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Sorry guys, I've been unavailable for the last several days, and simply couldn't find hours in the day to stay current with the posts here on the prosperity project. A good friend of mine has been in and out of the hospital, and I've had a series of other events which left me pretty much worn to a frazzle.
The good news is that I really am taking better care of me! And I do think it's because of this project! I uploaded a number of posts this evening. I figured I'd do a sort of "grand finale." You might want to root around and see if there's anything interesting or useful.
Right now, though, it looks like the time has come to take stock and see where we're at. Did our finances improve as we worked on feeling our innate value? Did we learn anything interesting? What has changed in our lives? What remains unchanged? These are the questions I'd be curious to hear your answers to.
For me, this has really been a good project. Just having the idea of self worth floating around in my mind has brought issues to my attention, and given me brand new ideas about ways to work through those issues. I find that I am more likely to put myself first, and at the same time, I've been able to really give myself, and my energy when it's been needed.
I've noticed that as I take better care of myself, I have more energy for the people around me. I've also noticed that as my self judgment decreases, my judgments of friends and family has decreased as well. As for my finances - surprisingly - I'm doing OK, better than I expected, especially since I've had a series of events that have really challenged my checking account.
All things considered, I'd give this one a thumbs up. Self worth really does seem to have an effect on my actual income.
What about you? Did you follow the project this time around? Did you work on raising your self worth? How well did you do? Has your income improved? Did your circumstances change? What did you learn? What thoughts would you like to share?
From I Need Motivation, we have this nice little list of helpful hints and tips.
1 - Don’t worry be happy
This might sound simple but you can only be happy. Technically there is nothing out there that should make you happier than being alive and well. It’s very important to be aware of your thoughts, and each time you have a negative thought stop thinking about it and change it with something positive. Your mind is a great tool but it can also be your worst enemy.
2 - Build self esteem
Yes, self esteem doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows in your mind. There are many ways in boosting your personal self esteem. Set yourself a few easy goals that will help you feel better. It can be about food (stop drinking soft drinks, or start eating fruits for snacks). Another great way is to start exercising. It can be to do 10 push ups a day or to walk to work. It only takes a few days to see results. Start reaping the benefits of life and everything it has to offer. I personally love reading positives quotes, it really helps me when I am not 100%.
3- Change is good
Change is fun and distracting. Try something new! This will give you new experiences in different activities. Does your nearby community center offer interesting classes? It could be a good idea to sign up to a new language class. It feels good to learn and you can use it to get a promotion or to better yourself. I once took a pottery class, I love creating things, and each time I came back home with a new creation to decorate my home. Until you break out of your shell you have no idea how doing something new can invigorate your life. Embrace change!
I don’t think I need to convince anyone about this point. Your body is the sculpture of your life. You shape it each day with your actions (or inactions). Eat well and exercise, this process will make you feel good and give your body a nice shape. In today’s fast pace world we forget how important it is to stay active. Also being active gives us more energy, the more you have the easier it is to accomplish things.
5- Do things you are good at
We all have our own personal talents. Personally, I love cooking :). I enjoy cooking for family, friends and my girlfriend. I get a lot of satisfaction when I see them enjoying my creation. This is just an example… We all have different talents or things we do that can get us some satisfaction.
6- Volunteer your time/spend time with people you love
I can’t stress enough on the fact that nothing pleases our soul better then helping people in need. The gratification of a smile and a thank you touches our heart in some ways that words cannot describe it. Be good with people and people will be good with you. I understand in today’s society we each have very busy schedules but we all have one hour a week (or when we need to) to go see our aging mothers or grandmothers. Spending quality time with people we love fills up our heart of joy and that my friends, will make you feel fantastic.
The following meditation was left over from our Angelic Assistance project, and if you enjoy this sort of thing, I think it could be used pretty effectively to boost your self worth. The easiest way to use it, is to print it out and then read it aloud. Enjoy!
Angel of Love, Angel of Wisdom, Angel of Power
3-Fold Flame Meditation
We ask that Divine Mother be present overlighting us with cascades of Divine Love energy. We ask that She harness the energy of Pure, Divine Love on our left by sending one of Her angels to stand guard at the left hand side of our body during this meditation.
We ask that Divine Father be present overlighting us with cascades of Divine Power energy. We ask that He harness the energy of Pure, Divine Power on our right by sending one His angels to stand guard at the right hand side of our body during this meditation.
We ask that Lord Melchizedek, the Grand Master Himself, be present overlighting us with cascades of Sacred Wisdom energy represented from all the Sacred Traditions of the Orders of Melchizedek. We ask that He harness the energy of Pure, Divine Sacred Wisdom from a point above our bodies at our crown chakras by sending one of His angels to stand guard above us during this meditation.
We ask that Lord Sananda be present overlighting us with cascades of Divine Integrated Christ energy. We ask that He harness this Pure, Divine Integrated Christed energy by sending one of His angels to stand guard take a position directly in front of the heart during this meditation.
We ask that Mother Earth be present overlighting us with cascades of Her Divine Nature and Her Three-Fold Flame within Her Heart. We ask that She harness this Pure, Divine Peace energy into our open feet chakras and send a current of her Heart energy up through those chakras into our hearts during this meditation.
- Breathe in the Light of Divine Mother into the Heart.
Connect with Her ThreeFold Flame of Love, Wisdom and Power.
- Breathe in the Light of Divine Father into the Heart.
Connect with His Three-Fold Flame of Love, Wisdom and Power.
- Breathe in the Light of Melchizedek into the Heart.
Connect with His Three-Fold Flame of Love, Wisdom and Power.
- Breathe in the Light of Sananda into the Heart.
Connect with His Three-Fold Flame of Love, Wisdom and Power.
- Breathe in the Light of Mother Earth into the Heart.
Connect with Her Three-Fold Flame of Love, Wisdom and Power.
