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.
About Albert Ellis
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Published October 3, 2005
by Prometheus Books.
Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Science & Math, Professional & Technical.