Key to answers

  • Answers below in FAQ from the LaBelle Outreach Foundation are color coded
  • Answers in below FAQ from Dr. Nathaniel Branden are color coded in blue – [email protected]

1.  You think about yourself a lot and analyze why you are the way you are.
2.  You are stressful and fearful of adversity.  You may be alienated from and in opposition with parents, caregivers, and authority figures. in general.
3.  You do not smile easily.  You may have a negative, hopeless view of yourself, your family and society.
4.  You are tired a lot.  You may be unwilling or unable to set and achieve your goals.
5.  You stay to yourself.  You prefer being alone to meeting new people or being with others.
6.  You keep people away.  You have trouble making and keeping friends.
7.  You avoid looking into the eyes of others.  You have difficulty with genuine trust, intimacy, and affection.
8.  You refuse to take risks.  You are needy and may have a tendency to cling or to fake intimacy and affection.
9.  You create negative effects. And in extreme cases you can be antisocial and perhaps violent.
10.  Things others cannot observe include:  You talk to yourself negatively, you do not tell the truth or keep your word, you do not forgive yourself or others.  You may lack empathy, compassion and remorse.
Raising Self Esteem takes changes in behavior.  Behavior will change with practice and intention.  Self-esteem is an achievement — a process that empowers, energizes and motivates.  It is not something that we have, but the experience of things that we do.  Self-esteem is he experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.

1.  Be on time for everything.  You show respect for others and they will trust you.  Those who respect others do not cheat, deceive or steal and are trusted.
2.  Be clean.  Consistently groom your body, organize your space and donate to others.  Nurture your body and your relationships and you will be confident.
3.  Say only supportive things to yourself.  Convert negative thoughts to think positively about yourself and others.  You will be loyal.
4.  Keep your conscience clean.  Talk to someone you trust.  To confess is to heal.  Have courage to do the right things and you will build a good reputation.
5.  Take responsibility for your actions and choices — forgive yourself and others.  Forgive and forget the incident and you will be tranquil.
6.  Put your desires in writing.  You must know what you want to have it.  Clarity makes one powerful.
7.  Be aware and appreciate the good in your life daily.  This keeps you in the present and you will be gracious.
8.  Share your knowledge with those who wish to know.  Contribute and participate and you will be joyful.
9.  Do what you love to do where you want to be.  You will be happy.
10.  Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, whether you feel like it or not.  Keep your word and you will be reliable.
11.  Tell your truth in the moment.  Don’t wait for the “right” time.  You will  be accountable for your choices.
12.  Be calm and alone for at least 24 minutes daily (one minute for every hour of the day).  Pray, meditate or experience nature and you will be peaceful.

1.  You are generally not thinking about yourself and don’t analyze yourself.
2.  You feel good most of the time.  When you feel bad, it doesn’t last long.  You are resilient in the face of diversity.
3.  You smile a lot.  You have positive belief systems.
4.  You have lots of energy.  You are able to see and accomplish most of your goals.
5.  You are friendly.  You enjoy meeting and being with others.
6.  You draw people to you.  You make long-term friendships.
7.  You look others in the eye.  You are trustworthy and able to be intimate and affectionate.
8.  You take risks.  You are independent and autonomous.
9.  You have positive effects.  You have behavioral and academic success in school.
10.  Things others can’t observe include:  You talk to yourself positively, tell the truth, keep your word, are grateful to be alive, forgive yourself and others.  You are empathetic, compassionate and you have a conscience.

