Lack of self-efficacy and low self-esteem

Jerry Minchinton identified 12 attitudes and behaviors that reinforce unworthiness and contribute to low self-esteem in people. Source: Maximum Self-esteem: The Handbook for Reclaiming Your Sense of Self-Worth

  1. Identify themselves with their actions. People are not what they do. They make mistakes, but that does not necessarily make them a bad person, lower their worth, or value as a person.
  2. Rely on other people to give them a feeling of importance and make them feel good. It is good to have others support you with their approval. If people depend on it, it can adversely affect them when it is withdrawn. People can be happier when approval is generated within themselves.
  3. Neglect their personal needs in favor of other's needs. When this is done it sends a message that they have less value for them self than others. All people should be of equal value.
  4. Expect others to do things that they are capable of doing themselves. Mature and responsible people become so when they assume responsibility for their own welfare. People that have to rely on others to take care of them when they are capable of doing it themselves remain dependent on others and often have to settle for less.
  5. Feel guilty, shame, self-pity, and stress mistakes rather than successes. All creates emotional and physical damage and denies ones innate sense of worth.
  6. Rely on wishes and hopes to get what they want. People are far more likely to get what they want by investing their time to achieve their goals.
  7. Allow others to think and make their decisions. Advise is helpful, but people are responsible for their actions and must accept the consequences of their actions regardless of who makes suggestions.
  8. Indulge in destructive criticism. Although people begin to criticize others they end up criticizing themselves. This behavior becomes habitual and eventually harmful.
  9. Compare yourself with others, favorably or unfavorably. Comparison causes discontent and inaccurate thoughts on superiority that creates unrealistic expectations. Everyone is unique with unique strengths and weaknesses making most comparisons invalid.
  10. Believing their worth is dependent on their accomplishments. They believe their worth is directly proportional to their accomplishments, talents, skills, or the value of their possessions. People have human worth because they are humans by birth.
  11. Not forgiving themselves for mistakes. We criticize ourselves for making bad decisions when we many times had little information to make better decisions. Most people make the best decision they can based on the information they have at the time.
  12. Not accepting full responsibility for their own life. People tend to be happier if they believe that most of what happens to them is a result of their actions or inactions.


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes