Ep. 19: Megan MacCutcheon — Keys to Women’s Confidence and Healthy Self-Esteem

Countless people struggle to see themselves in a positive light, and women face specific challenges to their self-esteem. In this week’s episode I talk with licensed professional counselor Megan MacCutcheon about her Self-Esteem Workbook for Women.

Self-esteem has become a rather polarizing idea, in part because high self-esteem is often portrayed as “believing you are perfectly awesome,” as this article in the Harvard Business Review says. But it all depends on how you define self-esteem, according to my guest. Megan’s nuanced definition is nearly indistinguishable from supposedly better alternatives like “self-compassion,” suggesting that the more controversial versions of self-esteem are straw-man caricatures.

Megan and I explored the crucial distinction between positive self-esteem and narcissism, as well as the relation between self-esteem and self-compassion, self-confidence, and self-love. We also considered topics including:

  • The lack of education about proper psychological self-care
  • Specific challenges to women’s self-esteem
  • What it means to take responsibility for one’s self-esteem
  • The effects of practicing kindness toward oneself
  • Why it’s often so hard for us to recognize our own worth
  • Where low self-esteem might come from
  • Why healthy self-esteem must come from within
  • Common effects of parenthood on self-esteem
  • The importance of accepting our parental imperfections
  • The possibility of loving ourselves, limitations and flaws included
  • Choosing the right measuring stick for ourselves
  • Whether the pursuit of gender equality is actually beneficial to women’s self-esteem
  • How to use self-talk to build healthier self-esteem
  • Leading with action to build confidence
  • The role of body posture in self-image

I hope you enjoy our conversation and I look forward to your comments.

Megan MacCutcheon is a registered licensed professional counselor with a practice in Vienna, VA. She received her BS in communication from Boston University and her Master of Education in community agency counseling from George Mason University.  Megan is a topic expert and blogger on GoodTherapy.org and has experience as a therapist and domestic violence systems advocate at The Women’s Center in Vienna, VA, and as a child psychiatric specialist at the Children’s National Medical Center.

Her books are available for purchase through Amazon and other booksellers:

Building Self-Esteem: A Guide to Achieving Self-Acceptance and a Healthier, Happier Life

The Self Esteem Workbook for Women: 5 Steps to Gaining Confidence and Inner Strength

(Please note that these are affiliate links, meaning a percentage of each purchase made through these links will be used to support the Think Act Be podcast, at no additional cost to you.)

Find Megan online at her website and on GoodTherapy.org where you can read her blog posts on self-esteem and other topics.

Leave a Reply