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Bobby McCon, EdTech Group

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Mukhtar Guriev
Mukhtar Guriev

The Power Of Self-Esteem

If you wish to know what self-esteem depends on, how to nurture it in our children, support it in our schools, encourage it in organizations, strengthen it in psychotherapy or develop it in yourself, you need this book. Its clear message of hope is sure to be appreicated by everyone working on themselves or helping others.

The Power of Self-Esteem


Self-esteem is our idea of our own basic worth, and is often rooted in our childhood when our sense of value was associated with the positive regards of others, or linked with our achievements. As we move into adulthood, we may accomplish much yet feel dissatisfied because our self-esteem still depends on our next success, or failure. Life seems like a treadmill, lacking in real excitement or purpose.

All too often, people who develop exceptionally astute insights into others remain mysterious to these others. Evidence for such asymmetric understanding comes from several independent domains. Striking asymmetries occur among those who differ in status and power, such that individuals with low status and power understand more than they are understood. We show that this effect extends to people who merely perceive that they have low status: individuals with low self-esteem. Whereas people with low self-esteem display insight into people with high self-esteem, people with high self-esteem fail to reciprocate. Conceptual analysis suggests that asymmetries in mutual understanding may be reduced by addressing deficits in information and motivation among perceivers. Nevertheless, several interventions have been unsuccessful, indicating that the path to symmetric understanding is a steep and thorny one. Further research is needed to develop strategies for fostering understanding of those who are most misunderstood: people with low self-esteem, low status, and low power.

I found this beautiful, old scale at an antique mall in Thorp, Wa and immediately knew I would put it in a drawing someday. I stared at it for a couple of years in my studio before this composition came to me. How better to represent the immense power of self esteem and believing in oneself than by using the scrappy little hummingbird with his chin raised at the crow and raven pair? He outweighs them by his sheer power of will and belief in himself.

Afterward, all participants were told they had to take another vocabulary test. They were given a chance to study a list of words and definitions and were advised that they could review the words as long they wanted before taking the test. We found that participants who were nudged to treat their initial failure with compassion were more likely to adopt a growth mindset about their vocabulary abilities and put in more time studying than their counterparts in the self-esteem condition were. It seems that self-compassion paved the way for self-improvement by revving up their desire to do better, encouraging the belief that improvement is possible, and motivating them to work harder.

These correlational findings were strengthened by experimental evidence from another study in which we randomly assigned participants to respond to a personal weakness from a self-compassionate perspective, a self-esteem-boosting perspective, or neither. Immediately afterward, they completed questionnaires that measured how authentic they felt. Participants who were instructed to be self-compassionate about their weakness reported significantly higher feelings of authenticity than participants in the other two conditions did.

These steps might seem awkward at first. But they'll get easier with practice. Recognizing the thoughts and beliefs that affect low self-esteem allows you to change the way you think about them. This will help you accept your value as a person. As your self-esteem increases, your confidence and sense of well-being are likely to soar.

Of all the judgments we make in life, none are more important than the ones we make about our-selves. These self-evaluations directly affect the way we act and react... the values we choose... the goals we set... and how we meet the challenges that confront us. The key to meeting these basic challenges and feeling worthy of happiness is having high self-esteem. Self-esteem's components:

Positive self-esteem operates as the immune system of consciousness, providing resistance, strength and a capacity for regeneration. When our self-esteem is low, our resilience when facing life's problems is diminished.

Example: To contemporary women - who are shedding their traditional gender roles, fighting for emotional and intellectual autonomy, starting their own businesses, invading one formerly male bastion after another and challenging age-old prejudices - self-esteem is indispensable. It is not all that is needed for success, but without it the battle cannot be won.

A common trap: When self-esteem is low, negatives have much more power over us than positives. We are motivated more by the desire to avoid pain than to experience joy. But if we do not believe in our-selves - in our efficacy or in our goodness and lovability - the universe is a frightening place.

Women and men who have realistic confidence in their self-worth and feel secure within themselves will most likely respond appropriately to today's challenges and opportunities. Positive self-esteem empowers, energizes, and motivates.

