You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your
for a hundred miles through the
You only have to let the soft animal
of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I
will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
the sun and the clear
pebbles of the rain are
moving across the
the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high
in the clean blue air are
heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how
the world offers itself to your
calls to you like the wild
geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your
in the family of things.
from her collection Dream
Wild Geese, woodblock print
by Ohara Shoson, 1926]
~ ~ ~
: “Where was my self respect”
"He would slap me and then make up.. It
escalated to the point where he actually threw
me out of the apartment naked.
out all night in the stairwell, and the next
morning he let me in. And that's when I started
to plan my departure. It took almost 12
"But you wonder. I consider myself a pretty smart
woman, and I got into this situation... Where was
my respect for myself?”
[Meredith Vieira, in MORE magazine.]
Teri Hatcher in revealing her sexual abuse,
commented, "I don't think you have to be molested
to be in pain as a woman, to feel like you don't
deserve good things..."
~ ~ ~
know what it’s like to loathe oneself.
To feel that deep self-loathing.
It’s painful and ugly and f**ing
unwanted. And it got in the way.
I can dip in there, into the old
think “Am I smart enough? Am I equipped
enough to deal with it all?” You don’t
want it to happen, but it’s part of
faith has kept me strong in times of great
distress and turmoil and has given me a
touchstone with myself and more.
mag., Dec 2 2005]
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
People would be surprised at how insecure John
Lennon was, and his lack of self esteem. This is
a guy who did not have a father to speak of, a
mother who disappeared, an aunt who was a
disciplinarian, a failed first marriage...
Throughout his life, even during the height of
Beatle mania, when they were so successful in
the early days, he had poor self esteem.
told us that in his music: “I’m a loser... I’m
not what I appear to be...”, “Help, I need
somebody...”, “Mother, you had me but I didn’t
have you.” ...
He had poor self esteem even though he exuded
> journalist and biographer Larry Kane [CNN
Showbiz Tonight special on Lennon, Dec 8 2005].
was the only American journalist to travel in
the official Beatles entourage during the
legendary 1964 and 1965 tours of North
> bio: Lennon
Revealed - by Larry Kane
of John Lennon
I'm not going to change the way I
look or the way I feel to conform
to anything. I've always been a
freak.. all my life and I have to
live with that, you know.
If being an egomaniac means I
believe in what I do and in my art
or music, then in that respect you
can call me that...
worst drugs are as bad as
anybody's told you. It's just a
dumb trip, which I can't condemn..
one gets into it for one's own
personal, social, emotional
reasons. It's something to be
avoided if one can help it.
of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the
other part of me thinks I'm God
You're just left with yourself all the
time, whatever you do anyway. You've got
to get down to your own God in your own
temple. It's all down to you, mate.
> quotes from brainyquote.com
> photo from book: John
: The New York Years
~ ~ ~
to realise there is this huge disparity
between what you think about yourself and your
work and what other people think about you and
your work, at first you either think they're
insane or that it's a conspiracy to make you
look stupid. Or maybe, just maybe, they're
right, and you're sometimes quite good at what
Bill Nighy with Kelly Macdonald in HBO film
The Girl in the Cafe
professional and recreational athletes have found
listening to the Self-Esteem
Supercharger before a game or match improves their
Professional soccer player Michael Cestone says, "I had
tried subliminal tapes with limited results, so I had to
try the Paraliminals because they were different.
"I was desperately looking for something to help me
prepare for the season. I noticed results immediately.
"The first time I used the tape I felt more focused and
was able to read the game better, as well as make faster
decisions. That was only the beginning.
More details about the above program on
~ ~ ~
people, even when they have achieved
recognition for their talents, may experience
self-critical thoughts and insecurity.
Talented film actors often report they don’t
watch their own movies. When you can be seen
in close-ups on twenty foot high theater
screens, it may be especially hard not to
criticize your appearance and performance.
has admitted that before going off to a movie
shoot, she sometimes thinks, “I’m a fraud, and
they're going to fire me... I'm fat; I'm ugly.”
Highly creative and
talented people are, according to research on
giftedness, often susceptible to perfectionism
and unreasonably high standards and expectations
that can lead to exaggerated criticism.