You have a chronic case of feeling good.
1.  You are generally not thinking about yourself and do not analyze yourself.
2.  You feel good most of the time.  When you feel bad, it doesn’t last long.  You are resilient in the face of diversity.
3.  You smile a lot.  You have positive belief systems about your self, your family and society as a whole.
4.  You have lots of energy.  You are able to set and accomplish most of your goals.
5.  You are friendly.  You enjoy meeting and being with others.
6.  You draw people to you.  You make long-term friendships.
7.  You look others in the eye.  You are trustworthy and able to be intimate and affectionate.
8.  You take risks.  You are independent and autonomous.
9.  You have positive effects. You have behavioral and academic success in school.
10.  Things others cannot observe include:  You talk to yourself positively, tell the truth, keep your word, are grateful to be alive, forgive yourself and others. You are empathetic, compassionate and you have a conscience.
The above actions, decisions about yourself, and beliefs can be started and adopted at any time. They take life long practice and anyone can do them.  A decision must be made, and then practice must begin.  All of us make mistakes but being willing to forgive ourselves enables up to forgive others.

That depends on the teacher’s understanding of Self Esteem and what is required to nurture it. If a teacher treats students with respect, avoids ridicule and other belittling remarks, deals with everyone fairly and justly, and projects a strong, benevolent conviction about every student’s potential, then that teacher is supporting both Self Esteem and the process of learning and mastering challenges. For such a teacher, Self Esteem is tied to reality, not to faking reality. In contrast however, if a teacher tries to nurture Self Esteem by empty praise that bears no relationship to the students’ actual accomplishments-dropping all objective standards-allowing young people to believe that the only passport to Self Esteem they need is the recognition that they are “unique”-then Self Esteem is undermined and so it academic achievement. We help people to grow by holding rational expectations up to them, not by expecting nothing of them; the latter is a message of contempt. Research indicates that there is a significant relationship between Self Esteem and academic achievement, and that if we can raise a student’s Self Esteem, academic improvement tends to follow.
People of average intelligence or better can, in principle, grow into psychologically healthy adults. Obviously parents, teachers, and other adults can to a great deal to make the road to Self Esteem easier or harder. Sometimes, where there are deep psychic wounds and traumas left unresolved since childhood, a decent level of Self Esteem can be very difficult to achieve. In such cases, psychotherapy may be necessary. But I have never met anyone utterly devoid of Self Esteem and I have never met anyone unable to grow in Self Esteem, assuming appropriate opportunities for learning exist in their worldspace.
Self-esteem is an experience. It is a particular way of experiencing the self. It is a good deal more than a mere feeling. It involves emotional, evaluative, and cognitive components. It also entails certain action dispositions: to move toward life rather than away from it; to move toward consciousness rather away from it; to treat facts with respect rather than denial; to operate self-responsibly rather than the opposite. Self-esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness. It is confidence in our ability to learn, make appropriate choices and decisions, and respond effectively to change. It is also the experience that success, achievement, fulfillment and happiness are right and natural for us. Self-esteem is not the euphoria or buoyancy that may be temporarily induced by a drug, a compliment, or a love affair. It is not an illusion or hallucination. Lots of things (some of them quite dubious) can make us “feel good” – for a while. If Self Esteem is not grounded in reality, if it is not built over time through the appropriate operation of mind-for example, through operating consciously, self-responsibly, and with integrity — it is not Self Esteem.
The internet can offer some excellent sites on Self Esteem. Just spend some time surfing it.
The experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.
Rationally, one does not focus on Self Esteem per se; one focuses on the practices that support and nurture Self Esteem-such as the practice of living consciously, of self-acceptance, of self-responsibility, of self-assertiveness, of purposefulness, and of integrity, as I discuss in The Six Pillars of Self Esteem . . . Self-esteem demands a high reality-orientation; it is grounded in a reverent respect for facts and truth.  Excessive and inappropriate self-absorption is symptomatic of poor Self Esteem, not high Self Esteem. If there is something we are confident about, we do not obsess about it-we get on with living.
No, not if one is talking about reality-based Self Esteem rather than grandiosity.  It is no more possible to have too much Self Esteem than it is to have too much physical or mental health.  But sometimes when people lack adequate Self Esteem they fall into arrogance, boasting, and grandiosity as a defenses mechanism-a compensatory strategy.  Their problem is not that they have too big an ego but they have too small a one.  Further, let me say that high Self Esteem is not egotism, as some people mistakenly imagine.  Egotism is an attitude of bragging, boasting, arrogating to oneself qualities one does not possess, throwing one’s weight around, seeking to prove one’s superiority to others-all evidences of insecurity and underdeveloped Self Esteem.
