News Article: Forget Self-Esteem. You Need Compassion

Please see the original article from Harvard Business Review here

Although this article badges itself as a management tip, I would argue that the advice contained is equally, if not more, relevant to the learning process.

Having real self-awareness is better than having self-esteem – if that self-esteem is based on an over-estimation of ourselves. Self-awareness helps us to develop our strengths, and to acknowledge our weaknesses with humility. The self-awareness gives a true sense of what we are capable of.

But the self awareness must be compassionate. Acknowledging weakness does not mean accepting defeat, or labelling ourselves negatively. It is just a starting point, from which we can plan our learning more effectively, and work out the best path to lives that are both fulfilling and enjoyable.

My approach to tuition is weighted heavily towards creating a sense in my students that it is enough to just turn up and try in earnest. Mistakes are a fundamental part of learning. They are the best way to pick up on false assumptions, or misunderstandings, and give tutors and teachers something to work with.

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