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A Man's Self-Esteem

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(This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.)

As a man, it's crucially important that you acquaint yourself with the concept of efficacy, as it relates to your self-esteem, your mental health and well-being.

Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired result. It's the power to make things happen — to get things done.

A major part of modern man's problem is that, in certain ways, life has become too easy for him. He no longer has to chop wood, brave the elements, or hunt for his dinner.

Modern man doesn't suffer and sweat as his forefathers did. This is a good thing: I certainly have no desire to return to a time when people died a lot younger, and had to bear all sorts of painful burdens that are unknown to us today.

But in some respects, we've become too coddled, pampered and comfortable. Men often don't enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that attends a tough job seen through to completion.

If you're lacking energy, lethargic or out of sorts, I urge you to examine what you are doing in your life to give you a feeling of accomplishment.

For a man, the emotion of accomplishment is a vital nutrient. If it's lacking in your life, you will slowly starve.

You'll also lose your mind in the process.

When is a man most depressed? When he's out of work.

I don't suggest that you become a "workaholic" — far from it. But to be happy, you need to understand the role that a sense of your own efficacy plays in your emotional makeup.

Self-esteem is built through action. By taking steps to create something, make something, build something, repair something, or otherwise bring a worthy goal to fruition in reality, you feel more in control of things; you'll grow in confidence, and become more excited about your life.

As a man, you need the experience of being able to step back and say, "I did that." And you need to know that what you're doing is in some way making a positive contribution to the world around you.

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As a man, you need the experience of being able to step back and say, "I did that." And you need to know that what you're doing is in some way making a positive contribution to the world around you.

Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. (Not original with me).

ruveyn1

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As a man, you need the experience of being able to step back and say, "I did that." And you need to know that what you're doing is in some way making a positive contribution to the world around you.

Would it be just as valid for you to say "As a woman, you need the experience of being able to stop back and say, 'I did that'" ?

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Would it be just as valid for you to say "As a woman, you need the experience of being able to stop back and say, 'I did that'" ?

A woman does require this feeling of personal efficacy, however it tends not to play quite the central role in a woman's psychology that it does in a man's.

Women typically can weather the experience of extended unemployment better than men. Nether sex would enjoy it — and it goes without saying that a productive career is an absolute necessity for both women and men. But to be out of work for a prolonged period of time usually does not impact a woman's self-concept to the extent, and in the same painful way that it can for a man.

What's the worst insult you can hurl at a man? That he's a loser. What's the most enervating, demoralizing feeling a man can have about himself? That he has failed — that he is a failure.

Grasping these differences goes a long way toward helping us to understand ourselves, and to making sense out of each other.

Edited by Kevin Delaney
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