Is watching one’s diet and eating intelligently a “godless pursuit?”  Is exercising?  Is striving to learn and grow?  Is the pursuit of self-development and self-realization “godless?”  Why would one think in such terms?  With regard to Self Esteem, I do not see “God” as relevant, one way or the other-unless you believe in a malevolent God who wishes human beings to face the challenges of life in a state of terror and paralysis.  The plain truth is, some people with good Self Esteem believe in God and others with good Self Esteem do not.
How some parents wish it were!  But the truth is, many factors influence our Self Esteem.  Certainly parental upbringing is important; parents can make the road to Self Esteem easier or harder-but they cannot determine the ultimate level of their child’s Self Esteem.  However, we must remember the role that each individual plays, through the choices and decisions we make every day.  We are not merely clay on which external forces write.  We are active contestants in the drama.  As adults, we carry primary responsibility for the level of Self Esteem we develop.
People who lack Self Esteem sometimes think so, but the truth is that in today’s world there are celebrities who have physical beauty, millions of adoring fans, and millions of dollars-and still they cannot get through a day without drugs.  They live with severe anxiety or depression or both.  Good looks, popularity, and wealth guarantee nothing-if one does not have the Self Esteem to support them.  Lacking such Self Esteem, it is very easy to feel like an imposter, waiting to be “found out”–and waiting for all one’s advantages to be blown away.  Even among young people, where the assets mentioned above tend to be more important, the relation of these assets to Self Esteem is fragile at best; long-term, they are far from an adequate foundation for the experience of competence and worth.
That depends on what is meant by “praising.”  If we see a child acting consciously and responsibly, and we acknowledge this behavior with recognition and appreciation, we may increase the likelihood that such behavior will be repeated. If we ridicule, punish, or ignore it, we may produce the opposite result.  Either way, we may indirectly influence the child’s Self Esteem (although not necessarily).  But to be effective, “praise”-or, more exactly, recognition–should be reality-based, calibrated to the significance of the child’s actions (in other words, not extravagant or grandiose), and directed at the child’s behavior rather than his or her character.  Sweeping statements such as “You’re a perfect angel,” or “You’re always such a good girl,” or “You’re always so kind and loving,” are not helpful:  rather than nurture Self Esteem, they tend to evoke anxiety, since the child knows there are times when they are not true.  Even with these restrictions, praise or recognition needs to be administered cautiously, so as to avoid turning a child into an approval-addict.  We want a child to experience the intrinsic pleasure that flows from appropriate behavior.  We want the child to become the source of his or her own approval, not always waiting eagerly for ours.  So we need to avoid bombarding a child with our “evaluations.
Some enthusiasts for Self Esteem believe good Self Esteem solves nearly all the important problems of life.  This is untrue.  Struggle is intrinsic to life.  Sooner or later everyone experiences anxiety and pain-and while Self Esteem can make one less susceptible, it cannot make one impervious.  To offer a simple example:  If someone you love dies, does having good Self Esteem mean that loss won’t “bother” you?  Clearly not.  Think of Self Esteem as the immune system of consciousness.  If you have a healthy immune system, you might become ill, but you are less likely to; if you do become ill, you will likely recover faster-your resilience is greater.  Similarly, if you have high Self Esteem, you might still know times of emotional suffering, but less often and with a faster recovery-your resilience is greater.  A well-developed sense of self is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of your well-being.  Its presence does not guarantee fulfillment, but its absence guarantees some measure of anxiety, frustration, and despair.  Some people, when they face new challenges initially perceived as intimidating or overwhelming, may suffer a temporary dip in the level of their Self Esteem.  Then, as they persevere and master the new challenges, Self Esteem rises again.  Such fluctuations are normal.
Every value pertaining to life requires action to maintain it.  If we do not continue to breathe, the breathing we did yesterday will not keep us alive today.  The same principle applies to Self Esteem and the practice that support it.  If–through the six practices mentioned above–we have succeeded in building good Self Esteem, this does not mean that we now drop those practices without harm to ourselves.  If we do not choose to sustain these practices-if we elect to operative mindlessly, irresponsibly, without integrity-there is no way for Self Esteem to avoid being adversely affected.  Neither a business, nor a marriage, nor a soul can be kept alive and healthy without continuous effort.  Responsibility for appropriate action never ends

