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Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace

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Guides the reader to the heart's true desire: peace based upon love from and for God and for others. We learn that we never can merit God's love and the good news is that we don't have to -- He loves us regardless. Through Christ's atonement, our complete commitment, and love, "then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45) even though we don't Guides the reader to the heart's true desire: peace based upon love from and for God and for others. We learn that we never can merit God's love and the good news is that we don't have to -- He loves us regardless. Through Christ's atonement, our complete commitment, and love, "then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45) even though we don't merit it of ourselves. With this confidence, we can receive the gift of peace in our lives. This requires self-abasement, not self-esteem, to obtain because the source and focus is Him, not ourselves.


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Guides the reader to the heart's true desire: peace based upon love from and for God and for others. We learn that we never can merit God's love and the good news is that we don't have to -- He loves us regardless. Through Christ's atonement, our complete commitment, and love, "then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45) even though we don't Guides the reader to the heart's true desire: peace based upon love from and for God and for others. We learn that we never can merit God's love and the good news is that we don't have to -- He loves us regardless. Through Christ's atonement, our complete commitment, and love, "then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45) even though we don't merit it of ourselves. With this confidence, we can receive the gift of peace in our lives. This requires self-abasement, not self-esteem, to obtain because the source and focus is Him, not ourselves.

30 review for Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace

  1. 4 out of 5

    James Carroll

    This is one of my favorite all time LDS books! Excellent. The world says: Your good enough, your smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you. The gospel says: your not good enough, your not smart enough, and it shouldn't matter what people think, but God is good enough, God is smart enough, and He loves you enough to die for you, with His help, you can accomplish anything that is in accordance with His will. By God's power, He will change our very natures until He makes us good enough, smart This is one of my favorite all time LDS books! Excellent. The world says: Your good enough, your smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you. The gospel says: your not good enough, your not smart enough, and it shouldn't matter what people think, but God is good enough, God is smart enough, and He loves you enough to die for you, with His help, you can accomplish anything that is in accordance with His will. By God's power, He will change our very natures until He makes us good enough, smart enough, and like Him, by His grace not our works. This is the gospel, and illustrates the difference between "self esteem" (otherwise known as pride) and real self worth. The problem with pushing the "your good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you" garbage is that one of these days, everyone notices that they are not good enough for something they want (certainly not good enough to be perfect like God), that they are not smart enough, and that at least some people dislike them.... and then what do they do? If their feelings of self worth are tied to these concepts, then they simply fall apart. The more we seek for self esteem, the more we either loose all powers of honest self introspection (because we must lie to ourselves to convince ourselves that we are good enough when we actually aren't; we must try to convince ourselves that all our problems are someone else's fault, and thereby loose the ability to recognize our failings, the first step to repentance), or else we loose the ability to make true peace with ourselves (because we never feel that we measure up to even our own expectations, becoming depressed and filled with doubt). One or the other must be lost in a "self esteem" philosophy. The more we focus on finding self esteem, the more it slips through our fingers. It is only when we give up on our "self esteem" that we can find our true "self worth." The worth of an object is determined by the price that a knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay for the object. The Savior, (truly the most knowledgeable of buyers) has decided that our "worth" is infinite, EVEN THOUGH we are not good enough, or smart enough, and regardless of what some people may think. Do we really think that the Savior made a mistake when he chose to pay this infinite price? Because our potential is infinite, Christ paid an infinite price for us, despite our current nature, not because of it. Thus the Gospel can give a true feeling of self worth and confidence, but never of self esteem. We aren't number one, because God is no respecter of persons; we aren't special, because the worth of ALL souls is great even the worth of the least of God's children and we shouldn't be comparing ourselves with them anyway; and we don't need to "find ourselves," rather we need to serve others as God serves us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stasha