Let us connect now to Beloved Lord Buddha and to the Three-Fold Flame within the Heart of Lord Buddha, and the Heart of Shamballa - the everlasting Flame held in the etheric temple that is the seat of government for this planet.
We call forth to the I AM Presence which is connected in to each of our three-fold flames within our hearts and ask for blessings and outpourings of light from the Heart of the Presence.
In Melchizedek's Universe there is full intelligence. There is divine intelligence presiding over every thing in all worlds. Within us there is a devic presence overlighting every organ, gland, chakra, cell and system of our bodies. And within the heart there is not only a deva overlighting the heart and circulatory system of the physical body, but there is an angel overlighting the three-fold eternal flame within our heart.
We call forth to Beloved Lord Sananda to bless and activate now the Three Angels of the Heart. Within our hearts is the three-fold flame that is the same as the 3-fold flame at Shamballa. For this activation, go deeply now within the heart. Know that it is a replica of the heart of GOD and therefore it contains an infinite number of chambers. It is infinite as Is the Heart of GOD. Go into a chamber that you can access now, knowing that there are many more that you will access later.
We ask Lord Sananda to activate the Angel of Love within the heart. The Flame is the color of Pink and the angel is the color of pink.
We ask Lord Sananda to activate the Angel of Wisdom within the heart. The Flame is the color of Gold and the angel is the color of gold.
We ask Lord Sananda to activate the Angel of Power within the heart. The Flame is the color of Blue and the angel is the color of blue.
We call forth to the Golden White Ascension energies, the energies, frequencies and colors of the planetary Waves of Ascension, and the energies, frequencies and colors of the 12 rays of Creation and ask these energies to come in and ignite the Three-Fold Flame within our heart in order to raise our vibratory rates.
We call forth to Lord Metatron to infuse the Three-Fold Flame within our heart with the frequency and color of the Platinum Ray. Feel the touch of platinum joining with the pink, with the gold and with the blue.
We call forth to The Mahatma and ask to infuse the Three-Fold Flame within our heart with the frequency and color of the Rainbow White Light of Synthesis. Feel the touch of rainbow white joining with the pink, with the gold, and with the blue.
We call forth to Divine Mother and ask for the silvery platinum-pink of Her frequency and color to join with the pink, with the gold and with the blue.
We call forth to Divine Father and ask for the platinum-blue-gold of His frequency and color to join with the pink, with the gold and with the blue.
We call forth from Divine Mother and ask to come into Full Resonance with Her Three-Fold Flame.
We call forth now to GOD and ask with all of our heart and soul and mind and might, that if this prayer be in harmony with Your Will, we ask that you supply this heart which is really Your Heart - with an activation from Your Clear Creative Light of All That IS directly as a current of the Love of GOD, the Wisdom of GOD and the Power of GOD directly into our hearts for an explosion into the ThreeFold Flame within the Heart.
We ask this for Heart Illumination so that we might let go of all discordant feelings, all feelings of division, separation, judgment, pain, sadness, and suffering - everything and anything that keeps us feeling separate from You. We ask this so that we can Unconditionally Love YOU, Love Your Creation, Love the Masters and Angels, Love our planet, and Love our Selves even more and with this love set our hearts free forevermore. Amen.
Now the moment I flowed out from the Creator
All creatures stood up and shouted:
Behold, here is God!
They were correct.
For you ask me:
Who is God? What is God?
Isness is God.
Where there is isness, there God is.
Creation is the giving of isness from God.
And that is why
Where any creature expresses God.
I am deserving.
I deserve all good. not some, not a little bit, but all good.
I now move past all negative restricting thoughts.
I release and let go of the limitations of my parents.
I love them and go beyond them.
I am not their negative opinions nor their limiting beliefs.
I am not bound by any of the fears or prejudices of the current society I live in.
I no longer identify with limitation of any kind.
In my mind, I have total freedom.
I now move into a new space of consciousness where I am willing to see myself differently.
I am willing to create new thoughts about myself and my life.
My new thinking becomes new experiences.
I now know and affirm that I am at one with the prospering power of the universe.
As such I now prosper in a number of ways.
The totality of possibilities lies before me.
I deserve life, a good life.
I deserve love, an abundance of love.
I deserve good health.
I deserve to live comfortably and to prosper.
I deserve joy and happiness.
I deserve freedom to be all I can be.
I deserve more than that.
I deserve all good.
The universe, God, is more than willing to manifest my new beliefs.
And I accept this abundant life with joy, pleasure and gratitude.
For I am deserving, I accept it;
I know it to be the truth.
Author: LOUISE HAYES Self Worth Workbook
If you like affirmations, and if they work well for you, pick one or more from this list (or make up one of your own) and use it whenever you notice any negative self talk. Alternatively, you could read this list aloud every morning before you leave the house, and again each night before you go to bed.
- I am worthy of love and respect regardless of others' opinions or behavior.
- My self worth is totally independent of how I compare to others.
- My self worth is totally independent of any external factors such as: intelligence, wealth, my home, appearance, talents, professional success, my children's success, being attractive to the opposite sex, making friends, disciplines, "spiritual" activities.
- I am worthy of love and respect regardless of the results of my efforts.
- I am worthy and will be loved even when others are being given more attention. I am happy for others when they receive love and attention.
- My self worth is within me and totally independent of whether I am loved exclusively by someone on or not.
- I am worthy of love and respect even when I am not perfect in what I do and even when I make mistakes.
- My self worth is totally independent of how much I accomplish.
- I am worthy of love and respect even when I feel weak or needy.
- My self worth is totally independent of whether others agree with me or satisfied with me.
- I deserve love and respect even when I need to say "no" and not respond to what I am asked to do.
- My self worth has nothing to do with how much I give or receive.
- My self worth is totally independent as to whether some people trust me or open up to me on not.
- My self worth is totally independent of how people behave towards me.
- My self worth is totally independent of how much others work or how they work or what they believe about me.
