Alan Weiss puts forward an interesting idea in a short blog post "Self-Esteem and Control" --
"I’ve found that self-esteem is about control—control of your own life. And that control is based on your ability to organize your life. That means not being subject to others’ objectives in place of your own; being able to access what you need when you need it; having discretionary time; and being able to focus on your real priorities."
It seems to make some sense. I rarely people who feel fully in control of their lives, time, resources, emotion, thinking, social lives, etc, who are unhappy.
Does that translate into self-esteem, though? Happiness, yes. But self-esteem seems to rest on more than that. I know people who are exceptional at what they do, are in full control of their lives, but who consistently underestimate themselves.
Still, feeling and being out of control can't be good for self-esteem, and it's definitely a good thing to improve. My guess is that feeling in control of your life is necessary but not sufficient for the highest levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Might be better to interpret this the opposite way. Not control causes self-esteem, but self-esteem causes control.
It's a deep, self-validated confidence in yourself and your beliefs (self-esteem) that leads to not meekly bending to the whims of others (control).
So he's not saying that control is impossible without self-esteem, but that a benefit of deep self-esteem is that it leads to greater control.
Some of what he calls control I would call freedom to do and be what you want. I think self-esteem is more related to self-love and being willing to look after you self by for example setting and keeping clear boundaries or asking for what you really want from someone and not being attached to whether they say yes or no. It is also related to self-confidence or belief in yourself.
I agree. And I'll point out that it's not a perfect match in either direction -- control and mastery don't guarantee self-esteem. Self-esteem doesn't guarantee control and mastery.
On the surface level, yes.
On the deeper level, no.
Maybe I'll write more on this. I feel paralyzed because there is so much to say and not enough brain cycles to formulate it at all :p
http://sebastianmarshall.com/but-do-you-identify-with-it (comments by stephven and me)
I started reading "Hagakure," which was written by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716. I don't agree with everything in the book - some of the things Yamamoto-sama says sound crazy to my modern sensibilities, but there's some powerful quotes in here about bushido. Here's some I liked, with some thoughts of my own -
We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaming one's aim is a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he pains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.
The first book of philosophy on bushido I read was the Budoshoshinshu. It had a significant impact on my thinking. One of the largest tenets of bushido is keeping awareness of your death in mind when you live. I try to do this, because it gives you a sense of urgency and importance.
A lot of times the principle is misunderstood - the principle is actually make preparations as if you'll live forever, but live this day that you'd be proud if it was your last. Bushido is not about being reckless. It's about keeping awareness of the end with you, and in doing so, living much more.
It's almost paradoxical - the man who is aware of his death, who relinquishes his claim on life, he lives much more fully. The man who is ignorant of his death does not live as much. Death is not something to be afraid of - it's something to be aware of. Being aware of it makes you more alive, and more effective, and more purposeful.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you think about? Head over to a mirror, stare at yourself (as creepily as possible) and notice the thoughts that you begin to tell yourself.
"I wish I was _______"
"I want to get rid of ______"
"I hate my _________"
I can't believe I ________"