Start Developing Self-Compassion
It has almost become a truism in our culture that we need to have high self-esteem in order to be happy and healthy. Psychologists have conducted thousands of studies touting the benefits of self-esteem. Teachers are encouraged to give all their students gold stars so that each one can feel proud and special. We are told to think positively of ourselves at all costs, like in Stuart Smalley’s book of positive affirmations: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” But as research is now starting to demonstrate, the need to continually evaluate ourselves positively comes at a high price.