- My self worth is a reflection of my divine nature and not my gender, religion, social class etc. .
- My self worth is totally independent of whether others recognize it or how they feel towards me.
- I accept and love my self as I am with my faults and weaknesses as I steadily and methodically evolve out of them.
- I am intelligent and capable enough to succeed in any endeavor which is important to me.
- I deserve to be loved and respected exactly as I am ( at this stage of my evolutionary process).
- I have the inner power and strength to deal with whatever life brings me.
- I am capable of handling any possible difficulties which might occur.
- I am beautiful exactly as I am - just as all aspects of nature.
- I am a good person, a worthy person.
- I am worthy of love and respect regardless of how others behave towards me.
- I respect and love all persons (especially my parents and family) without feeling any need whatsoever to live my life according to their beliefs or values. I live my life in harmony with my inner values and beliefs.
- I am in no way responsible for others people's reality but only for my own motives and behavior towards them.
- No else is responsible for my reality. I am totally responsible for what I feel and experience in life.
- My self worth is based on my inner being, my existence itself, my inner divine nature and on no other external factors.
- My self worth is a simple function of the fact that I, as all others creatures, am an unique aspect of divine creation. My self worth cannot be increased nor decreased. I can never be more or less worthy of love and respect than another.
- Although I am not perfect and have various faults, I deserve to be loved and respected as I am, just I as I love and respect others with their faults.
- When I do not love my self, I am not loving an aspect of divine creation.
- I often accept in others traits which I reject in my self. Why?
- I am in a process of evolution and am attending to that process
- All beings deserve my love and respect, including my self.
Via Holistic Harmony
To feel good about our lives and the way it evolves we need to change two basic things: how we see ourselves and our personal responsibility over our lives! If we face ourselves with denial and if we have too high expectations then the more likely we will believe that we are unsuccessful, unhappy, ineffective, unfortunate, etc.
If we do not take responsibility for our actions and if we do not fight to make our wishes come true, then we are bound to believe that we have no control over our lives and our achievements, that we are at the mercy of fate and that we will never be happy! So we are doomed - doomed to live a life, which we do not appreciate, we do not respect, do not feel proud about it, and of course ... we do not want!
How can we see ourselves with other eyes and take responsibility for our lives? How can we feel good about our lives and our achievements? How we can improve our confidence and self esteem? Starting from this moment you can follow these techniques that although seem simple can have tremendous impact on our psychology:
Find the cause of the problem!
If something goes wrong in your life then ask yourself who is to blame, what you are doing wrong, what you can change, how can you learn more information to get a better picture, etc. Do not take anything for granted, and above all, do not take your life for granted! Question your behaviour, the methods you have learned to use, the way you think and operate, even question your values. Review your behaviour when you feel it is appropriate and do not sit back and hide behind the security of the current situation. The current situation is not necessarily the right thing for you. There are thousands of people who feel so much security in the current situation who do not dare to look to the (unknown) happiness! Do not become one of them. You need to have the courage to learn the truth and acknowledge your mistakes. You need courage to accept the imperfections and win the life that you want!
Do not give up and do not give up on your life!
Even if this time your life is not as you want, do not be discouraged. Fight for the life you want. There are always opportunities for you. There are always alternatives and other routes that can lead you right where you want to reach. Do not compromise using expressions like "this is life and I can not do anything." This is defeatism. You can do everything! Start managing your life now ....
Be honest with yourself!
Nothing is more valuable to your life than when you can accept your weaknesses and evolve your qualities. You are not the only one in the world who has difficulties and problems! We all have. Rather than grumble about your weaknesses you need to reconcile with them, face them and you win the first battle against them! Refusal and arrogance never helped anyone. You need to see yourself objectively.
Do not ever stop learning!
You never know enough. No information is useless. You should learn as much as you can and never think that you know everything. The only thing certain is that if you spend all your life reading you will still have little awareness compared to the infinite knowledge that exists around us. So, you should not be dogmatic, do not reject other ideas and do not always think you are right. There is no surer way to destroy your life!
Do not expect anything, but always expect the best!
If you are constantly thinking of the future and you always wait for something to happen you lose the moment, which you may already have all these things that you are waiting for ... and simply you do not see them! Live the moment. Be creative now. Try something new now. Do not leave for the future what you can do from now. And be sure to have large reserves of optimism. Life always smiles back to those who deal with it with a smile. If you wait for the better ... you will get the best!
Care and protect what you love!
The people you love, your pets, your flowers, your friends and what makes you feel beautiful in life is precious. Make sure that you love, love and protect and fill your life with more love. A life full of love is of great value...
Overcome your past!
A wonderful saying states: "The past was yesterday, forget it! The present is here ... live and make the moment timeless!" The past cannot change, and in any case the past does not specify your future. Do not be discouraged by the past. Use today to make one more step closer to your happiness...
Via Carnival of personal development
The first of a series of posts from Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth, by Dan Millman:
Discover Your Worth is no more or less important than any other gateway. But it comes first because only when you come to appreciate your unconditional human worth will you allow yourself to fully apply and benefit from the gateways that follow. Discovering your worth provides a foundation from which to build, one gateway at a time, a new way of life. Finding your worth is the first step in creating everyday enlightenment.
The purpose of this gateway is to assess your current sense of self-worth, to appreciate the arbitrary factors that created it, to understand how a low sense of worth can generate (largely subconscious) self-destructive behaviors, and, finally, to help you get out of your way and move into a more expansive life. In the first gateway you will learn how self-worth differs from self-esteem; how your sense of worth impacts the choices you make in life; three ways you can discern your own (largely subconscious) sense of worth; the source and mechanisms of self-sabotage and how to overcome it; and, finally, ways to appreciate your own unconditional worth.
