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One difference between High self-esteem and Low self-esteem
April 5, 2006
10:19 am
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Dr. Nathaniel Branden is wonderful. His deep understanding of high self-esteem is just amazing.

Last night I was reading his book "Honoring the Self". On page 81, Chapter "Motivation by Fear" he writes:

The principle that distinguishes the basic motivations of high self-esteem from that of low self-esteem is the principle of motivation by love versus motivation by fear: the love of self and of existence versus the fear that one is unfit for existence. Motivation by confidence, which places its primary emphasis on the possibility of enjoyment, versus motivation by terror, which places its primary emphasis on the avoidance of pain.

Isn’t that wonderful? As I read it last night, it hit home to me a little bit and when I woke up today, it hit home a little more as I thought of my own experiences and how this paragraph applied to my own life.

He really looks like the expert on self-esteem. Here's his website: Link

I heard of him when I was reading Bradshaw's "Homecoming" inner child book. I'm not promoting him, just sharing my thoughts here. I have nothing to do with Dr N, except I'm just amazed.

I think if we all observe ourselves we can see if we're being motivated by fear or by love.

For example, the girl I like, after some disappointing moments when I had failed myself I told myself - I must not contact her if I'm feeling crappy or anxious because the results would be devastating when I would contact her in my bad moods.

I didn’t know where to put the finger on. All I knew that I shouldn’t contact her if I was feeling bad about myself. It would be best to contact her when I was feeling good - results were very good that time.

So I didn’t know what it was and now Dr. Nathan has defined the concept I was trying to get a hold of.

Now, HOW do we get motivated by love instead of fear? I'll keep reading. Obviously there's so much to learn, it seems impossible if I'll ever learn all I want to. That said, lets remind ourselves no one is perfect, hell - even the last line of that paragraph I quoted from Dr. Nathan is not correct grammatically - :-D. Hmm.

No one is perfect. We cannot be perfect. I am satisfied with myself not being perfect.

If I can accept that, that would be nice.

April 5, 2006
1:29 pm
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eve
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🙂

Yeah, the hard part is to notice in time when we are motivated by fear. And to be able to snap out of it. Sometimes love of other people helps better than love of self there (but love of self needs to be there first, because without it healthy love for other people won't grow).

April 5, 2006
2:03 pm
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Yea thats the hard part, knowing IF we are being motivated by fear and if we are - then what to DO about it.

Love of other people without emphasis on love for self is a distraction from the real inner anxiety. Gosh I'm trying to copy Dr. Nathaniel.

I'm eager to get to the parts where he starts talking about how to actually build self-esteem. I think its good that these first chapters are about the concept. I hope to read this book again and again. The more I read it, the more clear the concept of self-esteem will be for me. The more clearer the concept, the easier it will be convince myself to do things that improve my self-esteem.

Some of his things are so interesting, like he says that all anxiety is based on the doubt of the self - feeling unfit for existence.

I'll try to read more of his stuff, its very interesting. And his manner of writing is so condensed - he doesnt waste time. Every word of what he writes is used well and has meaning.

April 5, 2006
2:05 pm
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And did you know, the only two basic emotions are fear and love? All other emotions come under that.

I read that I think in Bradshaw's homecoming book and Dr N. says it too. The paragraph above says it too.

This seems like what I've been trying to figure out and Dr. N is giving it to me. Hopefully my recovery will be speedier.

April 5, 2006
9:02 pm
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revelation
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See...its these types of posts that make it so worthwhile coming here...something to learn from, something to live by. Knowing that you come here to help others...and also to learn!!! Thanks guest...I must get myself to a bookshop and find that book.

April 5, 2006
11:42 pm
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Revelation,

That is one amazing author. He's my mentor now I think, he has such a good understanding of self-esteem. I seem to think low SE is the cause of all problems and this coincides with what he thinks too - so his message will sink into me deeper than a message I dont accept or a message towards I'm not already positively biased.

How I got to it was, I saw a little extract of his book in John Bradshaw's book "homecoming" and I was amazed at how full of meaning his writing was. No words wasted - every word had a meaning and its importance. And it made so much sense I was like Wow. That was just one paragraph! That drove me to buy the book- 2 copies, I keep one at the office too and read when I have time and feel like I should read it.

You can buy it at amazon at this Link. Buying books though is not a problem for most of us, they're usually $10 or less, the mental health ones I mean, usually. Its READING them that is the problem and understanding them.

But then also, reading books is just a small part of it all. So much more is to be done to be healthy.

His sentences are so condensed and full of meaning, its incredible. I wish I had more time and commitment to read the book. I plan to read it again and again and again (provided I finish the first time).

He has a number of books on self-esteem. The one I have is titled very respectfuflly and nobly "Honouring the self", thats the one I gave the link for.

I was glad to share this here.

