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High Self Esteem is Deadly

What is truly behind the success of St. Peter's basketball team?


Let’s start with this unorthodox notion:


Too high of self-esteem is a way bigger problem than low self-esteem.


Our culture attempts to counter low self esteem with high self esteem, leading to far greater concerns like pride, discontentment, being over-critical of self and others, and more.


The problem with both high and low self-esteem is one word: self.


“How terrible am I?” 😟


“How great am I?” 😁


The happiest, healthiest, highest-performing kids and adults do not place too high of a value on what others think about them, but they also don’t place too high of a value on what they think about themselves.


I know this one is a difficult one to grab a hold of. Psychologist Lauren Slater predicts that it will take a long, long time before people come around to this idea that high self-esteem is even more detrimental than low self-esteem.


Focused on self is at the root of our biggest issues- namely pride, ego, rage, depression, suicide, selfish ambition, greed, you name it.


So let’s do ourselves and kids a favor and dial in on one word: humility.


The truly humble person does not think less of themselves, but rather they just think of themselves less.


You know you’ve just interacted with a truly humble person because they were totally interested in you.


They didn’t talk all about their problems or their victories. They were not trying to get you to see things from their point of view. They were not dominating the conversation. They were focused on you.


Athlete: if your mission is to be the best and get in the spotlight, you are focused on the wrong stuff. It’s a house of cards ready to come crashing down, whether in this season of your life or the next.


Parent/Coach: how do we build truly humble leaders who are completely others focused (it’s ?


How do you explain St. Peter’s basketball team making it to the sweet 16? A bunch of unselfish players spurring one another on towards better performance. They are focused on the name on the front, not the back.


As parents and coaches we can do 2 things:

  1. Live it
  2. Teach it


If you want to go deeper on this topic, I recommend reading The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller.



Dedicated to your athlete’s joy and success,


Coach Andrew Simpson

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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