In setting out, bear the following points in mind:
No one else can give you an improved sense of self-worth. Self-worth comes from doing what is worthy. As the Talmudic scholar Abraham Heschel once said, “Self-respect is the fruit of discipline.” This gateway is about discovering your worth, not raising it. Your innate worth has never been lowered, compromised, or touched by fate or circumstance. It exists as a fact of life, like air and trees, and doesn't need to be raised, revitalized, or earned.
The problem is not your actual worth, but your perceived worth. Nearly all of us have lost touch with our intrinsic goodness-allowed it to be covered over by memories of a thousand transgressions, real or imagined, so that we feel only partly deserving of life's blessings. In the gateways that follow, you will find additional keys to resolving and ultimately transcending the critical issue of self-worth. The twelfth gateway provides the final key. We begin now by clarifying the meaning of self-worth, how it differs from self-esteem, and how it impacts the quality of your everyday life.
Here are links to the rest of the posts exerpted from the book :
Finally, it comes to this: To discover your worth, you have to reach within yourself and find it there. You have to create it through worthy actions.
The key is to remember that even though we don't feel very kind, or brave, or even deserving, the roof over our head continues to shelter us from storms, the sun shines upon us, our chairs keep supporting us, and so do our lives. Life itself is an unearned gift - and that is the hidden meaning of grace.
Grace reveals that only this moment is real. That past and future exist only in our minds. Your scorecard is wiped clean in any moment of awareness, humility, or repentance. If you have a debt to pay, then pay it in the currency of kindness to the person it is owed, not by punishing yourself, not ever again. It is not necessary. It never has been.
Self-worth is not a thing; it is a perception. Just as a gymnast begins a routine with ten points and receives deductions for each mistake, so you began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living and learning-when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.
What follows are some reminders that can help you to score your worth higher in the game of life. By shedding light of awareness and compassion on your own life, you can begin to meet your destiny with arms open wide.
You Are Not Alone:
The first step is to realize that you are not alone. We have all made mistakes as part of our life and growth. We have all said, thought, felt, and done things we regret. Our worth is not dependent upon being perfect. Many of us have fallen into self-defeating cycles-behaving badly, leading to a lowered sense of self-worth, leading to more negative behaviors. If we can stop judging our mistakes so harshly, we can also stop ourselves from reactively engaging in the negative behaviors.
Know That You Did the Best You Could:
The second realization is that no matter what your behavior, you have done the best you could every day of your life. You may not agree with this. So before we tackle that question, consider this principle in relation to your parents or other caregivers: whether they were kind or abusive, they were doing the best they knew how in light of their own limitations, wounds, beliefs, fears, values, and anxieties. Their best may have been wonderful, or terrible, or somewhere in between. In the same way, even though you have certainly fallen short of your ideal many times and made mistakes, you have also done the very best you were capable of at the time.
Apologize and Ask Forgiveness:
Most of us have replayed in our minds an incident we wish we could do over. Maybe we could have done better on a job interview, a speech, an exam, or a performance. Or we may wish we could take back hurtful actions-moments of disrespect or dishonesty.
You cannot change past mistakes, but you can avoid repeating them. The past no longer exists except as a set of memories and impressions you keep alive in the present. By focusing on doing what you can do now-by reviewing your mistakes with eyes of compassion and asking forgiveness-you do much to heal your fragmented sense of worth.
If you are sorry for never sending your mother a birthday card, send her a special one now. Even if she has passed away, write the card. And ask her forgiveness. If you hurt a brother, sister, parent, or other person, review that memory; then contact them, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. If they will not forgive you, then forgive them for not forgiving you. Then send them flowers or another gift, perhaps with a letter. Going inside and visualizing those you have hurt, and asking their forgiveness, provides a healing that begins to lift your sense of worth as it heals relationships.
Trust Your Process:
The next time you feel that something good can't last, remind yourself that evolution moves in an upward spiral and that life can, and usually does, get better over time. You live and learn, stumble and evolve, rise and fall, fail and grow, expand, progress. If you pay attention and strive to improve, you become stronger, clearer, wiser, and more capable. Life is a process of rediscovering your worth and the worth of all beings.
From: Everyday Enlightenment
We have all had our share of pain, illness, and adversity. When I was in college, about to fly to Europe to the World Gymnastics Championships, my motorcycle was struck by an automobile and I sustained a broken right femur-my thigh bone was shattered into about forty pieces, according to the doctor. Looking back, years later, despite all the searing pain, disability and depression, and lengthy rehabilitation, I believe it may have been one of the most spiritually useful things that ever happened to me. It shook me “up” and made me consider the bigger picture of life and death. It set into motion some new directions. (I do not, however, recommend broken bones, illness, or other injury as a method of personal evolution.) It's just that we can, if we examine the bigger picture, find blessings in adversity. If we are psychologically healthy, we do not seek pain, injury, or illness, but we can appreciate that everything contains its opposite-an upside and a downside.
Whether or not adversity is a self-sabotage or a spiritual lesson, when a misfortune does occur, something rather surprising can happen. Many survivors of serious maladies-with all the pain and suffering-report experiencing a kind of inner peace they had not felt before. Pain has a way of clearing the subconscious scorecard, as if the adversity and suffering pays off sins real or imagined. It's as if you finally get punished for all those things you said or didn't say, did or didn't do, and the scales are finally balanced. The psyche finds ingenious, sometimes tragic ways to find peace. I raise this topic to make it conscious, so that you can find inner peace through service (as in the twelfth gateway), not through pain.
Most of us have at one time or another experienced a need to do penance, to pay off debts, or to ask forgiveness for past mistakes. As you discover your innate worth, you come to see that life is tough enough without adding self-created difficulties; you begin to embrace the joys of life and to bring more joy to others.
From: Everyday Enlightenment
Self-sabotage takes many forms, such as quitting school, taking low-paying jobs, choosing a spouse who abuses you physically or verbally, spending more money than you make, committing slow suicide with tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs, getting involved in crime, working yourself to illness or death, self-starvation, self-inflicting wounds, running away, dropping out, or engaging in other behaviors that undermine your health, success, or relationships.
