Inspirational, Revise

How Losing Your Self-Esteem Is a Good Thing

It’s not every day that one of your favorite teachers gives a TEDx talk—but lo and behold—one of my favorite teachers just did! And it’s phenomenal!! Sorry for the excessive use of exclamation marks. I’m just so excited to share this talk with you. (!!!)

Professor Matthew Whoolery, PhD, is not only one of my favorite teachers, but he’s also a good friend and one of the first people to review my book (he even gave a blurb that appears on the first few pages). During my studies at the university, he and I had a lot of conversations about many of the ideas that he presents in his talk.

The primary focus of his message (and one of the ideas I emphasize in my book) is our need to forget about ourselves and essentially “lose ourselves” in the service of others (and God); because ironically when we lose ourselves in this way…we end up finding ourselves.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Professor Whoolery’s talk:

“You don’t need to esteem yourself—positively or negatively. The burden you carry is partly because in our culture we view ourselves as separate individuals. So we think a lot about how we’re doing—how we feel about ourselves. You don’t need to do that. Let go of that. Because, in fact, we are not separate individuals but interconnected with each other.

“Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story and the lesson that he taught in that story was that in this life we are not given to know what we need for ourselves but given to know what other people need. This binds us together—in love.”

Watch the video below and let me know what you think!

If you liked this article, please sign up for my FREE bi-weekly newsletter. And click here to read my novel Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern—a swash-buckling adventure book filled with symbolism comparable to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.



About Seth Adam Smith

Seth Adam Smith is a best-selling, award-winning author and blogger whose writings have been translated into over thirty languages and featured on the Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, the Today show, Forbes, and many other news outlets around the world. In 2015, his book "Your Life Isn’t for You" was awarded a gold medal for inspirational memoir. A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth is an advocate for resources and understanding concerning depression and suicide prevention, and he regularly writes about these topics in his books and on his blog. He and his wife, Kim, currently live in Arizona but have “belonging places” throughout the United States. He recently published "Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern," and is currently working on a series of historical novels set in Colonial America. Learn more at
View all posts by Seth Adam Smith →

1 thought on “How Losing Your Self-Esteem Is a Good Thing