The William James Formula For Self-Esteem - Deepstash

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Improve Your Self-Esteem With The William James Formula

The William James Formula For Self-Esteem

The William James Formula For Self-Esteem

According to ‘The Principles Of Psychology’, an 1890 book by William James, known as the father of American psychology, self-worth is based on our actual achievements and our aspirations, as in the equation below:

Self-Esteem = Success/Pretensions.

The equation simply means that if we have more success, we have good self-esteem. The idea is to focus on our strengths, skills and in those areas where we can do something meaningful.

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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
  • Ha...
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.
Mental Toughness Traits
Mental Toughness Traits

Professional athletes have five common traits, which make them mentally tough:

  1. Ego strength
  2. Level-headedness
  3. Stress tolerance
  4. Thoroughness
  5. ...
Ego Strength

Ego, generally considered an enemy, surprisingly can also be defined as a measure to handle setbacks, criticism and rejection.

When our ego-strength is embraced and utilized positively, we genuinely believe in ourselves no matter what the circumstances. No rejection, loss or failure can destroy our will to keep going.

Level-Headedness

Mental toughness is about keeping calm and level-headed while in situations that can make one emotional or make one’s heart pound.

It is almost like a superpower if you are composed and ‘cool’ instead of giving a knee-jerk, emotional reaction.

2 categories of doubt:
  • General doubt: uncertainty over things happening outside of and around you.
  • Self-doubt: uncertainty within yourself, about your own abilities and d...
Common characteristics of self-doubters:
  • They look for evidence that their abilities aren’t good enough.
  • They hold themselves to impossible standards
  • They overanalyze simple decisions. 
  • They make friends with people who reinforce their self-doubt.
Trick your brain into tearing down self-doubt
  1. Compartmentalize your decisions and don’t look back.
  2. Doubt your doubt.
  3. Shake your head when confronting doubt.
  4. Enforce time limits on your decisions.