If you look under the Self-Help heading on Amazon, you'll find roughly 5,000 books listed under the subhead Self-Esteem. The vast majority of these books aim to not only tell you why your self-esteem might be low, but to show you how to get your hands on some more of it. It's a thriving business because self-esteem is, at least in Western cultures, considered the bedrock of individual success. You can't possibly get ahead in life, the logic goes, unless you believe you are perfectly awesome...
A growing body of research, including new studies by Berkeley's Juliana Breines and Serena Chen, suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key to unlocking your true potential for greatness.
by Heidi Grant Halvorson
Via Edwin Rutsch, David Hain