GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
2. Try to become as great as you can. Some people are afraid to accomplish because they might make mistakes and those mistakes will be more serious than if they remained simple. This is not valid reasoning. Each person is obligated to develop himself to the best of his ability. The smallest person has potential for greatness if he utilizes all that is within him. (Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch; Shiurai Daas, vol. 3, p.130)
3. Fear of failure is a prime reason some people feel anxiety. They think, “If I don’t succeed, I am a worthless failure.” Someone who fears failure is not willing to take the risks that are essential ingredient in every new undertaking. This prevents him from taking action in many situations in which he could accomplish a great deal. If someone accepts his intrinsic worth as a person even if he does not succeed at a given task, he realizes that his value as a person is never under risk, and will try to accomplish.
4. Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin used to say, “The worst fault a person can have is to forget his intrinsic greatness as a human being.” (Dor Daiah, vol. 1, p.172)
5. A person who feels he must always be right in an argument might be manifesting a lack of positive feelings of self-worth. Such a person could be telling himself, “Unless I am always right, I am a failure and a nobody.” He fears to admit the possibility of making a mistake because he fears it will lower his value as a person. However, a person who is a truth seeker and readily admits his mistakes will gain both the respect of others and will ultimately have more self-respect. Instead of looking at admitting mistakes as a sign of weakness, look at it as a manifestation of intellectual honesty.
A person with high ideals may be prone to negative feelings about himself.
There is a strong tendency for an evil person to consider himself good and for a
truly good person to consider himself bad. The rationale behind this is simple. Their criteria of good and bad differ greatly. An evil person considers himself good if does not blind someone or rob him of all his money as would really like to do. A good person desires to help others and when unable to do as much as he idealistically wishes, he considers himself as bad. (Imrai Binah, p.45)
2. It has been my experience that people with low self-images are frequently very good people by objective standards, but have high aspirations and hence feel frustrated they are not able to reach their lofty goals. Since they are not perfect, they consider themselves failures and this leads to many negative consequences. It is important for such people to realize they are thinking in either/or terms: either
REALIZING ONE’S SELF-WORTH