Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever
What exactly is self-esteem? Most people, as well as many psychologists and educators, believe we need it, that it's good for our emotional well-being, and that it makes us more successful. World-renowned psychologist Albert Ellis says NO, it's all a myth.
According to Ellis, self-esteem is probably the greatest emotional disturbance known to humans. Self-esteem results in each of us praising ourselves when what we do is approved by others. But we also damn ourselves when we don't do well enough and others disapprove of us. What we need more than self-esteem, Ellis maintains, is self-acceptance!
In The Myth of Self-Esteem, Ellis provides a lively and insightful explanation of self-esteem and self-acceptance, examining the thinking of great religious teachers, philosophers, and psychologists, including Lao Tsu, Jesus, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Buber, Heidegger, Sartre, Tillich, D.T. Suzuki, the Dalai Lama, Carl Rogers, and Nathaniel Branden, among others. He then provides exercises for training oneself to change self-defeating habits to the healthy, positive approach of self-acceptance. These include specific thinking techniques as well as emotive and behavioral exercises.
He concludes by stressing that unconditional self-acceptance is the basis for establishing healthy relationships with others, along with unconditional other-acceptance and a total philosophy of life anchored in unconditional life-acceptance.
The mantra of "Self Esteem"
By Timothy M. Arends - March 14, 2006
Albert Ellis performs a valuable service with this book. The mantra of "Self Esteem" has indeed become pervasive in today's society, but not due to Dr. Ellis. We are told that some children don't do well in school because they suffer from "low self-esteem," that people commit crimes for the same reason, and that if we can only figure out how to universally raise people's self esteem, all societal problems will vanish.
Last night I was reading the old book "Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow" (not written by Dr. Ellis). Good title, but by the second chapter, the author starts implying that if we're not in work we love, it must be because we suffer from (you guessed it) "low self-esteem." The rest of the book is devoted to telling us how we can supposedly "raise" it.
Ellis' point is that "self-esteem" is NOT the root cause of all mental problems, contrary to what many self-help "experts" tell us. In fact, "self-esteem" can even be counter-productive. If you... read more
Just what is self-esteem?
By D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer "California B... - April 22, 2006
Just what is self-esteem? Many believe we must have it; but here's a famous psychologist to say it's all a myth, and he bases his contention on the thoughts of some of the finest religious thinkers and philosophers of our times. Instead Albert Ellis in THE MYTH OF SELF-ESTEEM (1591023548 ) explains his Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as an alternative to achieve unconditional self-acceptance, using exercises which promote such acceptance over the more commonly held self-esteem.
By George Weir - October 20, 2009
Many Americans are `self-esteem' nuts. They have been obsessed for long time to seek building and enhancing `self-esteem'.
But what is `self-esteem' anyway? Typically, in the mind of most people in America, it means `overall rating of your worth as a person'.
If you're an intelligent person capable of critical thinking and are willing to seriously think about the concept of this `self-esteem' stuff, you'll tend to feel that it's very confusing.
`I speak very well, so I feel good about my self'; then `I'm overweight, so I feel lousy about myself'; then `my school grade is A+, so I'm better than most people in the class'; then `I failed to enroll in Harvard, what a loser I am'; then `Cathy didn't invite me for her wedding, so I must be not good enough, I feel depressed', etc, etc. So, how much is your 'total worth'? No wonder so many people's `self-esteem' is in the hands of other people.
In order to rate your `total worth' (self-esteem)... read more
As an award-winning playwright, author, and Worldwide Creative Director of TBWA, John Hunt has witnessed again and again the power of original thinking to transform both companies and individuals. In ...
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