Written by Michael Angier

A reader fromrepparttar Middle East wrote to me recently asking how he could improve his low self-image. He said, "it ruins my social and professional life." He wanted to know what techniques he could employ to solve this lifelong problem.

I felt somewhat inadequate in my reply to him and resolved to write about my own struggles to improve self-esteem in hopes that it will be helpful to others.

The dictionary says that esteem means, "to regard with respect; to prize, to appreciate. To recognizerepparttar 126360 quality, significance, or magnitude of, to admire greatly; to value."

I know people who have too much confidence and self-pride, but I don't know ANYONE with too much self-esteem. Most people, in moments of profound honesty, will admit to a lack of self-esteem. They would like to feel better about themselves--more confident and capable--in short, to love themselves more.

It would probably be fair to say that most social problems arerepparttar 126361 result--directly or indirectly--of someone's low self-concept.

Not too many years ago, I was going through a dark time in my life. I was broke--financially, personally, socially--even spiritually. In describing it to someone once, I said, "I hadrepparttar 126362 self-esteem of a dead rat." That might have been overstating it a bit but not much.

My life--and my confidence--is much better today. MUCH better.

So what changed? Was it outward circumstances? Did my environment change and with it my inner experience? No.

Somehow I knew that any changes would have to be from me. It would be an inner transformation that would eventually alterrepparttar 126363 outward experience.

Some ofrepparttar 126364 things I did unconsciously. Others were done with deliberation.

First and foremost, I removed myself from people who had been particularly critical. By distancing myself from this criticism, I was able to gain a better perspective. I was perfectly capable of taking my own inventory and didn't need someone else pointing out my errors and keeping me focused on my shortcomings.

I immersed myself in good books--books of inspiration, books that increased my belief and books that gave me hope. And hope was severely lacking.

A good therapist helped me to see myself in a better light. Because he wasn't emotionally involved in my problems, he was able to see things differently. He would often point out that things weren't nearly as bad as they appeared to be.


Written by Oscar Bruce

The human mind is an innovative hybrid that allows us to anticipaterepparttar future - to think big thoughts. That'srepparttar 126359 good news.

However a growing number of psychologists and behavioral scientists are finding evidence that our brains are hard- wired for mistakes in today social environment, especially when it comes to assessingrepparttar 126360 personality and predicting behavior of people we encounter.

Why are we so bad at readingrepparttar 126361 intentions of others? Built on top ofrepparttar 126362 older "emotional" parts of our mamallian circuitry, there is a "rational" cerebral cortex. The two are often at odds, and underrepparttar 126363 surface, our protective instincts are always lurking. Unfortunatelyrepparttar 126364 "emotional" circuitry frequently overwhelmsrepparttar 126365 "rational" cortex. We simply give more weight to elements inrepparttar 126366 personality of people we encounter that supports our beloved preconceptions than to any evidence torepparttar 126367 contrary. Thus we frequently completely missrepparttar 126368 target and pay a price for our misjudgments.

ARBITARY OBSESSIONS... The frontal lobes have fallen in love with our preconceptions. This hard-wired programming undercuts us in a host of sadly familiar ways. The most common is how our preconceptions and prejudices distort perception of individuals we wish to assess.

CONFIRMATION BIAS... It's our all too natural ability to convince ourselves of whatever it is that we want to believe. How? We simply give more weight to events that support our desired prejudice or preconception than to any evidence torepparttar 126369 contrary.

PREPARATION MUST PRECEED OPPORTUNITY... Consider how many great opportunities are lost by what I call "semantic sabotage". If you've ever found yourself stumbling over your words, or simply not knowing what to say next, you've experienced "the dialog dilemma. Or if you've uttered a statement, then realized that isn't exactly what you meant to say. These are all curable maladies.

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