"Writing this book has changed me… and it’s my hope that it will also change you”
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.
Introduction to the Book
Writing this book has been a most personally revealing and decidedly soul transforming journey for me.
What I originally intended as an expose of low self- esteem (LSE) and a personality development guide of LSE, quickly became very personal. Somewhere along my writing I was stunned to realize that I had shifted my writing from the second-person – you, to the first person –I. I sat up and rather shockingly saw that this book was not only about “you”, it was also very much about me!
I came to understand that I am among the almost half of the population that suffers from LSE. Yes, I am somewhere on the LSE spectrum; I deal with almost all of what I describe in these pages. I don’t know whether this realization has skewed my writing or made it clearer. All I do know is that this book has changed me.
As a counseling professional, I’ve seen many, many clients, indeed hundreds of clients, over the years. Certainly I was aware of LSE, but I now realize I didn’t really know it or understand it. I always assumed that LSE was an unfortunate appendage of a more dominant psychiatric diagnosis, or the result of dysfunctional family dynamics. I saw LSE as the “side-car” result of something else in the patient’s life; I never stopped to think that LSE might be the main event, and not simply a side-show.
Slowly I realized that LSE, in many cases, was the central diagnosis – the core of the problem rather than its skin.
I began to see my counseling clients in a new light – they were here in my office not primarily because of a psychiatric diagnosis or marital, career, relationship or other “problem”. No! What actually drove them to my office was LSE; deep within them lurked the demon of LSE!
I’ve since realized that different clients suffer from varying degrees of LSE. I rationalized that there is a spectrum of severity of LSE. I’ve devised a way to determine your placement on the LSE spectrum – from 0 to 100 – with 100 the most severe cases of LSE, which you’ll see in the book.
Low Self-Esteem Spectrum
Low LSE High LSE
The book is divided into two parts. Part One gives you the best description of LSE that I can give. Part Two, offers you the means to help break free of LSE.
I can give no guarantee that reading this book will “cure” your LSE. But it is my hope and my expectation that if you thoughtfully read these pages, you will be able to see yourself and your LSE differently and be able to start on a journey to live your life differently as well.
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.
What others have said about Freedom from Low Self-Esteem…
Dr. Johnson gives words and meaning to that hidden pain of low self-esteem, that we are not good enough. He gives us practical resources in Part Two of this book to guide and empower us.
This book is a tremendous relief to have LSE described and explained in such a way that makes a person say, “Yes, that’s it! That’s what it’s like. He understands!”
I do very much appreciate that Dr. Johnson has written in the 1stperson, it lends a vulnerable authenticity to a subject that those of us with LSE feel great embarrassment and shame about. Instead, he gives voice and validation to LSE that allows us to own it, reframe it, and develop high esteem!
Richard Johnson writes a very personal, straightforward, clear and intelligent book on the beast of LSE. No longer is LSE a “side car” to the emotional events that affect millions of people. Dr. Johnson offers a pathway to healing for those of us who struggle with LSE. Through the healing tools of reframing, spiritual mindfulness, and living God-given Spiritual Strengths, we discover a renewing sense of wholeness and well-being.
This book is a great help in identifying and understanding low self-esteem. Dr. Johnson also gives the reader very practical tools and guidance for the healing journey of discovering one’s intrinsic goodness. This is a key to living a life with freedom and joy.
Dr. Johnson has written a personal, open, honest, and revealing examination of the unconscious messages that limit all of us. The book awakens the reader to the fears that contribute to low self-esteem, inspires hope, and arms the reader with the tools to shift perspective and exact positive change. The author writes in such a way that emotes positivity.
Dr. Johnson has written an important manual that offers practical steps to liberate us from the negative noise inside our heads. This book helps us learn how to satisfy the longing for freedom and spiritual strength in our souls.
Dr. Johnson has put his finger on an important concept: how low self-esteem (LSE) may undergird mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety. He has written with clarity about how the internal chorus of critical voices (that are the hallmark of LSE) can harass and intimidate, and interfere with full, joyous experiences of life. With his trademark compassionate style he explores the intimate links between our spiritual strengths, shadows, and compulsions to lead the way out of LSE to vibrant self-acceptance and connection with our genuine self.
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