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Exercise, Self-Esteem, and Self-Worth
Why, then, if exercise holds so many secret ingredients for our mental health?
and well-being, is it only weakly correlated with how we perceive ourselves,
especially our bodies? I have a theory. I believe this happens because too
many of us still don’t feel our self-worth. Even when the outward evidence
says, “You’re important! You’re valuable! You’re an amazing human being!
we don’t believe it. We believe our own “evidence” instead, evidence we’ve
collected through our whole lives via true or untrue thoughts, beliefs, and
perceptions of experiences. This “evidence” says, “I’m not good enough.”
One of the main problems with self-esteem is that it’s mostly based on
external sources. Research shows that basing our worth on external sources
like appearance, academic or physical performance, or approval from others
leads to greater anger, stress, relationship and academic problems, and
higher alcohol and drug use and eating disorders (Crocker, 2002).
In contrast, those who base their worth on internal, constant sources, such
as being a virtuous person or sticking to moral standards, tend to have greater
success in life, including higher grades and lower likelihood of eating
disorders and drug/alcohol use. In fact, students in one study who based them
self-worth on outward sources, like academic performance, were found to
have poorer self-esteem, even when their grades were higher than others (Crocker, 2002). This
shows the power of having a true, deep sense of self-
worth versus basing our worth on self-perceptions and self-esteem.
Understanding self-worth is crucial in exercise for mental health success.
it helps us believe we can do it, stick with it, and reach our fullest mental and
physical health potential. When we feel confident, we’re not only more likely
to exercise; we’re more likely to let go of the self-perceptions and beliefs that
hold us back and make us feel like a “failure.” We’re more likely to
overcome the roadblocks, stop unhealthy thoughts and beliefs, and stay
motivated and dedicated to exercise. As psychologist Nathaniel Branden
writes, “The level of our [sense of self-worth] has profound consequences for
every aspect of our existence: how we operate in the workplace, how we deal
with people, how high we are likely to rise, how much we are likely to
achieveand in the personal realm, with whom we are likely to fall in love,
how we interact with our spouse, children, and friends, what level of personal
happiness we attain” (1995, p. 4-5). Yes, we need self-worth.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Exercise, Self-Esteem, and Self-Worth Why, then, if exercise holds so many secret ingredients for our mental health? and well-being, is it only weakly correlated with how we perceive ourselves, especially our bodies? I have a theory. I believe this happens because too many of us still don’t feel our self-worth. Even when the outward evidence says, “You’re important! You’re valuable! You’re an amazing human being!” we don’t believe it. We believe our own “evidence” instead, evidence we’ve collected through our whole lives via true or untrue thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions of experiences. This “evidence” says, “I’m not good enough.” One of the main problems with self-esteem is that it’s mostly based on external sources. Research shows that basing our worth on external sources— like appearance, academic or physical performance, or approval from others —leads to greater anger, stress, relationship and academic problems, and higher alcohol and drug use and eating disorders (Crocker, 2002). In contrast, those who base their worth on internal, constant sources, such as being a virtuous person or sticking to moral standards, tend to have greater success in life, including higher grades and lower likelihood of eating disorders and drug/alcohol use. In fact, students in one study who based them self-worth on outward sources, like academic performance, were found to have poorer self-esteem, even when their grades were higher than others (Crocker, 2002). This shows the power of having a true, deep sense of selfworth versus basing our worth on self-perceptions and self-esteem. Understanding self-worth is crucial in exercise for mental health success. it helps us believe we can do it, stick with it, and reach our fullest mental and physical health potential. When we feel confident, we’re not only more likely to exercise; we’re more likely to let go of the self-perceptions and beliefs that hold us back and make us feel like a “failure.” We’re more likely to overcome the roadblocks, stop unhealthy thoughts and beliefs, and stay motivated and dedicated to exercise. As psychologist Nathaniel Branden writes, “The level of our [sense of self-worth] has profound consequences for every aspect of our existence: how we operate in the workplace, how we deal with people, how high we are likely to rise, how much we are likely to achieve—and in the personal realm, with whom we are likely to fall in love, how we interact with our spouse, children, and friends, what level of personal happiness we attain” (1995, p. 4-5). Yes, we need self-worth. Name: Description: ...
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