Forget Self-Esteem. You Need Compassion

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Self-esteem has long been considered the bedrock of individual success. But high self-esteem may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Thinking you’re great (which, of course, you are) comes with pressure to live up to your own self-image. You may live in quiet terror of making mistakes and, even worse, feel devastated when you do. When faced with a challenge, you don’t need to believe in your own brilliance as much as you need to confront your flaws head-on. Develop self-compassion, a willingness to look at your own shortcomings with kindness and understanding. With a realistic sense of your abilities and actions, you can figure out what needs to be done differently next time. Being perfect doesn’t lead to success, but being able to avoid the same mistake twice does.

Adapted from “To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem” by Heidi Grant Halvorson.

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