It inspires us to achieve, and allows us to take pleasure and pride in our achievements. It also helps us pick ourselves up more quickly after a fall, leaving us with more energy to begin anew. The more solid our self-esteem, the better equipped we are to cope with the troubles that arise in our careers and personal lives.

Ambitious. People with high self-esteem tend to be more ambitious in what they hope to experience in life emotionally, romantically, intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. They have a strong drive to express the self, reflecting the sense of richness within.

Fearful of change. These people aspire to less and, therefore, achieve less. People with low self-esteem seek the safety of the familiar and undemanding. Confining oneself to what is already known serves to weaken self-esteem.

Insecure. Like those with high self-esteem, these men and women tend to be drawn to one another. They often form destructive relationships that reflect and increase their essential lack of self-worth.

If you hope to achieve a happy relationship with someone, nothing is more important than self-esteem - both for you and the other person. There is no greater barrier to romantic success than the deep-seated feeling that one is not lovable.

I want to stress that self-esteem is an intimate experience. It resides in the core of one's being. It is what you think and feel about yourself, not what someone else thinks or feels about you. You can project an image of assurance and poise that fools almost everyone yet secretly tremble with a sense of inadequacy. You can fill the expectations of others yet fail your own...or win every honor yet feel you have accomplished nothing.

TABLE 2. Results of mediation models testing whether the effect of power contingent self-esteem (PCSE) on subjective well-being was mediated by authenticity (controlling for gender, age, and social desirability) (N = 210, Study 1).

TABLE 6. Results of mediation analyses testing whether the effect of power contingent self-esteem (PCSE) on role satisfaction was mediated by authenticity (controlling of sex, age, and social desirability, Study 2).

TABLE 7. Results of mediation analyses testing whether the effect of power contingent self-esteem (PCSE) on role satisfaction was mediated by authenticity in the group of males (Study 2).

TABLE 8. Results of mediation analyses testing whether the effect of power contingent self-esteem (PCSE) on role satisfaction was mediated by authenticity in the group of females (Study 2).

Mindful Self-Compassion combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that MSC significantly increases self-compassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, and life satisfaction, as well as decreasing depression, anxiety and stress. Visit the Center for Mindful Self Compassion to learn more about MSC and how it can help you have a healthier relationship to yourself. Short online self-compassion trainings are available.

The Power of Self Esteem will transform the way you express yourself in the world. Instead of struggling to deal with unconscious demands about the way you ought to be, you become free to be as you are. And, as you learn to distinguish true self esteem from the endless cycle of reward and punishment to which it has become attached, you will connect more deeply with yourself and your life, and start to express yourself with a new kind of passion and power.

Sense of power can be assessed as a stable trait (e.g., Schmid, 2018) or as a situation-specific state measure (e.g., Anderson et al., 2012). When manipulating power, researchers typically aim to instill a sense of power in participants (Tost, 2015) and test its downstream consequences. Clearly, the experience of power has effects on various spheres of life. It activates the behavioral approach system (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002), increases confidence (see Briñol et al., 2017), increases authenticity and well-being (Kraus et al., 2011), and impacts perception (Lee & Schnall, 2014). Overall, power energizes the thoughts and behaviors that are in line with the aims and values of the actor (Guinote, 2017; Keltner et al., 2003), an effect that also suggests that underlying dispositions may have stronger effects when a person has power. Thus, the effects of power and dispositions may interact to bring about certain outcomes.

Self-esteem is the positive global evaluation of the self (Baumeister, 1998). Having self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-worth protects against stress, anxiety, and social comparisons (e.g., Greenberg et al., 1992) and is an indicator of well-being (Orth & Robins, 2022; Ryff, 1989). Thus, it seems plausible that self-esteem is also related to body perceptions in a positive way, and a great deal of research has actually shown relevant associations: In adolescents and adults, self-esteem has been found to be positively associated with body appreciation (Lobera, 2011; Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015b). Self-esteem was also negatively associated with body dissatisfaction (van den Berg et al., 2010). Finally, patients with body dysmorphic disorder were reported to have lower explicit as well as implicit self-esteem than nonclinical individuals (Buhlmann et al., 2009). However, as always with nonexperimental data, causality could be reversed or there could be a bidirectional relationship between self-esteem and body image. Nonetheless, we expected body image to be a consequence in this research because of the following findings. 041b061a72


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