On this last day of our focus on the relationship between self-esteem and results, let’s go inside and revisit Nathaniel Branden who told us that one of the components of self-esteem is a feeling of being worthy of happiness.
Self-esteem, self-worth, self-regard . . . how do you feel worthy of happiness? Another way to ask the question: What is the degree to which you feel you deserve happiness?
Branden also said:
“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness and generosity.”
Interesting, isn’t it, that not only can self-regard can be influenced by both internal and external forces . . . but one’s self-esteem can positively influence how we treat others.
What is the degree to which you feel others deserve to be treated well? Is it your experience that there a connection between your self-esteem and how well you treat others?
Please hold yourself in high regard by being gentle with yourselves.
We’re pondering the connection between results and self-esteem this week, and we’ve focused on distinguishing between internal and external results.
Eleanor Roosevelt said:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
We live in a Western culture which emphasizes money. Some people define their self-esteem by their net worth, income and possessions. That may be a frustrating path since there is always someone with more, so one may be unwittingly choosing “degrees of inferiority” by linking self-esteem to money.
What is the degree to which your financial success impacts your self-esteem?
What have you found to be useful in maintaining balance and equanimity vis-a-vis money and what it can buy?
What is the ideal relationship between your self-regard and financial success?
We now know we live in a country where we can move past the color of a person’s skin – the external result – and engage with the real person inside.
This week, as it would happen, in Study Hall, we are discussing the relationship between results and self-esteem. Imagine how it feels to be discriminated against because of a result over which you have no control.
What kind of impact could that have on self-esteem? Most likely, without role models and / or instruction about how to move beyond the prejudice, self-esteem would suffer.
We have all been the victims of discrimination. All woman certainly as a group and perhaps most as individuals. All people of color and physically visible ethnicity who live in places where they are not the “norm.”
In family settings, one family member is different and / or doesn’t get along with another, so the children may be treated differently – not unlike Cinderella in relationship to her stepsisters. You get the idea.
The real place of power is in our relationship to discrimination: inside ourselves. Where have you discriminated against yourself because you deemed an external result as insufficient? Have you experienced obvious or subtle discrimination because of something external? Your skin color, your country of origin, your sexual orientation, your gender, your place of birth, where you live, your job or even the car you drive?
What a perfect day to continue our discussion of the relationship between our results and our self-esteem.
Imagine if you were running for any office – how that must feel – and how it would feel to win and how it would feel to lose. It would probably be very tempting to allow either of those external results to affect your self-esteem. It would have to feel like a referendum on your worth to some degree; right?
The approval of others is a huge reason that we humans are often drive to – and even addicted to – producing “socially-acceptable” results. By definition, much of the approval of others derives from the results that demonstrate the competency with life issues that we discussed yesterday. That would be mostly “things” or “actions” that can be seen or experienced by others. Of course, each individual is the only person who can understand what it feels like to be her or him – and, thus, what each person deems as the sources of individual happiness.
How much of your desire to produce results is impacted by the opinion – and the approval or disapproval – of others? Is this something that you’d like to change in either direction? If so, why or why not?
How do you feel about yourself and about the results that you produce in life? What are the primary sources from which you draw your views of how you feel about yourself?
The subject of this week’s teleclass is the relationship between self-esteem and results. Nathaniel Branden is among the most respected writers about self-esteem — which he defines as:
“. . . the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.”
Branden’s outlook defines a relationship to both inner and outer results. The experience of being competent is outer – i.e., you know how to produce results in the world. The worthiness of happiness, however, is inner.
In a consumer-driven culture, people have often relied almost exclusively on outer results as a means of generating good feelings about themselves. Yet, it’s the primary focus on who we’re BEING in the day-to-day that can enhance happiness – an inner world experience.