This research will begin with the statement that in designing a self-improvement project, the first step was to do a self-evaluation to isolate a negative psychological trait that the author possessed that he felt he could alter. The researcher decided to focus on his unwarranted worry about his academic scores on tests, exams, and projects. After considerable examination the author came to the conclusion that it was not stress, but was an anxiety based on his perception that he would not do well enough. The anxious worry came from the feeling that the author would be inferior when compared to the other students or his own expectations. Because the author is a good student, he knew this was an irrational feeling and was due to his own lack of confidence in his abilities. The researcher feels that by raising his intellectual and academic self-esteem he could eliminate this feeling and improve his scores. A healthy self-esteem can be a positive trait while a low self-esteem can be self-destructive. According to Myers, people who have a high feeling of self worth are more persistent at accomplishing complex tasks. In addition, a low self-esteem can result in negative attitudes towards others or being excessively critical. This criticism may become self-directed and be a self-defeating mechanism. These distortions of our self-image come from a variety of sources. They may come from our unrealistic goals, irrational view of the world and people around us, or the unrealistic view that others are closely scrutinizing our actions known as the spotlight effect. They may originate with some underlying event that invades our self-worth and plays a tape in our mind that tells us we are inferior. Pepi, Faria, and Alesi have reported that self-esteem is improved by positive results and appreciation, and it is also a "predictor of academic success". By improving our academic self-esteem we may be entering a self-perpetuating process as we begin to see positive results. It has been found that people with low self-esteem can be negatively influenced by unfavorable daily events. This theory could predict that if we find ourselves in an awkward or embarrassing situation before a test, we may do more poorly on it. Tice et al. report a phenomena known as ego-depletion. They suggest that self-control depletes our ego and makes it difficult to reassert control or accomplish difficult tasks until it is replenished. They reported that by inducing positive emotions, such as watching a favorable video or receiving a small gift, this effect could be overcome. Though this may not be directly linked to self-esteem, it may provide some insight for improving academic scores. Swann, Chang-Schneider, and McClarty have recently presented research that indicates it is possible to elevate our own self-esteem. Despite some criticism, they report that using a program to improve self-esteem can raise student standardized test scores. However, they also caution that there may not be a simple solution as has often been offered by fad therapies of the past. They contend that, "Instead of focusing exclusively on people's momentary self-esteem, the effective programs emphasize procedures that are also designed to alter the raw materials that provide a basis for healthy, sustainable self-esteem". They state that the program must cultivate behaviors that result in a self-view that is realistic and adaptive. Behavior can alter our self-image and our self-image can alter our behavior. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used successfully to elevate self-esteem with only mild intervention. CBT is a method of altering our behavior by changing the way we think about our negative and often irrational thoughts. Meichenbaum suggests using "stress inoculation training", which involves nothing more than saying positive things to yourself.