Telling yourself good stuff about yourself seems, intuitively, like a good idea. It is supposed to help you feel good, or better, about yourself, and to gradually build self-esteem. But this only works if the statements – or 'affirmations' – are believable. Far fetched inspirational statements seem like a good idea, but they can actually have the opposite effect.
Ideas from the self-esteem movement have had an ever increasing and pernicious hold on thinking, and ‘self-esteem’ has become a household word. Therapists teachers, parents, and others have taken up the mantra of self-esteem, on the assumption that boosting it automatically result in improved performance and greater success. But it’s not so.