    After reading this book, I don't want my family to have self-esteem. There is too much selfishness in the world for us to esteem only ourselves without looking outside to see the suffering of others. I want them to have self-confidence and self-respect but I want them to esteem the Lord, God, and to abase themselves before Him. After reading this book, I don't want my family to have self-esteem. There is too much selfishness in the world for us to esteem only ourselves without looking outside to see the suffering of others. I want them to have self-confidence and self-respect but I want them to esteem the Lord, God, and to abase themselves before Him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Brilliant. I'm not much of a church book officianado, but this one is absolutely phenomenal. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Brilliant. I'm not much of a church book officianado, but this one is absolutely phenomenal. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    “Peace is not in self-esteem or even in self-awareness at all. Peace is in mercy. Peace is in calling upon God to receive our strength and keeping the commandments. Peace is in enduring to the end. Peace is diametrically opposed to self-focus.” I really enjoyed this book. This is a subject that I have pondered on a lot and one that I wish I could talk about as eloquently as the author does. It highlights the difference between having confidence, and having/seeking self esteem. Confidence we gain “Peace is not in self-esteem or even in self-awareness at all. Peace is in mercy. Peace is in calling upon God to receive our strength and keeping the commandments. Peace is in enduring to the end. Peace is diametrically opposed to self-focus.” I really enjoyed this book. This is a subject that I have pondered on a lot and one that I wish I could talk about as eloquently as the author does. It highlights the difference between having confidence, and having/seeking self esteem. Confidence we gain through God’s Grace and through our knowledge that we are His children and that He loves us. Self esteem is more about ego, and self consciousness. Recognizing our own nothingness is key to humility, which allows progression. Progression causes confidence. And true confidence in the Lord and in his love for us brings indescribable peace.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tevia

    Great book. I have avoided reading it for years. It was suggested to me many, many times by my sister and mom. Guess I just wasn't quite ready for the bold faced truths it had to offer. It really made me pause and realize many things about myself that I really knew, but didn't know how to face and then desire to change. It's a deep thing to look at oneself from the inside, and recognize ones utter nothingness, and feel completely relieved by that knowledge. It was a strange sensation reading thi Great book. I have avoided reading it for years. It was suggested to me many, many times by my sister and mom. Guess I just wasn't quite ready for the bold faced truths it had to offer. It really made me pause and realize many things about myself that I really knew, but didn't know how to face and then desire to change. It's a deep thing to look at oneself from the inside, and recognize ones utter nothingness, and feel completely relieved by that knowledge. It was a strange sensation reading this book and wishing that I had been humble enough years ago to read it and change. I was a little sad that even though these truths had been in front of me for my whole life, I didn't really understand how they worked and how to apply them. They were just words and concepts I would hear over and over in church, and knew they had great significance, but didn't ever have them put in such a way where I understood them on a level that would allow me to put them in practice. That, of course, was because my heart was hard and I was too selfish. I look forward to experiencing and hopefully keeping up the mighty change that is spoken of so often in the scriptures. I feel like I am finally starting to have enough humility to understand what it means to be selfless and Christlike.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katies_Faves

    This book is great! By forgetting ourselves and serving God, through serving our fellowmen -- that is how we find true peace. And isn't that what we're searching for when we want to feel good about ourselves? We will find our true worth when we stop focusing on ourselves and look outwards. Ms. Rasbind makes a great point about those who spend their lives in need of compliments -- only to keep needing it to feel good about their "self esteem." I also loved her example of Moses and how he was conc This book is great! By forgetting ourselves and serving God, through serving our fellowmen -- that is how we find true peace. And isn't that what we're searching for when we want to feel good about ourselves? We will find our true worth when we stop focusing on ourselves and look outwards. Ms. Rasbind makes a great point about those who spend their lives in need of compliments -- only to keep needing it to feel good about their "self esteem." I also loved her example of Moses and how he was concerned when the Lord told him he was going to be the prophet. He, Moses, murmured about his speech problem. Did the Lord give Moses a pep talk? Did he sit him down and tell him how great he was, how Moses was a real winner? How he was a great leader and would be able to lead the chosen people? No! The Lord basically chastised him for not remembering who made him. We shouldn't focus on ourselves, but on how we can serve God. When we take the focus off of us and put in towards the Lord -- that is how we feel good about ourselves. I really enjoyed this book and think that everyone should read this!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    This is a thought-provoking spin on "the Lord's idea of self esteem" vs. the "world's." Ester was a Mission Prez's wife who, being the wise and intelligent lady she is, noticed key things about her missionaries (lies they'd bought into) about how to be happy and "find themselves." I think her motivator for writing this work was to counter the New Age "love yourself" and "find your purpose" mentality. AS the Savior said (paraphrasing), "he that saveth his life shall lose it, he that loseth his li This is a thought-provoking spin on "the Lord's idea of self esteem" vs. the "world's." Ester was a Mission Prez's wife who, being the wise and intelligent lady she is, noticed key things about her missionaries (lies they'd bought into) about how to be happy and "find themselves." I think her motivator for writing this work was to counter the New Age "love yourself" and "find your purpose" mentality. AS the Savior said (paraphrasing), "he that saveth his life shall lose it, he that loseth his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Really, Really like this book. It sets the line between what the world sees everyone needs, more of a focus on themselves, and what God sees everyone needs, to have confidence to move forward, try and succeed. This is a small book, but with a very powerful message. I would recommend everyone read this. I agree with many others this would be a great book to re-read every once in a while. Keep your focus where it needs to be.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marc Hutchison

