Small success theory to rebuild self-esteem

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Robert Maurer
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Small success theory to rebuild self-esteem

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

La small success theory it tells us that life is always better if we learn to simplify it. The biggest and apparently unsolvable problems will find a solution if we disintegrate them into more elementary pieces.

Nothing is more cathartic for our self-esteem than accumulating several small victories, daily successes on which to proceed. Anthropologists say that the ability to advance is natural in the human being.



Technological, social and cultural progress is almost unstoppable. To such an extent that we will not be too late to have new generations willing to explore new planets or to give a qualitative and quantitative change to the world of medicine to eradicate diseases that today are chronic or fatal. Discover with us the theory of small successes.

I walk slowly, but never backwards.

-Abraham Lincoln-

We can underline a central idea: successes, even if small, are very complicated to obtain if we do not stimulate motivation and interest in them; if we don't believe in our possibilities. This allows you to give space to men and women who trust their abilities, who have a positive self-image and strong self-esteem.

For example, famed biologist James Watson, one of the discoverers of the molecular structure of DNA, points out in his writings that no one is used to explaining how motivation works or how the phases marked by deep darkness and personal defeatism are managed.

Doctors Watson and Francis Crick have failed on multiple occasions in their attempt to decipher DNA and for several years they have thought that their model would not pay off and make them laughings.



However, they both decided to correct their mental and emotional approach and apply what we know today as the theory of small successes. Because it's better to proceed a little at a time, in order to acquire more security, trust and certainty ... And triumph.

The theory of small successes to improve the image we have of ourselves

We cannot expect a child to run if he has not first learned to walk. Just as it is not possible to build the roof of a house if the foundations have not been laid first. Life requires calm, ability and above all an intelligence that knows how to feed on the most delicate patience. However, in our daily life, there is not enough room for the prudence of those who decide to go slower, those who prefer small attempts, those who prefer to count to 100 before taking a step.

Most of us move to an extreme where everything is magnified. We have big dreams, ambitious desires and relevant problems. Everything overwhelms us, everything seems to get out of our control most of the time, to the point where we think we have no loopholes, that we have already lost all our trains. These perceptions undermine our self-esteem and completely inhibit any motivation that drives us to seek success.

A name in the world of psychology deserves all our recognition for its contributions to the field of human motivation. Teresa Amabile, Harvard professor and expert in creativity, productivity and happiness at work. To her we owe the theory that to reach great goals or solve more complex problems, the best thing is to divide the entire journey into small steps.


The small revolutions of everyday life

Karl Weick is a renowned social psychologist who is also an expert in the field of motivation. In his opinion, most modern societies are ineffective in dealing with their most serious problemssuch as unemployment, school failure or delinquency. Social actors and political spheres always end up proposing to invest large sums of money to offer, according to them, "great solutions".



However, the great solutions are always and only smoke, a dead letter; they come with the best of intentions to get away from where they came from. Because the real key is contained in the theory of small successes, in the small revolutions of everyday life. In detecting what is not working, in being a skilled and patient microsurgeon capable of recognizing the real problem.

Simple and modest plans need to be created at the local level, staying close to people, designing accessible structures with which to gradually change the mentality.

“Do the hard things when they are easy, and start the big things when they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. "

-Lao Tzu-

Smaller goals to improve our self-esteem

It doesn't matter how big the problem or challenge is on the horizon. Just chop it up, divide it into small pieces, to make it much more manageable. The small success theory tells us that to keep the our emotional health, we need daily wins and, to achieve them, there is nothing better than setting simple goals every day.


Little by little our self-esteem will improve and we will be able to adopt bigger and bigger changes, to take longer and more confident steps. To look up and see that peak a little closer, day after day. We invest our strength in this simple and humble approach, to raise the bar of our limits a little.

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