Self-esteem is Bullshit (Episode 729)

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About This Episode

Many of us grew up in a world that praised the idea of having high self-esteem – but what exactly is self-esteem, why have we been wrongly focused on it for so long, and what do we need to focus on moving forward?

What to Listen For

  • Why is artificially inflating self-esteem dangerous and how can you avoid doing it to yourself and your kids?
  • What is that self critical voice we all hear and how does it affect our self-esteem?
  • What is imposter syndrome and how does artificially inflated self-esteem contribute to it?
  • Dr. Hayes explains the root of the word confidence and why many people who appear confident actually are not
  • How is social media making it difficult for people to be self compassionate and true to themselves?
  • What are the three components of self-compassion and how can you implement them today to improve your confidence and quality of life?
  • Dr. Hayes explains how to strip your inner critic of its power
  • Is there such a thing as too much self-compassion?
  • Why is it important to determine your values and how can they help you navigate through daily life and the biggest challenges we all face?

Artificially inflating someone’s self-esteem is never advisable. On one end it can lead to a collapse of the person’s identity the moment he faces significant stress because there is no foundation for that view he holds of himself. On the other end it can lead to arrogance and entitlement when a person expects the world to be handed to her simply because she thinks she’s “the best.”

We all face challenges in life that push us to our limits and beyond, so why not equip ourselves with the tools necessary to endure the resulting pain and move forward with our lives?

One of those tools is self-compassion, a term not many of you might not be familiar with just yet.

There are 3 components to self compassion: (1) be kind to yourself, (2) realize everyone is dealing with these struggles, and (3) be present with what you feel – don’t exaggerate your feeling or play them down. If you can cultivate self-compassion you will accept that your life will not always be rainbows and butterflies, your thoughts and feelings can’t always be positive, and you can be patient with yourself during stressful times..

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Resources from this Episode

Is Self Compassion More Important Than Self Esteem by Steven Hayes, Ph. D.

Alex Banayan Episode

The Third Door by Alex Banayan

Self-compassion protects against the negative effects of low self-esteem: A longitudinal study in a large adolescent sample by Sarah Marshall

Steven Hayes TED Talk

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