    I wish I'd read this 40 years ago. The search for "self-esteem" is a trap that results in either endlessly seeking other's approval, or blaming others for your failure to "measure up". Unfortunately the "importance" of self-esteem is so deeply embedded in our culture, that we usually never even question it. Sister Rasband does a great job of how losing ourselves in humility is the only way to find peace. I wish I'd read this 40 years ago. The search for "self-esteem" is a trap that results in either endlessly seeking other's approval, or blaming others for your failure to "measure up". Unfortunately the "importance" of self-esteem is so deeply embedded in our culture, that we usually never even question it. Sister Rasband does a great job of how losing ourselves in humility is the only way to find peace.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    This marvelous book cannot be adequately reviewed in this short area. It's truly paradigm-shifting, and life-altering. Bless Sister Rasband for writing this, for being an answer to prayer, and for broadening my narrow views. I'm eternally grateful. As I am less than a week away from taking my daughter to the states to go on a mission, I felt personally her stories of the missionaries & her calling as mission president's wife. This will be a book I read again and again. This marvelous book cannot be adequately reviewed in this short area. It's truly paradigm-shifting, and life-altering. Bless Sister Rasband for writing this, for being an answer to prayer, and for broadening my narrow views. I'm eternally grateful. As I am less than a week away from taking my daughter to the states to go on a mission, I felt personally her stories of the missionaries & her calling as mission president's wife. This will be a book I read again and again.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This book has only about 130 pages and yet it took me awhile to get through it for there was so much to think about in terms of self-esteem from the world's view versus God's view. For me, this book prompted me to do some soul-searching in who I'm becoming and the evolving changes I need to make. I'm looking forward to the discussion of this book at our book group tomorrow night. This book has only about 130 pages and yet it took me awhile to get through it for there was so much to think about in terms of self-esteem from the world's view versus God's view. For me, this book prompted me to do some soul-searching in who I'm becoming and the evolving changes I need to make. I'm looking forward to the discussion of this book at our book group tomorrow night.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luisa

    This is one of those books I periodically re-read to adjust my mental/emotional state. It makes you think about things differently and helps me to get back to where I want to be.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    If your looking for some fluffy feel-good and I'm great just cuz I'm me book, this is not it. Short book, but I found myself frequently laying it down while I let a phrase or sentence "sink in." If your looking for some fluffy feel-good and I'm great just cuz I'm me book, this is not it. Short book, but I found myself frequently laying it down while I let a phrase or sentence "sink in."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Haven't quite finished it, a good book to read in sections so you can think about the different ideas. So far the author is right on, and I want to highlight pages at a time! Haven't quite finished it, a good book to read in sections so you can think about the different ideas. So far the author is right on, and I want to highlight pages at a time!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    3.5 Stars. While this book was filled with thought provoking ideas, I have found that there are also many flaws. Before going into this book, there are some basic things you need to remember. 1) This book was written for a time period in which many people viewed themselves as "perfect just they way they were." A huge movement to support high self-esteem became popular, and the whole purpose of this book is to point out the flaws in that thinking, which the author does really well. 2) The author 3.5 Stars. While this book was filled with thought provoking ideas, I have found that there are also many flaws. Before going into this book, there are some basic things you need to remember. 1) This book was written for a time period in which many people viewed themselves as "perfect just they way they were." A huge movement to support high self-esteem became popular, and the whole purpose of this book is to point out the flaws in that thinking, which the author does really well. 2) The author makes a lot of generalizations, which makes it hard at times for the reader to follow. 3) This book was written based on personal revelation of the author's. Therefore, the book and its concepts should more appropriately be looked at "in example than in logic." Wendy L. Watson wrote a review on this book that clarifies many of the questions that the reader is left with after finishing the book. I encourage you to read the review before and even after you read this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Dow

