Posts Tagged ‘Self-affirmation’

Self-Esteem

May 5, 2020

The second point on which HM disagrees with Twenge and Campbell in their book The Narcissim Epidemic is the concept of self-esteem. They make a distinction between narcissism and self-esteem, and HM believes that this distinction is ill-founded. Twenge and Campbell are psychologists as is HM. It was psychologists who argued for the importance of self-esteem to mental health. They regarded competition as bad because competition produced losers and losing reduced self-esteem. They promoted sports for which everyone would win. And for sports like baseball, all players on all teams would be given trophies. We psychologists need to accept responsibility for causing this damage to society and to personal development.

One of the first problems noticed about self-esteem, is that children, and possibly adults, would be reluctant to try new things because they might fail and that would injure their self esteem. The problem with self-esteem is the problem of entitlement. People assume they are entitled because they have high self-esteem. This is the fundamental problem with the concept.

Of course, everyone needs a sense of value, but rather than term this as high self-esteem, call it self-confidence or self-affirmation. This means that we think that we can accomplish objectives and learn new skills as long as we apply ourselves. Unfortunately, too many people have been told that they can accomplish anything as long as they apply themselves. This is grossly wrong. Chance, luck, is important in most cases. For a variety of reasons opportunities are missing. But people should be self-confident that they can accomplish much more than they think they can. The importance of growth mindsets play an important role in healthy memory posts. Just enter the term “growth mindsets” into the search block at healthymemory.wordpress.com and see all the hits you get. We need to set for ourselves a series of goals. Being self-confident you can accomplish a goal and work to achieve it. When that goal is achieved, set another goal and so forth and so on. This way we are able to bootstrap ourselves up to personal success and, more importantly self-fulfillment. High self-esteem assumes a sense of entitlement and leads to disappointment and a false sense of entitlement.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

An Early 4th of July Post

June 30, 2013

In the United States the 4th of July is a holiday celebrating its Declaration of Independence. This holiday is certainly warranted, and I am quite pleased with what this declaration started. Unfortunately, the holiday is spoiled for me by those who use it to declare that the United States is the greatest country in the world. First of all, there are facts that would put this claim in dispute. For example, although the United States has, by far, the most expensive medical costs in the world, its health statistics are mediocre or worse. The way the system works is that Americans either receive inadequate medical care, or too much in medical care in the way of over-medication and unnecessary surgery. For a free country, the United States has the highest incarceration rate according to the Wikipedia (716 per 100,000 population). It is possible that this claim is unwarranted as there are no statistics for North Korea.

However, even if the United States were the best country in the world, we Americans should not be overcome with hubris and think of ourselves as living in the best country in the world. Remember, or revisit, the healthymemory blog post “Self-Affirmation Rather than Self-Esteem.” In the 1980s there was a big push in psychology regarding the benefits of self-esteem. Unfortunately, programs boosting self-esteem were found wanting. It has been found that it is self-affirmation rather than self-esteem that is beneficial. Here is the distinction. Self-affirmation means that you have confidence that you can accomplish what needs to be done, that you can improve yourself. You are not afraid of failure, and should you fail you know you can succeed as long as you persist in your efforts. However, if you have high self-esteem, you will likely not perceive the need to improve yourself. Moreover, should you fail, that damages your self-esteem

What pertains to individuals also pertains to countries. Countries that think they are the best or great, are likely not to see the need to improve. Consequently, they will neither improve, nor address their problems. Rather, they are likely to embrace outdated ideologies. However, countries who see a need to improve, even should they already be the best, will pursue efforts to change and grow. In today’s dynamic world, the need to change and grow is more imperative than ever.

When people say they are proud to be an American, I wonder if they remember that pride is one of the seven deadly sins. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” Proverbs 16:18.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.