If my aim is to prove I am "enough," the project goes on to infinity-because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable.
When we learn how to be in an intimate relationship without abandoning our sense of self, when we learn how to be kind without being self-sacrificing, when we learn how to cooperate with others without betraying our standards and convictions, we are practicing self-assertiveness.
All positive interactions with other human beings involve, to some degree, the experience of visibility- that is, the experience of being seen and understood.
In addition, if a person makes the error of identifying self with his work (rather than with the internal virtues that make the work possible), if self-esteem is tied primarily to accomplishments, success, income, or being a good family provider, the danger is that economic circumstances beyond the individual's control may lead to the failure of the business or the loss of a job, flinging him into depression or acute demoralization.
The opposite of self-assertiveness is self-abnegation-abandoning or submerging your personal values, judgment, and interests. Some people tell themselves this is a virtue. It is a "virtue" that corrodes self-esteem.
The challenge for people today-and it is not and easy one-is to maintain high personal standards even while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer.
Self-discipline is the ability to organize your behavior over time in the service of specific goals.
One of the great self-deceptions-and one of the great foolishnesses-is to tell yourself, Only I will know. Only you will know that you are a liar; only you will know you deal unethically with people who trust you; only you will know you have no intention of honoring your promise. Whose knowledge or judgment do you imagine is more important? It is precisely your own ego from which there is no escape.
It is humiliating to realize that when you drive yourself underground, when you fake who you are, often you do so for people you do not even like or respect.
Between the ages of 24 and 27, I read Freud's complete works, everything that had been translated into English. It was very stimulating intellectually. But I did not accept his view of neurosis or of human nature.
The United States was the first country in the history of the world to be consciously created out of an idea - and the idea was liberty.
When I was a child, I felt at times that I had been born into an insane asylum, that much of human life appeared to be an insane asylum. It was bewildering.
Not a great deal is known about the factors in childhood that doubtless underlie a person's choice of career - I'm talking now about a career to which one is passionately committed, in contradistinction to a career chosen merely as a means of earning a living.
Productive achievement is a consequence and an expression of health and self-esteem, not its cause.
To love a person is to know and love the person. But we can pick up an enormous amount about another human being just by exchanging a couple of sentences. It's not yet knowledge; it's an intuition that motivates you to want to find out more.
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.
Of all the nonsense written about love, none is more absurd than the notion that ideal love is selfless. To love is to see myself in you and to wish to celebrate myself with you. What I love is the embodiment of my values in another person. Love is an act of self-assertion, self-expression and a celebration of being alive.
If we are happy within ourselves, we don't accept or demand that our partner should fulfill every need. We need to be comfortable with our own company.
Self esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.
I cannot remember a time when the question of why people behave as they do was not intensely interesting to me. The desire to understand was very important. When I was young, I was aware of the fact that much of the time, the reasons a person gave for his actions were not the actual reasons.
Tell me how a person judges his or her self-esteem, and I will tell you how that person operates at work, in love, in sex, in parenting, in every important aspect of existence - and how high he or she is likely to rise. The reputation you have with yourself - your self-esteem - is the single most important factor for a fulfilling life.
The greater a child's terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.
How do we keep our inner fire alive? Two things, at minimum, are needed: an ability to appreciate the positives in our life " and a commitment to action. Every day, it's important to ask and answer these questions: "What's good in my life?' and "What needs to be done?
What a great teacher, a great parent, a great psychotherapist and a great coach have in common is a deep belief in the potential of the person with whom they are concerned. They relate to the person from their vision of his or her worth and value.
It is naive to think that self-assertiveness is easy. To live self-assertively-which means to live authentically-is an act of high courage. That is why so many people spend the better part of their lives in hiding-from others and also from themselves.
The ultimate test of our integrity is not how we deal with those whom we agree but how we deal with those who we do not agree.
Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.
No one is coming to save you...
Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.
Live with integrity, respect the rights of other people, and follow your own bliss.
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.
Romantic love can be terrifying. We experience another human being as enormously important to us. So there is surrender -not a surrender to the other person so much as to our feeling for the other person. What is the obstacle? The possibility of loss.
If you have high self-esteem, you might still know times of emotional suffering, but less often and with faster recovery-your resilience is greater.
When you are frightened, you typically pull energy in to your center, seeing less, hearing less-shrinking consciousness precisely when you need to expand it.
Positive self-esteem operates as, in effect, the immune system of the consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration. When self-esteem is low, our resilience in the face of life's adversities is diminished. We crumble before vicissitudes that a healthier sense of self could vanquish. We tend to be more influenced by the desire to avoid pain than to experience joy. Negatives have more power over us than positives.
What is guilt? It is moral self-reproach-I did wrong when it was possible to have done otherwise.
The real basic power of an individual isn't what he or she knows; it's the ability to think and learn and face new challenges.
Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs-and behavior. When our behavior is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match up, we have integrity.
The music that inspires the souls of lovers exists within themselves and the private universe they occupy. They share it with each other; they do not share it with the tribe or with society. The courage to hear that music and to honor it is one of the prerequisites of romantic love.
We tend to feel most comfortable, "most at home", with people whose self esteem level resembles our own.