The Rational Basis® of Happiness Podcast

← Return to Podcast List

00:00 / 00:00

Self Esteem

How to gain control over how you feel about yourself


























(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)

Dr. Kenner:      How do you cope with the issues in your life so that you feel good about yourself and you have some hope about the world and you have great friendships? I want to give you one tip. This is a quote from my favorite, Ayn Rand. She wrote Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. This is about your relationship with yourself, so listen up. "It's terribly bad to be conscious of yourself as others see you, whether they see you as good or bad. Take yourself for granted. The consciousness that feels alone, without the weight of other eyes watching, is the only healthy consciousness." 


So your mind, we can go through life feeling, "Oh, I wonder if I'm good enough. What will Judy say about me? What will Sam say about me? What will Uncle Harry say or my parents say?" And you feel like you're only good if they say good things. You're only bad if you say bad things. Many of us go through life just worried about what other people are thinking about us all the time. Good policy or not. Not a good policy! Does that mean that you stand by yourself, a Good Housekeeping stamp of approval and say, "I'm good all the time, no matter what I do?" No, that's not a good policy either. You want to know yourself. Know what you value in yourself. What is accurate? You watch how you observe. You watch how you make choices. That's what self esteem is based on, your own self-evaluation of yourself! 


If you make good choices, please give yourself a hug and credit yourself. If you make bad choices, don't beat up on yourself, unless you've really crossed the line. But figure out how to make better choices. Say, "I've ignored the fact that we're in debt and I need to focus on this now. And I am going to start focusing on it." Instead of saying, "I know we're in debt now. What's the use? Why bother? Who cares?" And you throw up your hands and you go spend more money that you don't have. Bad policy. The worst thing about that is, you're eroding whatever self-esteem you could build at that moment. It's not that we don't have stresses, but how we deal with our stresses really matters. And how we embrace the positive things in our life really matters too. Do you just brush them aside or do you pursue the friends that you love, a romantic relationship that you want to enhance, good relations with your kids or a family member, keeping those that are not good from you away from you - are you capable of doing that? 


That's what this show is all about. It's The Rational Basis of Happiness.