A more genuine and stable self-worth is based upon validating, affirming, and valuing ourselves as we are. Self-worth is a function of living with dignity, which exists apart from any accomplishments. Achievements are ephemeral and can become a trap. If too much of our attention goes toward accomplishing bigger and better things in order to feel good, then we become addicted to external sources of gratification.
In contrast, those with low self-esteem hold themselves in little regard and experience shame, unworthiness, and do not feel comfortable in their own skin. They are easily swayed, need someone to comfort them, and are less equipped to handle their emotions in a healthy way. Furthermore, those with a negative self-image tend to downplay their accomplishments, belittle themselves, and do not value their worth.
Teenagers with low self esteem may be depressed, experience intense feelings of shame, and desperately want to fit in like everybody else. Many teens feel they are socially inept without abusing addictive substances. Low self-esteem is often the precursor of adolescent drug problems which may follow teenagers into adulthood.
This inner critic can ruminate on mistakes or cringe-worthy events. Negative self-talk can be rude or unkind, with criticism or judgments about our behavior, appearance, or work/school. It will detract from self-esteem, self-assurance, and productivity. Effects of negative self-talk include:
Celebrated actor Jon Hamm experienced his first bout of chronic depression at age 20, shortly after losing his father (his mother had already passed from stomach cancer 10 years earlier). Though Hamm believes the structured environment of work and college helped with his recovery, he also credits antidepressants and therapy with "changing his brain chemistry enough to think: â€˜I want to get up in the morning. I don't want to sleep until four in the afternoon.'" Though a decade letter, Hamm would find major fame as Mad Men's Don Draper, it seems the Emmy and Golden Globe winner continues to deal with his battles. In May 2015, he checked himself into a 30-day rehabilitation program in Connecticut.
Anne Hathaway's success has hardly slowed down since age 19, when she first found fame in Disney's The Princess Diaries. But in a 2007 interview with Tatler magazine, Hathaway revealed that in the years before her big break, she suffered from depression and anxiety. During that time, Hathaway insists she was able to work through her anguish without assistance from medication. Thinking back to her troubled younger self, Hathaway has said, "I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self."
Maybe it's not so surprising that actor Ryan Philippe, who admits to having dealt with depression since childhood, is best known for the tormented characters he has portrayed in films like Cruel Intentions. Though Philippe has called himself an innately sad person who wishes he can "un-feel" his feelings of depression, he also says, "I'm way funnier than people know me to be. And it's a dark humor, like a gallows humor. I think that's where, if you do carry any of that sadness or depression, your humor does tend to be a little darker than most people." In 2015, Philippe said he believes he has passed his depression to Ava, his 16-year old daughter with Reese Witherspoon. "I see it in my daughter," he told Elle Magazine. "She has it, and I wish to hell she didn't."
During the 1990s, Brad Pitt was rising to fame in films like Fight Club and Interview With a Vampire. At the same time, he was sinking into a deep depression that left him irritated, isolated, and drawn to heavy marijuana use. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pitt described his bout of depression as "one of the seasons or a semester." He explained: "This semester I was majoring in depression. I was doing the same thing every night and numbing myself to sleep, the same routine. Couldn't wait to get home and hide out. But that feeling of unease was growing and one night I just said, â€˜This is a waste.'" The ultimate feeling of unease finally came while on a trip to Casablanca, where realizations of extreme poverty shocked him into finally seeking help. Since then, Pitt has become one of the most recognizable names in the world, and he has been praised by various mental health organizations worldwide for his willingness to discuss his depression and lowest points.
In the past, honor could be (simplistically) defined by how well the people in your community thought of you. With the rise of individualism and independence, our communities have become smaller, reducing the size of our honor feedback network. This can cause significant anxiety because it disrupts the risk of shame. What was once the fear of one in 20 people thinking badly of you in a larger co-dependent community, can now be one in four in the small network of relationships of a relatively independent lifestyle. One way to reduce this risk is to broaden your social feedback network by supplementing (or even replacing) your community with an audience, listening to the feedback of many people who are not necessarily in relationship with you, instead of being reliant on the feedback from a small group of people who know you. Social media offers us an audience to replace community, and a convenient array metrics too quantify honor/shame feedback (likes, comments, shares, etc). Replacing community with audience has replaced the role honor with fame and the practice of relationship with performance.
Fear of failure can lead to a broad range of emotional and psychological problems, including shame, depression, anxiety, panic attacks or low self-esteem. It may negatively affect how you perform at school or work, or how you interact with friends and family members.
Self-esteem is confidence in one's own worth or abilities. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, "I am loved", "I am worthy") as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) defined it by saying "The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it."
Self-esteem is an attractive psychological construct because it predicts certain outcomes, such as academic achievement, happiness, satisfaction in marriage and relationships, and criminal behavior. Self-esteem can apply to a specific attribute or globally. Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (trait self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (state self-esteem) also exist. Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, and self-integrity.
In the mid-1960s, social psychologist Morris Rosenberg defined self-esteem as a feeling of self-worth and developed the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES), which became the most-widely used scale to measure self-esteem in the social sciences.
In the early 20th century, the behaviorist movement minimized introspective study of mental processes, emotions, and feelings, replacing introspection with objective study through experiments on behaviors observed in relation with the environment. Behaviorism viewed the human being as an animal subject to reinforcements, and suggested placing psychology as an experimental science, similar to chemistry or biology. As a consequence, clinical trials on self-esteem were overlooked, since behaviorists considered the idea less liable to rigorous measurement.In the mid-20th century, the rise of phenomenology and humanistic psychology led to renewed interest in self-esteem. Self-esteem then took a central role in personal self-actualization and in the treatment of psychic disorders. Psychologists started to consider the relationship between psychotherapy and the personal satisfaction of people with high self-esteem as useful to the field. This led to new elements being introduced to the concept of self-esteem, including the reasons why people tend to feel less worthy and why people become discouraged or unable to meet challenges by themselves.
Many early theories suggested that self-esteem is a basic human need or motivation. American psychologist Abraham Maslow included self-esteem in his hierarchy of human needs. He described two different forms of "esteem": the need for respect from others in the form of recognition, success, and admiration, and the need for self-respect in the form of self-love, self-confidence, skill, or aptitude. Respect from others was believed to be more fragile and easily lost than inner self-esteem. According to Maslow, without the fulfillment of the self-esteem need, individuals will be driven to seek it and unable to grow and obtain self-actualization. Maslow also states that the healthiest expression of self-esteem "is the one which manifests in the respect we deserve for others, more than renown, fame, and flattery". Modern theories of self-esteem explore the reasons humans are motivated to maintain a high regard for themselves. Sociometer theory maintains that self-esteem evolved to check one's level of status and acceptance in one's social group. According to Terror Management Theory, self-esteem serves a protective function and reduces anxiety about life and death.
One of the most widely used instruments, the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) is a 10-item self-esteem scale score that requires participants to indicate their level of agreement with a series of statements about themselves. An alternative measure, the Coopersmith Inventory uses a 50-question battery over a variety of topics and asks subjects whether they rate someone as similar or dissimilar to themselves. If a subject's answers demonstrate solid self-regard, the scale regards them as well adjusted. If those answers reveal some inner shame, it considers them to be prone to social deviance. 2b1af7f3a8