Fame and fortune have a downside for those who feel undeserving of the adulation. Think of the celebrities who engage in punishing, self-destructive behaviors. It is important to note that those who have garnered fame and success without self-destructing have at least some of the following characteristics in common:
- Someone in their family nurtured them as innately worthy, independent of what they could achieve or do.
- Even when they were treated poorly, they had at least one significant person-a teacher or relative or friend-who listened to, valued, and treated them with respect.
- They felt deserving because they had paid their dues-had sacrificed, studied, and worked diligently over a period of time.
- They developed a sense of perspective and had a sense of humor about themselves; they didn't take themselves so seriously.
- They shared their wealth in concrete ways, donating to charities, working for a cause they believed in.
Consciously you may desire success. You may read books and attend seminars, only to undermine your efforts in ways both subtle and creative. Consider those times friends or loved ones you trusted advised against doing something, but you did it anyway because you just felt you had to.
Of course, sometimes it's best to follow your own counsel. (Where would Columbus have been without it?) But if you see a pattern of blindly stepping into potholes despite others' guidance-like buying a lemon of an automobile when a mechanic friend thought it was a bad deal, getting an expensive item you didn't really need, gambling more money than you could afford to lose, or getting involved in a hurtful relationship-consider this: Haven't you already punished yourself enough?
While coaching gymnastics at Stanford University, I walked into a workout one day and found Jack, the team captain, lying on the mat, stretching-grasping one of his legs and pulling it toward his chest. As I walked by, I saw him grimace and heard him groan, “Oh, God, I hate this-it hurts so much!” I didn't know whether he was talking to me, to himself, or complaining to God, but I felt as if I'd wandered into a Mel Brooks movie. I wanted to ask Jack, “Who's doing it to you? If it hurts that bad, why don't you just let up a little?” This holds true for your life as well: If it hurts so much, why don't you just let up a little?
The moment we recognize the degree to which our difficulties are self-imposed, we begin to heal them. We end self-sabotage only by taking responsibility for the choices and actions that created it. Only when we stop blaming our boss or government or parents or spouse or partner or children or circumstances or fate or God can we change our lives and say with conviction, “I chose where I am now, and I can choose something better.”
Of course, not every misadventure, injury, or problem is created by your subconscious owing to low self-worth. For all we know, certain difficulties or challenges are gifts from God or arranged by our souls in order to test and temper our spirit. As the old proverb says, “Take it as a blessing or take it as a test; whatever happens, happens for the best.” And as it happens, adversities may sometimes contain their own blessings.
From: Everyday Enlightenment
If self-worth had no impact on your actions - if it were contained within the feeling dimension alone - its only power would be over your moods. Sometimes you'd feel worthy (a pleasant feeling) and sometimes not (an unpleasant feeling). And that would be that.
However, low self-worth also influences actions, generating tendencies to sabotage your own efforts, so that things just don't seem to turn out well. You may feel unlucky at times or feel as though God is punishing you, when in reality you are only punishing yourself. You do this through behaviors of which you aren't fully aware. Or, like the alcoholic who knows he drinks but doesn't view it as a problem, you may be aware of your behavior without acknowledging its destructive impact.
I have never known anyone who wasn't affected at some time or in some way by self-sabotage or subtle self-destructive behaviors in the arenas of money, relationship, education, or career. The question repeats itself in different forms: How high will you rise? How good can you stand it? To help eliminate any covert tendencies to sabotage your own efforts, let's examine the simple but profound source of self-sabotage. We need to make this mechanism conscious, so let's look at how it was formed and how it operates.
One of the most important steps you can take to improve the quality of your life is to become aware of how your self-assessment has shaped your existence and how you can transcend whatever rating you gave yourself.
To understand the roots of low self-worth and the source of self-sabotage, we need to examine a universal dynamic that applies to you and to every individual in every culture on earth. In order to fit into society, your parents (or caregivers) taught you what was considered right and what was deemed wrong.
If you behaved well, you earned your parents' approval and were rewarded with positive attention. If you behaved poorly, you received their disapproval and were punished with negative attention. Thus, when quite young, you learned the two prime moral directives: If I am good, I am rewarded. If I am bad, I am punished.
In an ideal world, these rules would be absolutely fair and consistent. In the real world, however, your parents didn't always notice misbehaviors. Even if they did see every misdeed, they might have been too tired or distracted to respond consistently to your actions.
But there was someone who saw and noted, without fail, every single misstep you ever made. You did, and you still do. Not only that, you also saw and recorded every negative, hateful, petty, envious, spiteful, or cruel thought and feeling that passed through your mind. Thus began your issues with self-worth.
Remember the two rules: If I am good, I am rewarded. If I am bad, I am punished. Your parents, however, didn't always do the punishing. So you end up punishing yourself-sometimes for the rest of your life-in the form of self-sabotage or self-destructive behaviors.
Your perceived worth is another kind of belief that impacts how deserving you feel of abundance. Other factors being equal, money scarcity is often related to low self-worth and resultant self-sabotage. For example, lottery winners and others who suddenly receive large sums of money (or fame) sometimes encounter (self-created) troubles if they see their good (but unearned) fortune as undeserved, as illustrated by the following story told to me some years ago by a rabbi:
A little tailor lived in a dingy tenement in a small town in the Midwest, earning a meager existence. But each year he pursued a dream and bought one ticket in the Irish sweepstakes. For fifteen years his life continued in this manner, until one day he found two men standing in his doorway and smiling. They stepped inside and informed him that he'd just won the sweepstakes-$1,250,000, in those days a fortune.
The tailor could hardly believe his ears. He was a rich man! He would no longer have to spend long hours altering clothing, hemming dresses, making pants cuffs. Now he could really live! He locked his shop, threw away the key, and bought himself a wardrobe fit for a king. The same day he purchased a limousine and hired a driver and reserved suites at the best hotels in New York City. Soon he was seen with a variety of attractive young women.
