Monday, February 8, 2010

Chapter 5

Can General Self-Esteem Be Improved?

The book discusses a study about baseball coaches that were trained in supportive teaching techniques and the result was that the young boys had a positive effect on their self-esteem. Also another study said, "Low self-esteem can be raised more by having the person think of desirable characteristics possessed rather than of undesirable characteristics from which he or she is free." This is basically saying that if you think of your good traits rather than your bad traits then your self-esteem will be raised. I personally agree with this idea of positive thinking. However, another study showed that "overpraised" kids who were confident about becoming "very good" spouses, parents, and employees could be subject for a big let down in real life. I do not necessarily agree with this because I believe praising your kids is necessary for them to grow in a positive way. It also gave Branden's Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. The first pillar was live consciously. The second was be self-accepting, meaning do not judge yourself too harshly or strictly. The third was take personal responsibility, meaning if you do something own up to it. the fourth was be self-assertive, meaning stand behind your beliefs. the fifth pillar was live purposefully, meaning set goals throughout your life. And the sixth and final pillar was have personal integrity, meaning be true to your word and values. "The behaviors that generate good self-esteem are also expressions of good self-esteem."

I found an article called "The Importance of Self-Esteem and Why it Matters" by Karl Perera. It states, "
I think self esteem is central to everything you do. It affects your behavior and thoughts. It changes how you feel about and value yourself. Can you imagine anything else so important?" This is extremely true. Self-esteem affects if you feel happy or sad. If your day is good or bad has a lot to do with self-esteem. Self-esteem should matter to you for the following reasons: self esteem can be the difference between success and failure, esteem can affect your thinking, causing your outlook to be positive or negative, esteem affects your confidence, it affects your self image, if you do not value yourself how will you be able to value others?, self esteem enables you to have the right attitude to succeed at work, and it affects your happiness.

Perera, Karl.
"The Importance of Self-Esteem and Why it Matters"


  1. I also thought that the baseball study was interesting, I have coached youth sports as well and it is clear that kids do not respond well to negative comments. I believe that self-esteem is one of the few things that we control, yet it can be boosted or destroyed by the comments or actions of others.

  2. I agree, Self-esteem plays a huge role in youth sports. Most kids do not respond well to criticism by using negative comments or screaming orders at them. The most important part of youth sports is that the kids are having fun and enjoy playing the game. Too often coaches get caught up in winning and forget why most kids play sports. Youth sports are meant to be fun and a way to motivate kids to be active and stay healthy.

  3. word up to all previous statements. Criticism is necessary, but being overly critical never works. reinforcing positive behavior while offering encouragement and suggestions is always preferable to overtly telling someone that they're doing a bad job. Reinforcing the positive helps people feel better about themselves and the work they do, which strengthens any organization.

  4. I believe that praise for a child's success is only natural. I babysit and parents are their children's loudest supporters and, pardon the comparison, cheerleading squad.. you get the idea. I think children are not born with high self-esteem and everyone goes through an awkward stage at one point. So, it is neccessary and important for them to receive praise for their small successes and continuous parental support and enthusiasm. That is what encourages children to continue being good students, to push their boundaries of what they can accomplish, etc. If they are told they can do great things and should dream big, they will and they will be successful. It's all about being able to believe in yourself. I know this for a fact because my hostparents were the exact opposite than my parents (who have always encouraged me and celebrated my successes). My hostmom believed that constant critizicsm was the best way of encouraging my host sister and I. This not only led to a lot of conflict and hot tempers, but also hurt my self-esteem to the point where I was nervous speaking German around her because she would always critize my accent or my grammer, even after I had been living with them for a year and my German was so flawless security at the airport didn't believe I was American. Her complaints may have led me to try to improve my German a little more than I may have, however the negative effects on the family dynamic and my relationship with her that year outweighed any positives that came from her lack of encouragement.