivism is not about becoming a hermit and living off by oneself and being totally isolated. One likes to know that one's values are also important to significant others -- i.e. friends and lovers, and if one is totally misunderstood with regard to intent, it would be very difficult to be friends with them. But I guess the importance of psychological visibility is dependent on what importance one places on friendships and romances.

Tom, that is a great post. Thank you for your incite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom, that is a great post. Thank you for your incite.

Well, thank you for seeing that ;)

As an example of psychological visibility, I got pleasure out of someone seeing my post as a value.

Psychological visibility should not be confused with second-handedness. A second-hander considers others to be the most important thing in life; whereas an Objectivist considers his own understand of reality and acting accordingly to be the most important thing in life. Of course, others are an aspect of reality, but the point is to go by the facts as opposed to going by others in spite of the facts -- to be a Howard Roark and not a Peter Keating, even when it comes to personal relationships. And the pleasure is psychological, such as when a friend is happy for you for having an accomplishment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
More and more lately, I notice that a lot of people's (namely, my friends') psychological and relationship problems stem from low self-esteem. Holding my friends as values, I of course want to help them. What are some methods of boosting your self-esteem? (I of course realize that only the people in question themselves can do something about it). Thanks in advance.

Be honest about what one considers as one's flaws and then work to improve/ solve them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The process I described is the virtue of pride. This is the connection between the virtue of pride and the value of self-esteem (virtue is the action required to achieve a value).

The virtue of Pride can best be described by the term: “moral ambitiousness.” It means that one must earn the right to hold oneself as one’s own highest value by achieving one’s own moral perfection—which one achieves by never accepting any code of irrational virtues impossible to practice and by never failing to practice the virtues one knows to be rational—by never accepting an unearned guilt and never earning any, or, if one has earned it, never leaving it uncorrected—by never resigning oneself passively to any flaws in one’s character—by never placing any concern, wish, fear or mood of the moment above the reality of one’s own self-esteem. And, above all, it means one’s rejection of the role of a sacrificial animal, the rejection of any doctrine that preaches self-immolation as a moral virtue or duty.

More background:

Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned—that of any achievements open to you, the one that makes all others possible is the creation of your own character—that your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind—that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining—that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul—that to live requires a sense of self-value, but man, who has no automatic values, has no automatic sense of self-esteem and must earn it by shaping his soul in the image of his moral ideal, in the image of Man, the rational being he is born able to create, but must create by choice

(Both quotes by Ayn Rand, taken from the Ayn Rand Lexicon)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kenw a girl who knew nothing about O'ism, and had a truly sad life, filled with both self inflicted pain, and pain caused by others (often when she was too young to stop it.) yet was able to keep her self esteem high by insisting to herself that every day she would find something to give herself an honest complement on.

I have gotten some other people to do this, and those who hold to it also have shown better self esteem.

But, as others here have already said, THEY have to be the ones to do it. You cannot do it for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kenw a girl who knew nothing about O'ism, and had a truly sad life, filled with both self inflicted pain, and pain caused by others (often when she was too young to stop it.) yet was able to keep her self esteem high by insisting to herself that every day she would find something to give herself an honest complement on.

I have gotten some other people to do this, and those who hold to it also have shown better self esteem.

But, as others here have already said, THEY have to be the ones to do it. You cannot do it for them.

Cute idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...