Self-esteem  / Self concept........Talent Development Resources ...

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

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.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes...
over 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 lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver
from her collection Dream Work

[image: Wild Geese, woodblock print
by Ohara Shoson, 1926]

          ~ ~ ~ ~

Meredith Vieira : “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.

"I sat 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 months...

"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..."

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Pierce Brosnan

I 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 black-Irish melancholy.

You 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 life.
My faith has kept me strong in times of great distress and turmoil and has given me a touchstone with myself and more.
    [Life mag., Dec 2 2005]

> photo from piercebrosnan.com - which includes
a gallery of his paintings

> related page:. spirituality

> related article : Being Creative and Self-critical
- by Douglas Eby

~ ~ ~ ~

    John Lennon & insecurity

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.

And he 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 confidence.

> journalist and biographer Larry Kane [CNN Showbiz Tonight special on Lennon, Dec 8 2005]
. Kane was the only American journalist to travel in the official Beatles entourage during the legendary 1964 and 1965 tours of North America.

> bio: Lennon Revealed - by Larry Kane

~ ~ ~ ~

more perspectives 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...

The 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.
Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.

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 Lennon : The New York Years
~ ~ ~ ~

You come 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 you do.

Bill Nighy .. [imdb.com bio]

> photo: Bill Nighy with Kelly Macdonald in HBO film The Girl in the Cafe

The Self-Esteem Supercharger

Michael Cestone

Many professional and recreational athletes have found listening to the Self-Esteem Supercharger before a game or match improves their performance.

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
Personal Growth Information

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~

Many creative 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.

Kate Winslet 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 Creative and Self-critical - by Douglas Eby

      ~ ~ ~ ~

I 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 scene 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 things.

Meryl Streep .. [The Sunday Times Magazine, October 2004]
> photo as Sen. Eleanor Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate (2004, Paramount)

> related page :...impostor syndrome.

~ ~ ~ ~

    self-doubting / self sabotage

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 promotion.

Now supposing that outcome is not realized and someone else wins the prize or gets the promotion. What we are left with is our 'projection of success' not being realised.
This mental 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 self sabotage.

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.

Martin Perry - coach, and author of ebook
Supreme Confidence for Self Doubters

> more books:  self-esteem/concept resources



~ ~ ~ ~

imageIn her 13th summer, Jane Fonda began seriously hating her own body.

(This "disembodiment" 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.)

She.. attended Vassar College, but she dropped out and convinced her father to send her to Paris to study painting.

This 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. ///

"All 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."

Why didn't she become a feminist sooner?

"I erroneously thought it required male bashing," she writes.

> from review by Susan Salter Reynolds
[LA Times April 5, 2005] of Jane Fonda's memoir
My Life So Far


~ ~ ~ ~

The Enchanted Self

When I 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. 

I 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 positive ego-states. 

The 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.

It seemed as if a magic wand had been tapped on the women's heads in their adult lives.

For example, when Edith talked about her childhood, she at first remembered only its dysfunctional aspects: the fighting between her parents and their constant criticality.

I 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. ....

The 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.

She even found the time to develop her talent for dancing.

Thus 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.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein - from her book 
The Enchanted Self : A Positive Therapy -

available on her site The Enchanted Self

> also see her article Practical Steps to Enchantment

~ ~ ~ ~...

Idina Menzel on embracing your uniqueness

Everybody in 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.

We women have this strength inside of us and yet we are taught to always sort of keep it down.
If 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 fit in.

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, ** it.

Idina Menzel  [musicalschwartz.com

photo at left [by Joan Marcus] - Idina Menzel [in her green makeup] and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda in the Broadway musical “Wicked”

              ~ ~ ~ ~
Lauren Bacall 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.

"For the real stakes in the theatre are high -- they are life stakes," she says.

Her successes 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?" ///

"I'm hanging in," Bacall says in summary. Work "keeps me in high spirit."

Her self-confidence is improved "if still a bit shaky." Critics' opinions can never be completely ignored, but "what really matters is that I matter to myself."

> from review by Eric Lax [LA Times Feb 27, 2005]
of Lauren Bacall's memoir
By Myself and Then Some


~ ~ ~ ~

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 it.

Drew Barrymore
> from True Drew - by Nancy Juvonen, Glamour, Mar 2004
photos - left : Lester Cohen/WireImage // right : Eddie Adams

~ ~ ~ ~  
On the other hand, the most creative and morally advanced people are typically not models of high self-esteem.

But this 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.

Czeslaw Milosz, 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.

There remains something positive to be said about not feeling too comfortable with oneself. Perhaps all great human endeavors have at their root feelings of inferiority.

> from article What Is Wrong With Feeling Good
by Elizabeth Mika

~ ~ ~ ~
I 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. 

