Friday, May 3, 2013

You May Be Wise to LOWER Your Self-Confidence

I am of the belief that self-confidence, beyond a bare minimum, is more likely to abet complacency and even narcissism than to make people more productive.

Most highly productive people often worry they're not good enough--That's part of what drives them to keep striving. From George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to most of the many highly accomplished people I know, they're all driven by moderate insecurity and feelings of unworthiness. I hypothesize that lower achievers are too unintelligent or defended to feel that worry, that insecurity.

I believe that self-esteem programs do more harm than good. Enduring self-esteem comes only from ongoing accomplishment, not by virtue of being human, of a particular background, etc.

When I write and speak, in my professional as well as personal life, I often worry if it's good enough. More broadly, I worry whether, en toto, my life's contributions are valuable enough. I'm not worried into anxiety or depression but just enough that the worry, borne of only moderate self-confidence, does help me be my best self.


cynthia dean said...

great show today (5 may)!! really enjoyed it.

from ambrose bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:
Self-Esteem: An Erroneous Appraisal

happy may to you, cynthia dean!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of what George Bernard Shaw said once about discontent. He said discontent was a good thing because it motivated people to try an improve their circumstances. Now days discontent is treated like a disease that must be cured.


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