> article Being
and Self-critical - by Douglas Eby
~ ~ ~
have varying degrees of confidence
and self-loathing.... You can have a
perfectly horrible day where you
doubt your talent. It could be about
not feeling able to achieve a certain
or about an emotion you feel you
weren't able to get to... Or that
you're boring and they're going to
find out that you don't know what
you're doing... any one of those
[The Sunday Times Magazine, October
> photo as Sen. Eleanor Shaw in
The Manchurian Candidate (2004,
~ ~ ~
self-doubting / self
There is nothing more frustrating than getting
to the verge of success then shooting ourselves
in the foot.
It begins when the computer of oneself was being
programmed at an early age, an incident or
incidents happened that affected the way that we
think about success.
Competition breeds self sabotage. Whenever we
enter a competition, exam, contest we will
project into a desired outcome. For example an
outcome of winning a competition, or getting
selected to represent our team, or winning a
that outcome is not realized and someone else
wins the prize or gets the promotion. What
are left with is our 'projection of success' not
energy, which is what it actually is, turns to
disappointment, then perhaps bitterness, if we
do not resolve the outcome in ourselves.
This perhaps leads to the world view, that the
world is unfair, that others get better
opportunity than we do and so forth. If left
unchecked this creates a perfect ecology for
We then start to think about ourselves as
someone who doesn't get selected, win the
promotions, make the big sales, and behave in
a way, that confirms this view of ourselves.
This is self sabotage. In the book, you can go
through an exercise that will help you build
an antidote to self sabotage.
~ ~ ~
her 13th summer, Jane
seriously hating her own body.
resulted in bulimia... and an addiction to
Dexedrine that persisted well into Fonda's 40s.
It was not until [after 1997], she writes, that
she was able to "reinhabit" her body.)
attended Vassar College, but she dropped out and
convinced her father to send her to Paris to
was a time of deep depression, "an existential
mourning for the lack of meaning in my life, a
yearning for the emergence of an authentic self
I wasn't sure existed," she writes. ///
my life," she writes in the final chapter, titled
"Leaving My Father's House," "I had been a
father's daughter … seeing myself through the eyes
of men and accommodating them on the deepest,
invisible level (while seeming to do the contrary)
and, in so doing, delivering a part of myself to a
world that bifurcates head and heart."
didn't she become a feminist sooner?
erroneously thought it required male bashing,"
from review by Susan Salter Reynolds
[LA Times April 5, 2005] of Jane Fonda's memoir
Life So Far
first began to analyze data from the women I
interviewed, I kept trying to understand how their
enhanced adult lives evolved from the childhoods
they talked about.
found that although there seemed to be some clear
connections, many others were not clear at all.
This mystery further influenced my choice of the
The Enchanted Self as a term to express these
capacities of these women to re-claim positive
aspects of their childhood, while discarding the
dysfunction that was often also present, was
astounding to me.
seemed as if a magic wand had been tapped on the
women's heads in their adult lives.
example, when Edith talked about her childhood,
she at first remembered only its dysfunctional
aspects: the fighting between her parents and
their constant criticality.
suggested that we go back and look again at her
childhood to identify times when, in spite of
the pain of family life, she felt excited about
her own life and about herself. ....
magic was that the adult Edith could integrate
the overly functional, meticulous child she once
was into an enormously competent professional
woman who gained positive self-esteem and
gratification from her abilities.
even found the time to develop her talent for
Edith's enchanted self in adulthood was really the
successful integration of the compulsive traits
created by negative childhood experiences, with
old pleasures and new talents.
Barbara Becker Holstein
- from her book
Self : A
Positive Therapy -
her site The
see her article Practical
~ ~ ~...
Menzel on embracing your uniqueness
some way or another can feel completely
alienated and like an outcast...
When you’re an artist usually you have to take
risks and usually you have to put yourself on
the line and go against the grain in order to be
great and unique.
And then you sort of stand up for what you
believe and are able to resist the negativity
and things people will say to you. So that’s one
aspect of Elphaba.
have this strength inside of us and yet we are
taught to always sort of keep it down.
we’re too big or too angry or too bold or too
beautiful or too talented, it can scare people. It
might scare other women, it might scare men,
whatever it is.
