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How to Build Self-Esteem (And Does it Even Matter?) | Mark Manson

Self-esteem and success

There’s actually very little correlation between self-esteem and success.  Research on self-esteem strongly correlates with how good people feel, in general

Self-esteem is complex and can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what is measured. 

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How to Build Self-Esteem (And Does it Even Matter?) | Mark Manson

How to Build Self-Esteem (And Does it Even Matter?) | Mark Manson

https://markmanson.net/self-esteem

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

How to spot toxic self-esteem

Toxic self-esteem is easy to notice. One can see a disconnect between how the person sees himself, and how the world sees him.

It is your coworker who’s incompetent in their job but takes credit for other people’s work.

Those with a toxic self-esteem feel good about themselves but are very fragile. In order to keep up their self-esteem, they need to constantly feed it.

Lasting high self-esteem

Self-esteem is how we think we are doing in our own worlds. It is made up of an internal valuation of ourselves. It cannot be an objective assessment, as we decide what our metrics are.

Prioritize your good self-esteem (for instance, how honest or compassionate you are) over the toxic ones (how nice your shoes are.)

Accept your low self-esteem

First, give yourself the headspace to work on a solution by accepting your feelings surrounding your low self-esteem. Your feelings are temporary. Accept them for the moment. Don't cover them up. Don't try to overcompensate for them.

Put your focus on the skills you need to acquire, not on how you feel.

Practice self-compassion

People with low self-esteem tend to be hard on themselves and take everything very personally.

When you catch yourself being very critical of yourself, stop. Take a step back and see the situation from the viewpoint of a good friend. Ask yourself if it is really that bad. Remember that there are things you can't control.

Accept what you lack

True self-esteem is not thinking that you lack nothing - it's being comfortable with the fact that you're not great at everything. Accept it and move on.

Accept yourself for who you are with all your flaws and peculiarities.

Self-esteem to measure success

During the 1960s, psychologists started studying what made some people more successful than others. They believed the answer to be self-esteem.

Self-esteem was a measurement of how a person felt about themselves. If you have confidence in yourself and can accomplish your goal, you have high self-esteem. If you feel unaccomplished with little success, you have low self-esteem.

Promoting self-esteem

The theory is that if everyone has high self-esteem, then everyone will be successful and live a happy life. If a society was inoculated with high self-esteem, it would end poverty, crime, and violence.

But, one should take into account that high self-esteem could be the result of success, not necessarily the cause. Also, thinking that only one thing can explain how to be successful, is probably naive.

Healthy vs toxic forms of self-esteem

Researchers have found that there are different types of self-esteem. There are two broad categories:

  • Healthy self-esteem. You base the way you feel on the things you can control in your life.
  • Toxic self-esteem. You base your self-worth on external, uncontrollable things in your life that can make your life fragile.

Toxic forms of self-esteem

Toxic types of self-esteem arise when we pursue self-esteem for its own sake, instead of letting it be a byproduct of being a well-adjusted human being: trying to feel good about something instead of becoming good at something.

Setbacks are inevitable in life, but that is what grows us. If we believe that we always deserve to feel good regardless of circumstances, we can develop a delusional sense of entitlement.

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Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem
Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem

The most common symptoms are:

  • Not trusting your own opinion
  • Always overthinking
  • Afraid to take on a challenge
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What Causes A Low Self-Esteem

Causes of low self-esteem are often traced back to negative early childhood experiences, such as frequent punishment or neglect, chronic abuse, bullying, and lack of affection.

We form our bottom line (how people treat us) in childhood. Based on the bottom line, we form our "Rules for Living," which are strategies for dealing with life.

Having Low Self-Esteem: The Consequences
  • You expect people to mistreat you. When people are friendly to you, you can easily mistake it for love and scare them away.
  • It makes you have a lower hand in the relationship. You may bear things in a relationship that you shouldn't stand for.
  • Though you may be very gifted, you may not know how to show it and make it difficult for your employers to appreciate your talents. During a meeting, people with low self-esteem will keep quiet or speak weakly. During daily conversations, they say sorry and maybe too often.
  • It can lead to depression.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is choosing to not let negative events of the past define how you feel.

Forgiveness can keep your emotional body healthy. It increases feelings of happiness and decreases ...

Forgiving is not the same as forgetting

You can forgive someone and still maintain a boundary. They may not even necessarily know you forgave them.

When you hold onto anger towards yourself or others, it weighs you down, drains your energy and increases your stress.

Living in the past

Resentment forces you to live in the past by fixing that person to that past moment.

Do not let yourself or the relationship be defined by anger. The ability to forgive and move on is critical for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with the people you care about.

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What Vulnerability Really Is

Vulnerability is consciously choosing to freely express your thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions regardless of what others might think of you.

Vulnerability is showing your rough edges ...

Accept who you are

When someone admits they are bad at something, they will probably be more respected.

Accept who you are, faults and all.

Taking responsibility

When you take responsibility for your problems, you're in control of the solution. When you blame others, you’re handing over control to someone else. And you cannot control them.

Taking up responsibility shows that you accept reality for what it is and set out to work with what you have. 

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