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Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 20th 2015
- Secrecy at Work: A Growing Phenomenon
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 15th 2015
- Life Goals and the Perception of Time: Do It Now!
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Oct 1st 2014
- Tackling Mental Illness Stigma at the College Level
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 24th 2014
- Social Workers in Emergency Rooms: An Idea Long Overdue
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 17th 2014
- New Biochemical Research Points to Five Types of Depression
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 10th 2014
- Challenges Increase for Family Caregivers when Cognitive and Behavioral Issues are Present
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Sep 5th 2014
- Are You a Caregiver?
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 29th 2014
- To Age with Joy, Be True to Yourself
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 26th 2014
- Eight Ways to Take Care of Yourself During a Health Crisis
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Aug 22nd 2014
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Two Keys to Self-Esteem
Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.: Fri, Jul 26th 2013
We've all heard of self-esteem, but what is it really? More importantly, how do we develop it if we feel we're running a little low in the self-esteem department? First, it's important to know what gives us self-esteem. This elusive concept has two aspects:
Efficacy. Effi-what? We often want to say "efficiency" when we see this word, but efficacy is a cool word in its own right. Efficacy refers to feelings of competence. When we have efficacy about something, we have an expectation and confidence that we will be able to do it. For instance, you may feel efficacy about your ability to play volleyball, to drive a car, or to bake a cheesecake.
Efficacy starts out being tied to specific activities, but it can generalize to broader feelings of competence - or incompetence. Our feelings of efficacy can also change (for better or worse) by experience.
Here's an example: Let's say that you feel efficacy about your driving; in other words, you think you're a good driver and feel confident when you get behind the wheel. But then you have a car accident. This could undermine your sense of efficacy as a driver. It could also lead to generalizing so that you no longer feel confident riding a bike or steering a boat either. And these things can add up so that your self-esteem takes a hit.
A lot of us are afraid to try new activities because of past failures (myself included). We're also quite skilled at not paying attention to our successes and improvements while we focus too much on our losses and failures. Oftentimes, we possess the necessary skills to excel at an activity, but we don't recognize these abilities and strengths.
Self-worth. This is the other aspect of self-esteem, and it's a biggie. Self-worth refers to the belief that you are basically good and have a right to exist. In short, it is self- approval. Pretty important, don't you think? Self-worth represents a fundamental belief that you are either "okay" or "not okay."
Interestingly, it's possible to have efficacy (that is, to feel competent) in a number of skills yet still experience low self-worth. Can you relate to this? I'm sure that each one of us can think of people we know who are intelligent, attractive, and talented, yet they hold deeply ingrained negative beliefs about themselves despite their obvious competence. Who know? This may even describe you.
But there's hope. There are ways to boost your sense of efficacy as well as increase feelings of self-worth. I'll talk about those methods in future posts, and I encourage you to try them as ways of enhancing your self-esteem - a critical part of multidimensional wellness.
Young, M. E. (2013). Learning the art of helping: Building blocks and techniques (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Thank You! - Carrie Steckl, Ph.D. - Jul 29th 2013
Thanks so much for your kind words! Look for more posts on this topic later this week. I hope they are helpful!
Take good care,
Can't WAIT..... - GayeLynn - Jul 27th 2013
What a TEASE! ;)
I need the help ASAP!!
What a truly great find....now onward with the answers PLEEEEEAAASE!