April 6, 2006
6:46 pm
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Intriguing thread Guest!

I think the fundamental difference between hight self-esteem and low self-esteem is the former group love themselves whereas the latter do Not love themselvesor have had dysfunctional screwed up life.

Another thing worthy of note is that we should distinguish between High self-esteem and False self-esteem. The former is healthy and wholesome one; the latter is just a mask people put on to convince everyone around them that they are happy and healthy people.

April 6, 2006
7:40 pm
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Good point, Raspberry!

But seeing the difference can be harder than it first appears. Lol. Especially since I always think the best of people and trust their self-presentation image until (& sometimes even after!) they have proved otherwise.

Blessings - gazelle.

April 6, 2006
7:44 pm
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Rasp

Dr. Nathan talks of the false self-esteem too. I dont remember exactly but he said its a defense mechanism - a false coverup as you say.

See, false self-esteem is motivated by fear. Fear of giving off an image of low self-esteem, so there - false self-esteem is low-esteem too. How's that.

April 6, 2006
7:47 pm
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Guess I'm too emotionally open & honest, and never suspect that others aren't always the same. That's why I keep getting hurt. Also, I make allowances too much for behaviours that hurt me. Does that mean I too have low self-esteem, despite considering myself well-educated & reasonably 'clever'? Ouch!

But I don't want to turn into some closed-off, suspicious, defensive, emotional recluse again and wallow in lonely self-protective life-wasting (like my ex bf & his mother, in their narrow little bubble) instead of joyously reaching out to others in trust & hope ... hmmm ... finding the balance must be the key.

Love, Gazelle.

April 6, 2006
8:01 pm
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revelation
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false self-esteem...sounds like NPD!!! Does he write about that at all guest?

Gazelle

"Guess I'm too emotionally open & honest, and never suspect that others aren't always the same"

I said exaclty the same thing to a friend the other day...but I believe that being open and honest is really the way to be...those that are not are in denial...but I know, when you are the open type, its really difficult to comprehend why others are not. I do believe that ultimately the open and honest people will be the happier people though...

April 6, 2006
8:43 pm
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Gazelle

I'm not a master on the subject, not as of yet atleast but lets see:

>> I make allowances too much for behaviours that hurt me. < < If thats true then yes, it doesn mean 🙁 that you have low self-esteem, like ME. So you're not alone. >> despite considering myself well-educated & reasonably 'clever'? < < Hmmm. Education, what kind? It doesnt matter, nope. Degrees are pieces of paper. Reasonably clever, you mean, more aware than other people are? Dr. Nathan says self-esteem is created by resolving to be aware of the truth, whatever that is. To be honest to ourself. I'll have to go read that part again to remember what he said exactly. >> closed-off, suspicious, defensive, emotional recluse again and wallow in lonely self-protective < < :(. Yea., That is all fear based stuff so that wont work out for that reason. _____Rev, I havent read anything about NPD as of yet - or if I did I forgot. But I'd say yea, NPD is false self-esteem, right on. I have some time today, hopefully I'll read some more Dr Nathan today.

April 7, 2006
7:01 am
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I have just read ''Reflections of happiness'' When I was reading through Dr N words I noticed when he said especially ''You have to bring the positives to the foreground and keep the negetives in the background'' It immedietly appealed to me as that is what I have more or less been doing over the past month, hmm it might explain why I have had a massive smile on my face and have been happy with me for the past month I did say to someone ''I don't think I have felt so content in all me life'' Yeah I know I could have a relapsed at any time but just to go through a phase of it is totally unreal, lol!

April 7, 2006
9:51 am
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Thanks for that title, I read the article too now, here it is if anyone wants to read it: Link

Research also tells us that the best predictors of a person's disposition to be happy are (1) self-esteem and (2) the belief that we ourselves, rather than external forces, are the most significant shapers of our destiny.

There you, its back to self-esteem again. Its hard to think of the positives unless we feel fundamentally and independently feel good about ourselves. Indepdendently feeling good about ourselves means, feeling good while not depdending on anything - while doing nothing. Feeling good without an external source that makes us feel good.

So you say you've been happy with yourself- thats where its coming from. I hope you stick to this good phase permanently, now that would be nice.

I wonder if there's anyone who doesnt feel good about themselves but is an optimistic person - probably no one.

I'm having some crappy times of self-doubt, pain and distress. Its about that girl I like. I'm doubting that it would work and thats the root of the problem. I have psych appointment today, will tell him all in my heart.

April 8, 2006
8:20 pm
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Hi, what is the name of the book on self esteem again? You mention a couple on here, but I also have read a couple on this subject and I wish to know more.Thanks!

April 8, 2006
9:52 pm
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its "honoring the self" that I have, but he's written other books too on self-esteem. I'd say the concepts are the same so go with this one. It also helps to read more books on the same subject so to make the concept more clear.

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