That was 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.

Natalie Portman   ... LA Times August 2, 2004 /  Garden State [dvd]

~ ~ ~ ~


I still doubt myself every single day. ... What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear. ... 

I've always 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. ///

I've learned to use [self-doubt and fear of failure], to flip that negative energy around and make it a challenge. 

I 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.

It's like 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.

Will Smith

from "My Fear Fuels Me" - By Dotson Rader, 
Parade, July 11, 2004

~ ~ ~ ~
believe in yourself 

[Do you have any advice for young actresses?]

You 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. 

Just 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 this?" 

But something inside of me just kept doing it. I think something inside of me just believed that this is what I should do.

Not 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.

Kim Dickens... [Venice magazine April 1998] 
photo : as Joanie Stubbs in HBO series "Deadwood"

~ ~ ~ ~
Life is 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.

Marie Curie... [quoted in Personal Success newsletter from Brian Tracy Int'l]

> related book : Obsessive Genius : The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith

~ ~ ~ ~
At times, 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. 

As a 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. 

Why? Our cookie sheets were not shiny -- they were burned. I had unwittingly come out to her as a poor girl.

After the cookie sheet fiasco, I would have liked to stifle our family's eccentricities, but I knew we had too many of them. 

I 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 partner. 

Eccentric example: in junior high, my girlfriends' mothers were teaching them how to shave their legs and armpits. 

Meantime, my mother begged me not to shave, reminding me that I would miss this expression of my full woman-inity, or whatever she called it.

It wasn't just my family; I had my own eccentric pursuits. As a teenager attending a picture-perfect high school on Chicago's North Shore,

I stayed up late doing symbolic logic puzzles, started an underground newspaper, created an activist student group and attended conferences about nuclear proliferation.

Writing about these geeky adventures now, I realize I'm proud of them.

I 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 normal. 

You can either truly honor your uniqueness or invalidate yourself.

Julia Mossbridge - from her article Spirituality for Geeks
Conscious Choice, March 2004

> book: Julia Mossbridge. Unfolding

*related pages:.......eccentricity........early life

   ~ ~ ~ ~


Too often 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 with courage.

Allowing these concepts to flourish is to deceive ourselves as to our true value and potential.

If we hold the assumption that we cannot change things, we will live our lives reacting to other instead of taking action ourselves.

By reclaiming 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 self-rewarding choices.

Sandra Ford Walston     [site]

....Courage: The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman : 
Reclaiming the Forgotten Virtue

~ ~ ~ ~
Another kid 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 of 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. 

Nothing could 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.

....Thelma, age 14, from the novel Crazy Eights by Barbara Dana (1978)
[image: detail of book cover illustration by Robert J. Blake]

~ ~ ~ ~

I 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 character. ...

[To consistently play an outsider, you have to have a 
pretty strong will. Where does your strength come from?]

My grandfather always wanted us to be self-sufficient, especially the girls in the family. 

He taught us to drive the speedboat, to fish and hunt, to survive in the wilderness.. to take care of ourselves. 

I always saw rural families teaching their women; city families protected their women and didn't teach them very much. ....

Eventually Bob Vila came into our lives, and taught women how to pick up a hammer and screwdriver. He's been my idol ever since! ....

[My character in The L Word] is evolving, and so am I. Whoever we are [as people] is not concrete.

Pam Grier

from article: She's Here, She's Grier 
by Denise Sheppard, BUST winter 2003]

photos: left: unknown date; 
right in Showtime series The L Word (2004)

*related pages:.......courage/confidence........identity

   ~ ~ ~ ~

Self 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. ... 

more styles: Extreme Non-Risk-Takers ; Delayers ; Charmers ; Self-Doubters / Self-Attackers ; Extreme Risk-Takers ; Rebels ; Misunderstood Geniuses ; Best-or-Nothings

....Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement - 
by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD

more styles listed on page :  self-limiting behavior

~ ~ ~ ~
You 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.

Yet, 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.

In other words, insecurity is the name ofthe game.

Suzanne Falter-Barns - from her article Coaching Creativity: 7 Lessons From Artists

...her books: 
How Much Joy Can You Stand : A Creative Guide to Facing 
Your Fears and Making Your Dreams Come True

Living Your Joy: A Practical Guide to Happiness

her site:
HowMuchJoy.com - practical tools for creative dreamers
~ ~ ~ ~


more :***self-esteem / self concept.: page 2..........self-esteem / self concept.: page 3

...................self-esteem / self concept.: page 4......... Self concept / self esteem articles

..self-esteem / self concept resources : sites articles books.........change / growth sites
*courage/confidence..........identity..........ego / narcissism..........androgyny..........eccentricity

  ****home page : Talent Development Resources*----**site contents******books etc