Self-esteem is essential for psychological survival. It is an emotional sine qua non - without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet. One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it. In other words, you have the capacity to define who you are and then decide if you like that identity or not. The problem of self-esteem is this human capacity for judgment. It's one thing to dislike certain colors, noises, shapes, or sensations. But when you reject parts of yourself, you greatly damage the psychological structures that literally keep you alive. Judging and rejecting yourself causes enormous pain. And in the same way that you would favor and protect a physical wound, you find yourself avoiding anything that might aggravate the pain of self-rejection in any way. You take fewer social, academic, or career risks. You make it more difficult for yourself to meet people, interview for a job, or push hard for something where you might not succeed. You limit your ability to open yourself with others, express your sexuality, be the center of attention, hear criticism, ask for help, or solve problems....This book is about stopping the judgments. It's about healing the old wounds of hurt and self-rejection. How you perceive and feel about yourself can change. And when those perceptions and feelings change, the ripple effect will touch every part of your life with a gradually expanding sense of freedom. ---- Self-Esteem.
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