He partied every night, spending his money as if it would last forever. But it didn't; soon he had lost not only all his money, but his health as well. Exhausted, ill, and alone, he returned to his little shop and started his life over. Everything returned to normal; out of habit he even bought one lottery ticket a year from his meager savings.
Two years later, the two gentlemen reappeared at his door. “This has never happened in the history of the sweepstakes, sir, but you have won again!” The tailor stood on shaky legs and said, “Oh, no! Do you mean I have to go through all that again?” As the tailor's story exemplifies, how we handle money (or power or fame) often reflects our sense of self-worth.
There is a danger of studying self-worth from a distance-exploring the issue the way some people explore Africa from an air-conditioned bus. Keeping a safe distance is more comfortable but far less useful than feeling its impact on your life right now.
Since your sense of self-worth (and tendency to self-sabotage) is usually subconscious, awareness of the problem is part of the solution. Here are three complementary methods to become aware of your sense of worth.
Life Scan: Rating Your Own Worth
Remember that your sense of self-worth-of deservedness-is related to your perception of your relative goodness. On the scale stretching from a totally bad person to a totally good person, where do you fall? Take a few minutes to scan your life intuitively, taking into account your relationship with your parents, siblings, and others at school, home, and work-the times you have been kind, courteous, generous, and supportive as well as the times you were less so. I am not asking you to remember many specific incidents, but, rather, to get an intuitive feel for your life as a whole. Then rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 100 as to your overall sense of worth. On a 1-100 scale, how good a person are you? A score of 100 would mean you deeply believe that you are totally good and therefore deserve a life filled with good things-love, joy, health, success, and fulfillment. A score of 1 would mean that you believe that you deserve the pits of hell. (Most of us fall somewhere in between.)
Stop reading until you have given yourself a rating.
This self-assessment has to do with your perceived worth rather than your innate worth. It's important to note that the most sensitive, self-reflective souls among us-those of us with the highest vision, ideals, and standards-often have the lowest sense of self-worth, because we constantly fail to meet our own idealized standards. Maybe that's why George Bernard Shaw once remarked that “the ignorant are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
Whether or not you consciously remember your past behaviors, the fact that you could come up with a number indicates that your subconscious mind has been keeping score. Seminar participants I've asked rate themselves across the spectrum-usually between 45 and 95, with most clustering around 60-80. In any event, if you rated yourself less than 100, you have self-worth issues to address. Welcome to the first gateway.
Self-Reflection on Self-Worth
In order to get a better sense of how your sense of worth impacts areas of your life, consider the following questions, and answer “Yes,” “No,” or “Sometimes.”
- When fortune smiles on you, do you think, “This can't last”?
- Do you find it easier to give than to receive?
- Does your life feel like a series of problems?
- Does money seem scarce and hard to come by?
- Do you find your work unfulfilling?
- Do you find your relationship(s) unsatisfying?
- Do you work long hours but not have much time to enjoy yourself?
- Do you resent or envy people who take frequent holidays?
- Do other people seem to have more fun than you do?
- Do you feel driven to work more, do more, be more than others?
- Do you overeat, smoke, drink alcohol every day, or use other drugs?
- Do you feel uncomfortable when you receive praise, applause, lots of attention, gifts, or pleasure?
- Have you turned down or passed up opportunities in education, work, or relationships and later regretted it?
- Do you get sick or injured more than other people?
- If someone asks the cost of your services, do you price yourself lower than others in your field?
If you answered “Yes” or “Sometimes” to more than half of these, then you stand to benefit from your journey through the first gateway.
In the Mirror of Everyday Life
Perhaps the most realistic way to determine what you believe you deserve is to observe your life as it is right now. The state of your relationships, work, finances, education, and lifestyle reflects your perceived worth-how good you can currently stand it. Of course, not every person living in poverty lacks money solely because of low self-worth. There are conditions, such as where you were born or grew up, over which you had little or no control. But as you grew, you chose your response to your situation-a response that reflected, and helped shape, your sense of worth.
Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth,
by Dan Millman
Because many people assume that self-esteem and self-worth mean the same thing, it seems important to note the distinctions between the two.
Self-worth (associated with self-respect) refers to your overall sense of value, worth, goodness, and deservedness. Your sense of worth can change over time based upon your actions. For example, my sense of self-worth has increased over time as I gradually learned to be a responsible, loving father and husband, and helped others through my writing and teaching.
Self-esteem (associated with self-confidence) refers to liking or feeling good about yourself, your appearance, or your abilities. Your sense of self-esteem may change moment to moment, based on appearance, abilities, or situation. For example, as an experienced gymnast, I felt high self-esteem (confidence) in the gym, but less self-esteem at parties or social gatherings. Many books offer advice on how to raise your self-esteem and feel better about yourself. Discover Your Worth, as you will see, addresses a deeper and more pervasive issue of your own intrinsic sense of value, goodness, morality, and deservedness.
The central theme of the first gateway is that you subconsciously choose or attract into your life those people and experiences you believe you deserve. In everyday life pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional - a by-product of poor choices.
Your sense of worth or deservedness shapes your life by creating tendencies. If you feel worthy and deserving, you tend to make productive choices. (“The world is my oyster.”) If you feel unworthy and undeserving, you tend to make destructive or limiting choices. (“Beggars can't be choosers.”)
At each and every crossroads you are free to choose the high road-by being kind to others, working hard, finding supportive partners, and following good role models. Or you may choose the low road-by burning your bridges, using drugs, or choosing destructive relationships. Your sense of self-worth tends to influence whether you choose to learn easy lessons or difficult ones, to strive or to struggle, to cave in to difficulties or rise above them.
Such choices determine your educational and income level, your health habits - even your longevity. Those of us with a strong sense of self-worth are less likely to get caught up in self-destructive habits with tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, or the abuse of food.