    I loved this book! Ester Rasband makes such a compelling and relevant argument against the need for “self esteem”. She explained in a very straight forward way the contradiction between the voice of the world and the voice of God when it comes to how we should see ourselves, others, and God. In today’s day in age there is a culture of “self-love” and “self-help”. It’s a society primarily focused on pride. In this book Rasband helps us see why this culture and way of thinking is directly opposed I loved this book! Ester Rasband makes such a compelling and relevant argument against the need for “self esteem”. She explained in a very straight forward way the contradiction between the voice of the world and the voice of God when it comes to how we should see ourselves, others, and God. In today’s day in age there is a culture of “self-love” and “self-help”. It’s a society primarily focused on pride. In this book Rasband helps us see why this culture and way of thinking is directly opposed to the ways of God. It was such an eye opening book and helped me to see the ways in which I can change and see myself and others the way God does.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I think this book needs to be released again. It was psychologically and doctrinally sound. Confidence is great, chasing after validation is not. We are happiest and most confident when we aren't seeking value from external sources. Be selfless, not selfish. Don't hate yourself and don't be egotistical, find the balance. I think this book needs to be released again. It was psychologically and doctrinally sound. Confidence is great, chasing after validation is not. We are happiest and most confident when we aren't seeking value from external sources. Be selfless, not selfish. Don't hate yourself and don't be egotistical, find the balance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ramona McConkie

    The section on parenting is so spot-on! The focus on self-esteem and trying to build our or others’ confidence by platitudes or phrases and a self-focus gives a false sense of security and leads to a spiraling cycle of need that is never enough. Security from God is the only true security and is born from a sense that we are loved because we are His.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    If I listened to this book again, or maybe read it I might give it more stars, I'm not sure. It's months since I listened to it, but as I was listening I didn't make note of anything that I REALLY wanted to remember. If I listened to this book again, or maybe read it I might give it more stars, I'm not sure. It's months since I listened to it, but as I was listening I didn't make note of anything that I REALLY wanted to remember.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Clark

    I thought this book was very insightful. We live in a culture that is so self absorbed that we dont even realize all of the ways we are focused on ourselves. She shared an enlightening message and gave practical principles for being better able to focus on others.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A great book for humbling reflection and greater peace.

  22. 5 out of 5

    CJ Rowley

    This was a very good book and helped me gain a lot of perspectives I didn't have before. This was a very good book and helped me gain a lot of perspectives I didn't have before.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I highlighted so much of this book. It is beautiful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    William

    This was an interesting read. It's part "self-help" and part meditation on LDS doctrine. As the provocative title suggests, Rasband takes issue with contemporary ideas about "loving yourself," "believing in yourself," etc. She says these concepts of "self esteem" are too based in ideas about our own abilities and/or accomplishments, which will never be "enough" for too many of us. And for those of us who do deem ourselves "enough" based on these personal qualifications, this "self-esteem" is rea This was an interesting read. It's part "self-help" and part meditation on LDS doctrine. As the provocative title suggests, Rasband takes issue with contemporary ideas about "loving yourself," "believing in yourself," etc. She says these concepts of "self esteem" are too based in ideas about our own abilities and/or accomplishments, which will never be "enough" for too many of us. And for those of us who do deem ourselves "enough" based on these personal qualifications, this "self-esteem" is really just unhealthy pride and self-absorption. "Self esteem," says Rasband, is inconsistent with what the scriptures teach us. Rather than "loving ourselves," we would be better off just recognizing and internalizing that God loves us--not for anything we have done to "deserve" or "earn" such love, but for the same reason that parents love their newborn baby: because we're His. This idea of being "loved" rather than "lovable" is key to our own peace of mind and to loving other people. Sign me up, says I. But I do feel like this book has a few weaknesses. Mostly, Rasband leans a little heavy into the "there is nothing you can do to deserve God's love" rhetoric. You know, "dust of the earth" and all that. It feels a little too Calvinistic, a little too distant from "the worth of souls is great"--the divine potential of all human individuals, which we come by due to divine heritage and grace, rather than our own little efforts, but still. . . I mean, are we children of God or not!? That aside, I'd recommend this book, particularly to my LDS friends who have ever felt the pull of perfectionism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    I know a book is worth while when I have to stop and reread sections. I have taken to underlining, highlighting and make notes. Really a great text book on how to find true joy. it may take me years to really finish. So I am finding that so much truth has come into my life. Years ago my sweet husband told me (when I begged for a compliment) that if I couldn't find in myself the feelings that I had done the right thing, no amount of compliments would make me feel good. He is, as always, so wise. T I know a book is worth while when I have to stop and reread sections. I have taken to underlining, highlighting and make notes. Really a great text book on how to find true joy. it may take me years to really finish. So I am finding that so much truth has come into my life. Years ago my sweet husband told me (when I begged for a compliment) that if I couldn't find in myself the feelings that I had done the right thing, no amount of compliments would make me feel good. He is, as always, so wise. This is one of my favorite "self help" books ever. I keep rereading and learning so much. I have discovered that the box under my bed is my time. What is yours? As I read the scriptures and listen and read talks by general authorities and even in my daily life I see how much peace can truly be found as I keep the two greatest commandments and seek the Lord first in all I do. This book and Sister Rasband's insightful direction is truly making a difference in my life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Everyone should read this book, because the messages in the world today are all about how we can build our own self-esteem and convince ourselves that we are good enough. This is a very misunderstood topic and this book makes it clear that by ourselves, we are not good enough, but the Savior is, and through him we can ultimately become good enough too. Self-esteem is not to be confused with self-worth or self-respect. It is important for us to have those, but we should esteem God, not ourselves. Everyone should read this book, because the messages in the world today are all about how we can build our own self-esteem and convince ourselves that we are good enough. This is a very misunderstood topic and this book makes it clear that by ourselves, we are not good enough, but the Savior is, and through him we can ultimately become good enough too. Self-esteem is not to be confused with self-worth or self-respect. It is important for us to have those, but we should esteem God, not ourselves. A tough book to read because sometimes it's difficult to learn the truth, but well worth it. Based on some recent episodes of comparing myself to others, I'm realizing it is time for me to read it AGAIN!

