Friday, January 15, 2016


Experience gained from my 30+ years  in practice as a cognitive-behavioral psychologist shows that with the right tools people readily learn to elevate and maintain emotional well-being and happiness. 

At the Think Right Feel Right Blogoscope you will find the behavioral tools and techniques that help to ward off anxiety, depression and addiction.  You will learn about ways to defeat troubling emotions such as anger, worry and sadness. You will also find practical strategies for increasing self-esteem, positivity and for being a happier you. 

Self-Esteem is the foundation for personal security, emotional health and happiness. We can't have these things if this foundation is not strong. Self-esteem is a must.

There are different kinds of self-esteem, some better than others. First, is the esteem we receive from those around us, compliments, approval, caring and the like.   Since this kind of esteem comes to us from others, think of it as other esteem.  Others dole out this kind of esteem and we feel an uptick in our worth and security.  But, we do not control the source of the esteem; others do.  Other esteem is conditional.  We receive this kind of esteem when others offer it.  Sometimes there are strings attached to their esteem making it problematic.  Even so, the esteem of others provides significant and necessary emotional benefits. Interpersonal esteem is socially and emotionally important. Other esteem is good.

Then there is performance esteem.  Performance esteem is the worth we feel when we accomplish something, when we do something well, when we help others.   Performance esteem is a powerful source of motivation and reinforcement for behavior. Humans undertake and accomplish many things, little and large, because of the value they attach to their strivings and doings. But we need to be aware that this kind of esteem is also conditional.  This kind of self-esteem inflates with service and accomplishment, but when we are not busy accomplishing, self-worth and emotional well-being often shrivel up.  Over reliance on performance esteem deepens the impact of job loss or disability. However, because performance esteem inspires important social and personal benefits and offers a powerful incentive for human striving, accomplishment, and sense of worth, we need to have it. Having both other esteem and performance esteem is even better.

Having both kinds of esteem is better but, are both enough?   Many try to get by using the esteem they get from others or from performance as their main sources of self-esteem. Unfortunately, they subject their “self-esteem” and emotional well-being to fluctuate with circumstance. They feel up when they are performing and doing things; otherwise, not so much.  Although necessary, neither other esteem or performance esteem are steadfast supports of esteem that sustains well-being.  Most important, esteem garnered from others or through our doings and strivings is not (read as is never) a good substitute for intrinsic self esteem.  The reason is that neither gives unconditional worth and value.  So, we will always be in search of them.  If you want to have lasting and real self-esteem, you must decide to esteem and love yourself, period.  Give yourself worth and value.  Let your performance and the esteem from others add to your esteem, but never be a substitute for it. Your unwavering belief in your implicit worth and right to esteem and love who you are is the only kind of self-esteem that lasts.  Intrinsic self-esteem is best!

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