- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 3rd edition (May 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1572241985
- ISBN-13: 978-1572241985
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 188 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem 3rd Edition
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McKay and Fanning recognize the complexity of the human tendency toward self- criticism. Their carefully written, cognitively oriented self-help book wisely avoids simplistic solutions, offering instead a systematic approach to self-eseem development.
—Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D., author of Your Perfect Right
Positive self-esteem is the centerpiece of a healthy personality. McKay and Fanning's new book offers us a valuable storehouse of tactics and strategies for constructing (or renovating) the foundation of our self-esteem.
—Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., author of Shyness
Self-Esteem is truly a very special title. Good writing is especially necessary for self-help titles.... I feel a special enthusiasm in bringing it to the notice of our audience.
—The Midwest Book Review
From the Publisher
The original self-help book for building healthy self-esteem just got better with a catchy new package that connects it to The Self-Esteem Companion and the forthcoming Self-Esteem Guided Journal.
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While some people may have chronically low self esteem due to harsh judgment of self and others, others lack discernment when it come to judgment. In other words, they lack an ability to discern a value system by which to judge, so they do no judgment of others at all--others are good and self is impaired--must look to others as they mirror by which they judge themselves because their self is a blank. Putting into place the action plan in chapter 15 would only exacerbate the issue. And this type of self reflection is only increasing in a world in which all things are relative..."I'm okay, you're okay." "it's bad to judge" and so forth.
While Chapter 15 may be the apex of cognitive dissonance, there were many other areas I found wanting--from the endless list-making and reframing to the pop-psychology feel of the book overall. The discussions of how we use the status quo to maintain our low self esteem were unnecessarily convoluted and unhelpful. Occasionally, there were some helpful areas--such as the discussion of self-worth. However,overall, I found this book de-motivational and overwhelming.
If you're looking for something to help you understand low self esteem in terms of how you were raised, from a positive and enlightening perspective, try "Running on Empty," by Jonice Webb.
To really get the most out of the book there are several exercises to do in the book. I chose not to do them the first time through, but I am planning on going back and reviewing. I'm sure the exercises will be very benefical in changing the way we think about ourselves.
There is a section on affirming our worth I found to be quite controversial. The authors gives us a choice of four different ways to deal with our sense of self worth. The first is to view our human worth as an abstract concept that upon examination, has an extremely fragile basis in nature. So we are better off not even think about the concept of self worth with this option.
The second way to view self worth is to see it as being equally distributed and immutable. This view lines up more with what I have been taught. If there is a God then he created us in his own image and he still cares about us.
The third option is to acknowledge a time in your life that you had a sense of self worth and to just know it exists. You don't have to think about where it came from. When you struggle with low-self esteem you can just remember the good times and draw from those experiences. The authors says "You can't keep it from shining, you can only keep yourself in the shade by letting your pathological critic throw up clouds of confusion or by crawling under the rock of depression."
The fourth way do deal with the problem of self worth is to take a good look at your self through the lens of compassion. You realize that we are all humans with basic needs. We must find food, shelter, emotional support, rest and shelter. We all have our struggles to fulfill our basic needs. Our worth is valued by looking at the effort.
Is there one of these options that works better than the others? Is it subjective? Where can we find the answers? The book makes some very good points and is quite thought provoking.
I found that the critic's voice to be so deeply ingrained that it took me months to identify his attacks, dispute them instead of just accepting, and finally separating them from my true thoughts so I could finally begin to invalidate their negative message.
So on page 33 I will now begin on disarming the critic. Its been a slow road but the progress has been noted in therapy and within myself.
This book has played a part in that, which is its intended purpose. So I recommend this book and expect that if you put in the time you will see and feel yourself progressing too.