Coming to appreciate your worth can, in some cases, dramatically improve your circumstances by changing the choices you make and the actions you take. And as you begin to treat yourself with more respect, other people begin to do the same, since we subconsciously “train” others how to treat us through messages we send through body language, tone of voice, and other subtle cues and behaviors. Discovering your innate worth and living from that place allows you to make more constructive choices-to choose the higher roads of life.
Since you are exploring this gateway, maybe now is the time for you to take stock, to reflect upon your own circumstances and sense of worth, and to determine if your life is working as well as you would like.
Are you now where you want to be?
The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth
At its core, your level of self-worth is your answer to a single internal question: “How deserving am I?” Or, to put it more directly as it pertains to your daily life: “How good can I stand it today?” If you observe your life very closely, you will discover that you don't necessarily get what you deserve. Rather, you get no more and no less than what you believe you deserve. Only to the degree that you appreciate your innate human worthiness will your subconscious mind open up to life's bounty. Success involves talent, effort, and creativity, but first of all, it requires a willingness to receive. To paraphrase a speech I heard Ram Dass give many years ago, rain may pour down from the heavens, but if you only hold up a thimble, a thimbleful is all you receive.
When a window of opportunity appears, do you pull down the shade?
Each of us has a specific degree of pleasure that feels right and appropriate. If that level is exceeded, it makes us anxious. At a residential seminar I once taught, I encouraged participants to ask for a standing ovation. As each came forward, I noted the variety of ways they responded to enthusiastic applause. Some people opened their arms wide, laughed, even jumped up and down. Others could tolerate only a few seconds of applause before holding up their hands as if to say, “Enough. Please stop. I'm getting uncomfortable.”
The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth
if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.
-W. Somerset Maugham
There is a lot of really good information about self worth in the book, Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth, by Dan Millman. Instead of picking through it, I've decided to post most of the chapter about the first gateway - self worth. Here's the opening story:
"Aaron and Charlotte, brother and sister, are born into a two-parent, stable, middle-class household. Their parents are educated, hardworking, caring, have no alcohol problems, abusive habits, or guilty secrets. Aaron grows up successful - earns good grades, wins a junior chess championship, plays sports, and later earns a good income to support a family of his own. Charlotte does moderately well in school but chooses unsavory friends, starts using heroin and other drugs, turns to theft and prostitution to support her habit, which leads to jail time and the hell of withdrawal.
Not all siblings are as different as Charlotte and Aaron, but some of us take higher roads than others. In families all over the world, children grow up differently, make different choices, lead different lives. Many factors shape our lives, including beliefs, support systems, motivation, relationships, family dynamics, fate, or karma. But the central premise of the first gateway is that our sense of self-worth is the single most important determinant of the health, abundance, and joy we allow into our lives. In the case of Aaron and Charlotte, his behaviors demonstrated his higher sense of self-worth. But the story doesn't end there.
Charlotte, who had always loved children, later found new purpose, meaning, and opportunity for service in her role as a dedicated mother of two. As her children grew, so did her sense of worth. Charlotte got her life together and is doing better all the time. Not all stories have such a happy ending. Thousands, even millions, of us in all walks of life make self-destructive choices because we have lost touch with our own worthiness to receive life's gifts."
My thoughts on this story are as follows: There is a judgment here - and I don't like it. The judgment is that because Aaron has an outwardly "productive" life, and has made socially acceptable choices, his life is "good." Whereas, Charlotte's life was not. What did she gain and what did she learn from her experiences? And isn't possible that those experiences give her a depth and an understanding, maybe even a compassion that her "successful" brother doesn't possess?
And what about Aaron, does a family, a career, and money automatically ensure happiness? How can we, on the outside, even begin to know what's going on inside of someone else? Why do we make those kinds of assumptions based solely on appearances? Maybe Aaron is a real jerk! Maybe his life is about to fall apart in a big way because he's so self absorbed!
Also, I'd like to know how we can assume that someone has good self worth just because they have the outward appearance of success. Maybe Aaron has very little self worth and has to surround himself with the symbols of worth (money, career, family) in order to feel worthy. Maybe he doesn't feel good about himself at all.
And here's a question - why do I feel such animosity towards Aaron anyway, he's not even a real person!! Interesting! Wow. That got me thinking! What about you? What are your thoughts on this little story?
“Self-worth is not a thing; it is a perception. Just as a gymnast begins a routine with ten points and receives deductions for each mistake, so you began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning--when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
Discovering your worth is key, it is the first gateway to everyday enlightenment, and personal growth. Here's more from the book:
“It’s important to note that the most sensitive, self-reflective souls among us--those of us with the highest vision, ideals, and standards--often have the lowest sense of self-worth, because we constantly fail to meet our idealized standards. Maybe that’s why George Bernard Shaw once remarked that “the ignorant are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.”
It’s so easy to beat ourselves up and then self-sabotage--limiting the amount of joy, creativity and abundance we experience in our lives. This gateway is all about discovering the fact that: “You are no more or less worthy than any other person or part of reality. Your sense of worth grows by doing what is worthy. But you do not have to feel worthy; you need only treat yourself as you would a loved one or honored guest, ending self-destructive behaviors or cycles of self-sabotage, opening to life’s opportunities.”
I'm exceedingly tired tonight, and taking the easy way by posting this colleciton of quotes on self worth. Hopefully you'll find something interesting, illuminating, comforting, or just plain good. I'd love to hear what your favorites are. Enjoy!
When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?
as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love & affection.
Man must choose daily whether to self-destruct or to self-exalt
and whether to destruct or to exalt the God within.
~Elizabeth Clare Prophet
We do not yet possess ourselves,
and we know at the same time that we are much more.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only sin is limitation.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are wiser than we know.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Anyone who has never made a mistake
has never tried anything new.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
~Louisa May Alcott
If I am not for myself,
who will be?
The tragedy is that so many people look for self-confidence and self-respect everywhere except within themselves, and so they fail in their search.