I sort of found in my life that I’ve taken a step
back and made myself smaller in order to try to
And that hasn’t worked. And we have to learn to
kind of embrace what makes us unique, and embrace
our strength and then if people don’t like it, **
left [by Joan Marcus] - Idina Menzel [in her green
makeup] and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda
in the Broadway musical “Wicked”
~ ~ ~
refers often to her insecurity -- it is the curse of
actors (and particularly herself) to need the approval
of strangers -- but to her credit, she gets out there
and does the work.
real stakes in the theatre are high -- they are life
stakes," she says.
have been darkened with much more pain: "At the age
of twenty I had grabbed at the sky and had touched
some stars. And who but a twenty-year-old would
think you could keep it?" ///
in," Bacall says in summary. Work "keeps me in
is improved "if still a bit shaky." Critics'
opinions can never be completely ignored, but
"what really matters is that I matter to myself."
~ ~ ~ ~
|I think what became more important
to me was not how other people saw me but how I saw
myself. I do run a company. I am consistent at work. My
bosses think that I will show up on time, and I'm
reliable to them.
I can respect myself. That ended up becoming the
important journey for me. And, of course, I'll always be
a bit of a ridiculous clown, 'cause I just can't help
> from True Drew - by
Nancy Juvonen, Glamour, Mar 2004
: Lester Cohen/WireImage // right : Eddie Adams
~ ~ ~
the other hand, the most creative and morally
advanced people are typically not models of high
insecurity is usually a sign of an active
conscience at work. Moreover, the insecurity and
the demons it feeds, are necessary elements of a
creative temperament and we have plenty of
evidence that without them no meaningful creative
efforts, especially in art, can be undertaken.
Polish poet and writer, and a Nobel laureate, who
died this year, attested to this, when he
confessed: “From early on writing for me has been
a way to overcome my real or imagined
worthlessness”. Imagine that.
something positive to be said about not feeling too
comfortable with oneself. Perhaps all great human
endeavors have at their root feelings of
from article What
Wrong With Feeling Good -
~ ~ ~
read the script [for "Garden State"] and it was
like no other part I'd had the opportunity to
play, someone so uninhibited and unreserved and
lets all her flaws shine.
really exciting to do, and liberating. I'm a
pretty inhibited person myself. I try not to be,
but years of adolescence train you to be
embarrassed about everything that's weird about
you... A lot of what this movie's about is how
can you be different and find your unique place
in the world.
... LA Times
August 2, 2004 / Garden
~ ~ ~
still doubt myself every single day. ... What people
believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction
to fear. ...
had a horrible fear of not achieving. I think that
comes from my relationship with my mother and
especially my grandmother, who believed I could do
anything. She held me in such high esteem that I
never wanted to fail her. She and my mother were
central in my life. ///
to use [self-doubt and fear of failure], to flip that
negative energy around and make it a challenge.
keep going because I doubt myself. It drives me to
be better. I've learned that the mastery of
self-doubt is the key to success.
being animated by the love of a woman -- the need to
be worthy of her. That's the spot Jada holds in my
life. I have to be better, stronger for her. It
makes me excel.
Fear Fuels Me" - By Dotson Rader,
~ ~ ~
you have any advice for young actresses?]
have to believe in yourself and not just what other
people say. I remember walking through the streets
of New York, being a waitress and not even at the
point of pursuing it.
mailing my headshots out, walking around and
thinking, "Why am I trying to be an actress? The
odds are so against me. Why am I trying to do
something inside of me just kept doing it. I think
something inside of me just believed that this is what
I should do.
that I was trying to be some movie star, but that I
would try to have a career at this. I guess just
believe in yourself and take the risks. You know
that's what it is really. It's really risky.
magazine April 1998]
photo : as
Joanie Stubbs in HBO series "Deadwood"
~ ~ ~
not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must
have perseverance and, above all, confidence in
ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for
something, and that this something, at whatever
cost, must be attained.
in Personal Success newsletter from Brian Tracy
book : Obsessive
Genius : The Inner World of Marie Curie by
~ ~ ~
I feel like my life is one long coming-out process.