  27. 4 out of 5

    mapper

    Rasband explores the phenomenal principle of achieving peace and confidence by abandoning the impossible search for the concept of Self Esteem. Instead, true confidence can be pursued by admitting and accepting our own shortcomings as being exactly what we are supposed to be (at the time). We should not try to convince ourselves that we are already enough. But rather, take what we are and work on improving it, the hard way, through work and obedience to the gospel of Christ. I found some of the t Rasband explores the phenomenal principle of achieving peace and confidence by abandoning the impossible search for the concept of Self Esteem. Instead, true confidence can be pursued by admitting and accepting our own shortcomings as being exactly what we are supposed to be (at the time). We should not try to convince ourselves that we are already enough. But rather, take what we are and work on improving it, the hard way, through work and obedience to the gospel of Christ. I found some of the text difficult to read at times, mostly because I wasn't sure what point she was trying to make, and how it fit into the overall theme. Organization could be improved, and the concept expanded. Keep reading and Pondering! The Principles are Powerful!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I had some problems with the main idea of the book. I felt like instead of bringing peace it made me anxious. Just reading this book made me feel like I'm not good enough or focused in the right areas. I liked some of the things she said, and it's definitely written from an LDS perspective, but I completely disagree with how the ideas are presented, and even some of the ideas themselves. I think from reading this book though, I can formulate an idea that works better for me of what it means to f I had some problems with the main idea of the book. I felt like instead of bringing peace it made me anxious. Just reading this book made me feel like I'm not good enough or focused in the right areas. I liked some of the things she said, and it's definitely written from an LDS perspective, but I completely disagree with how the ideas are presented, and even some of the ideas themselves. I think from reading this book though, I can formulate an idea that works better for me of what it means to forget oneself and go to work.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Green

    One of my favorite books because it tells us that confidence doesn't come from searching for self-esteem. That the search for self-esteem only creates self-esteem problems and is never able to be met. Peace (and the confidence that comes with it) comes from just the opposite which is to recognize our nothingness and inspite of that our worth to the Savior, and seeing all He has and is doing for us and showing our gratitude. One of my favorite books because it tells us that confidence doesn't come from searching for self-esteem. That the search for self-esteem only creates self-esteem problems and is never able to be met. Peace (and the confidence that comes with it) comes from just the opposite which is to recognize our nothingness and inspite of that our worth to the Savior, and seeing all He has and is doing for us and showing our gratitude.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Franziska

    I loved this book! I thought the author had brilliant insights on what truly will bring us peace as we strife to feel more confident about ourselves. She may appear a little extreme to some, but I think she really hit things on the head. Definitely ideas I am trying to apply with myself and intend to apply with future kids.

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