There seem to be five different approaches to building Self Esteem in students.  The most effective programs undoubtedly incorporate elements of each of these approaches, for we know that the change process requires that we address the intellectual, behavioral, and emotional levels of the individual.  These approaches might be described as follows:
COGNITIVE APPROACH-This approach places the emphasis on developing positive mental attitudes, helping students to think about their feelings, and adopt healthier ways of interpreting or relating to the events that occur in their lives.
BEHAVIORAL APPROACH-This approach endeavors to develop specific functional behaviors in students so that they can display behaviors that command greater respect from others and Self Esteem in themselves..Such behaviors may relate to voice control, posture, eye contact, or expression of feelings
EXPERIENTIAL APPROACH-This approach is perhaps the most common among the programs published.  It provides positive experiences for students to build up feelings of self-respect and Self Esteem.  Most of the activities rely on external sources of feedback and reinforcement.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT APPROACH-There are a number of programs that aim to build Self Esteem by improving the functional communication skills, decision making skills, or social skills of students.  They base their programs on the concept that unless students actually function at a higher level, they are unable to sustain positive feelings about themselves.
ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH-This approach is a more holistic approach that structures the environment and the activities students engage in to develop particular attitudes and skills that lead to Self Esteem.  It tends to address such aspects as discipline, social activities, goal setting, responsibility, and how adults interact with students.

There have been numerous studies supporting the fact that individuals must have a certain level of Self Esteem before they are willing to persevere long enough to succeed.  However, most studies support the idea that achievement is more likely to be the result rather than the cause of Self Esteem.  Both are thus intimately related to one another.  The issue thus becomes, what are the strategies that build both Self Esteem and achievement at the same time, and how can we foster Self Esteem without sacrificing academic excellence?
There seem to be several major reasons for the lack of definitive research:
1.  There is little agreement on the definition of Self Esteem.  Thus, it becomes difficult to compare studies when the researchers are studying different aspects of Self Esteem.
2.  There has been no agreement on standard measures of Self Esteem.  Over 130 different measures have been used to measure Self Esteem.  Few of these measures have any demonstrable reliability.
3.  It becomes difficult to determine whether Self Esteem either causes the result observed or whether it contributes to other variables that result in particular behaviors or problems.  For example, in spite of the hundreds of studies, cigarettes have not yet been clearly identified as the cause of cancer.
4.  Most studies on Self Esteem have been conducted over such a short period of time, it is difficult to determine the long term effect.
5.  Most measures of Self Esteem have tapped what is termed “global Self Esteem.”  Thus, the level of Self Esteem is affected by so many different factors it is almost impossible to isolate any single factor.  Changes that affect one aspect of Self Esteem may not affect the other aspects.
6.  The significant aspects of Self Esteem for students or adults constantly change as we mature.  Thus, what seems to affect Self Esteem with some individuals has no effect on others because their Self Esteem is based on other variables.
7.  It is difficult to measure the effects of Self Esteem because it is a basic attitude.  This attitude affects motivation or behavior only when other other attitudes or conditions don’t override its significance at that moment.