The first time I shared a part of my life with someone
else, it wasn't pleasant.
five-year-old, living in a rickety farmhouse in a
conservative Midwestern suburb, I invited a friend
over to make cookies. Later she told me she didn't
want to play with me anymore.
cookie sheets were not shiny -- they were burned. I
had unwittingly come out to her as a poor girl.
cookie sheet fiasco, I would have liked to stifle
our family's eccentricities, but I knew we had too
many of them.
had a freaky physicist dad who cried at the drop of
a hat, a hippie artist sister; we lived with my
strident feminist grandmother and sulky grandfather,
and later we lived with my lesbian mother and her
in junior high, my girlfriends' mothers were
teaching them how to shave their legs and
mother begged me not to shave, reminding me that I
would miss this expression of my full woman-inity,
or whatever she called it.
just my family; I had my own eccentric pursuits. As
a teenager attending a picture-perfect high school
on Chicago's North Shore,
stayed up late doing symbolic logic puzzles, started
an underground newspaper, created an activist student
group and attended conferences about nuclear
these geeky adventures now, I realize I'm proud of
guess I spent many of my early years learning a
difficult lesson: when you know for sure that you
can't blend in, you realize you also can't pass as
either truly honor your uniqueness or invalidate
Mossbridge - from her
book: Julia Mossbridge. Unfolding
~ ~ ~
women see themselves through the eyes of those who
devalue their contributions, and many blindly accept
the myth that we are not supposed to direct our lives
these concepts to flourish is to deceive ourselves
as to our true value and potential.
we hold the assumption that we cannot change things,
we will live our lives reacting to other instead of
taking action ourselves.
a courageous self-image that is based on concrete
information, we can bring about positive change and
move from resignation to the excitement of making
The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman :
~ ~ ~
had been killed in a car crash. He was driving alone
and drunk. I understood it in an odd kind of way. We
don't really value our own lives. Most
the kids in Maplewood were unhappy and felt
insignificant (me included), but along with this
feeling that we were insignificant we had this
overblown opinion of ourselves.
happen to us. We were beyond it. Above and below. I
was the same way. It could have been me except I was
too busy being crazy in other ways.
14, from the novel
Crazy Eights by Barbara Dana (1978)
of book cover illustration by Robert J. Blake]
~ ~ ~
play true to my heart, because I have been an outsider
my whole life simply by being a woman of African
American, Native American, Filipino, Chinese and
Spanish descent, I know what it is like to be
stereotyped and defamed without people knowing my
play an outsider, you have to have a
will. Where does your strength come from?]
always wanted us to be self-sufficient, especially
the girls in the family.
us to drive the speedboat, to fish and hunt, to
survive in the wilderness.. to take care of
always saw rural families teaching their women; city
families protected their women and didn't teach them
very much. ....
Vila came into our lives, and taught women how to pick
up a hammer and screwdriver. He's been my idol ever
in The L Word] is evolving, and so am I. Whoever we
are [as people] is not concrete.
She's Here, She's Grier
Showtime series The L Word (2004)
~ ~ ~
Limiting High Potential Persons.. etch enduring
pathways over time by repeating their characteristic
self-defeating methods... this tendency can evolve
into a general self-limiting style. ....
one of the styles : Sleepers.
The style most often seen in people from families
or communities without models or traditions of
high achievement. Sleepers lack accurate
information about themselves, the extent of their
talent, and ways to express it. ...
styles: Extreme Non-Risk-Takers ; Delayers ;
Charmers ; Self-Doubters / Self-Attackers ;
Extreme Risk-Takers ; Rebels ; Misunderstood
Geniuses ; Best-or-Nothings
Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of
Adult Underachievement -
Kenneth W. Christian, PhD
styles listed on page : self-limiting
~ ~ ~
are usually your own worst enemy. It's a classic
Catch-22. You cannot truly create something great
unless you are willing to share your tenderest, most
vulnerable thoughts and feelings.
once you do that, you may be racked with self-doubt
and fear. Few artists are able to accurately assess
just how valuable and great their work is -- or how
much it will be appreciated by its audience.
other words, insecurity is the name ofthe game.
from her article Coaching
Creativity: 7 Lessons From Artists
~ ~ ~
page 4......... Self
/ self esteem articles
self concept resources : sites