I am a Rock

In my field we think about the role of self-esteem and self-efficacy when it comes to behavior.

How we think about whether we’re equipped to accomplish a task influences if we attempt something new.

In the wake of New Year resolutions I was wondering out loud about the influence of self-efficacy when a friend said an apt metaphor to describe this attribute would be a rock.

Self-esteem as rock.

She said, think of it as solid, dense and immutable.

Strange how her comment flipped my brain upside down because never in a million years would I describe self-esteem as solid. How would you describe it, she asked.

Like a ghost.

We each contemplated our respective metaphoric visions and I saw the ghostly metaphor shift shape. If your self-esteem is as transient as a ghost then it must volley and dive according to context and circumstance.

And I guess it means your self-esteem is subject to the whims of how other folks think of you.

Think I prefer the rock.

Image from http://www.redthreadmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sisyphus-silver.jpg


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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