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:
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