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McKay, M., & Fanning P. (1994).  Self-Esteem : A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing and Improving.
"Within a given profession or social level, our culture next awards worth based on accomplishments. Getting a raise, a degree, a promotion, or winning in a competition are worth a lot. Acquiring the right house, car, furnishings, boat, or college education for your kids—all those accomplishments are worth a lot, too. If you get fired or laid off, lose your home, or in any other way slip down the accomplishment ladder, you are in deep trouble. You lose all your counters and become socially worthless.
Buying into these cultural concepts of worth can be deadly. For example, John was a bank examiner who equated his worth with his accomplishments at work. When he was late in meeting an important deadline, he felt worthless. When he felt worthless, he got depressed. When he got depressed, he worked slower and missed more deadlines. He felt more worthless, got more depressed, worked less diligently, and so on in a deadly downward spiral." (p. 88)

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