~Dr Nathaniel Branden
Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?
Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes.
Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one's definition of your life;
The way you treat yourself
sets the standard for others.
~Dr Sonya Friedman
In my day, we didn't have self-esteem,
we had self-respect,
and no more of it than we had earned.
It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
~Sidney J. Harris
Every individual has a place to fill in the world,
and is important, in some respect,
whether he chooses to be so or not.
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving,
and that's your own self.
~Aldous Leonard Huxley
Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
~Dr. Samuel Johnson
Accept everything about yourself,
I mean everything.
You are you and that is the beginning and the end,
no apologies, no regrets.
At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvellously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into our bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of you.
- Prayer of St. Theresa of Lisieux
~St. Thomas Aquinas
I found this quote today when I was adding to Way Cool Quotes. It really struck me because that's exactly what I've been mulling over recently. What I've been thinking about is how much I rely on what other people think, say, and do versus how little I rely on what I think about what I say and do. I'm constantly running to my friends, to books, to websites, etc. etc trying to figure out what to do... it's like I don't even know what I think until I know what every one else thinks.
What does it mean to know yourself through yourself? Who are you really? Without other people's opinions and stories about you, who would you be? What is your personal private story of you?
It might be an interesting exercise to write a small summery of the story of you. We're not talking great literature here, just a few simple paragraphs describing yourself as if you were introducing someone you know to a perfect stranger. Write it - and then go back through and delete everything that comes from what other people think, leaving only what you yourself have experienced about yourself and know to be true.
From Cindy, we have Doreen Virtue's July issue of the Angel Therapy Newsletter. Thanks Cindy!
YOU ARE VALUABLE!
by Doreen Virtue
Valuing yourself is a beautifully important life-lesson for all of us, according to the angels. It means valuing your own opinion and feelings, and valuing the money that you’ve earned, the time in your schedule, and knowing that you deserve to receive love and good. It means spending time and money on yourself so that YOUR needs are met. It means saying “No” and sticking to that word in response to others’ requests that aren’t in alignment with your highest good.
Valuing yourself means treating yourself with golden love . . . guilt-free!
Until we learn the self-value lesson, we keep attracting situations where we fall victim to other people’s will. It seems that others take from us and take advantage of us. . . and it all springs from your relationship with your own self. If you value yourself, so will others. (And if they don’t value you, you’ll easily take action to honor and protect yourself).
The angels say: “When you devalue yourself, you are missing the point of life which is to reconnect with blissful divine love." You have been looking for this feeling outside of yourself, which is impossible to find until you realize that what you’re seeking is YOURSELF. Fall in love with yourself . . . not in an egotistical I’m-better-than-you sort of way, which only leads to misery and loneliness. We’re talking about the type of self-love that is a continual celebration of life’s diversity, including the seeming challenges.
“Everything that seems mysterious to you right now WILL be revealed, we promise. The important point for right now in your lifespan is to own the gifts that you have, value them, and do not give them away lightly. When you do share your gifts with others, respect the gift that you are sharing as much as if it were a shining gift from heaven upon a celestial blessed serving tray . . . for that is what it is. Never again diminish yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, or your gifts . . . for they are sacred and presented to you and through you as your eternal connection to God’s loving heart.”
Valuing yourself includes valuing your time and your priorities. With the passing of several celebrities this week, we are reminded of earthly life’s brevity. This means that it’s important to Carpe Diem: Seize the Day.
Whether that means relaxing upon a hammock and watching the stars or clouds; reading (or writing!) a great book; hanging out with good friends; or finishing your studies . . . today's the day! Enjoy every moment!
So . . . what do you want to put upon the Front Burner of your life? What do you want to enjoy, accomplish, or experience without delay?
Let's call upon Archangel Metatron together for his amazing assistance with motivation and time-warping:
"Archangel Metatron, we call upon you now. Thank you for motivating me to live the life of higher self's visions and purpose. Thank you for motivating me to step-up to my potential. Thank you for helping me to stay true to myself and my purpose. Thank you for bending time so that my intentions are manifest now, with all of the ideas, support, and opportunities that I need for the fruition of my life's purpose, my joy, my radiating light and love, and the appreciation of life. And so it is."
I've been reading the book, "Notes To Myself" by Hugh Prather, and this quote really stuck out at me this morning.
As I look back on my life, one of the most constant and powerful things I have experienced within myself is the desire to be more than I am at the moment - an unwillingness to let myself remain where I am - a desire to do more, learn more, express more - a desire to grow, improve, accomplish, expand.
I used to interpret this inner push as meaning that there was some one thing out there I wanted to do or be or have. And I have spent too much of my life trying to find it. But now I know that this energy within me is seeking more than the mate or the profession or the religion, more even than pleasure or power or meaning. It is seeking out more of me; or better, it is, thank God, flushing out more of me.
- We are not yet emotionally grounded, because our subconscious is deciding for us, based on our beliefs that we created from childhood experiences. A great deal of our unhappiness comes from a 'brain set' that we created in our early childhood.
- We realize from our 'Observer Self' and meditation that we feel heavy inside. I created a metaphor that worked for me: My cages are within and I am not free. I learned that emotional freedom and inner peace is a process that does not happen by itself. We evolve into freedom, as we gradually set free all past influences that we interpreted as ours that really were distorted or belonged to someone else.
- My inner work required a willingness to go into my shadow. Going there means to become self-aware, to face the pain, the insight and growth it has to offer. It literally creates a wonderful space inside where before there was guilt, shame, anxiety and self-effacement.
- It takes no more time and money to "go there" than it does to pay emotionally and financially for the addictions we develop to food, TV, exercise, shopping, alcohol, relationships and diets.
- Learn the wisdom of your heart. Your heart constantly sends messages to your brain. Are you listening or do you listen only to ego?
- You can begin to literally feel 'space' opening inside. I began to feel lighter and develop clarity.
- You gain confidence as you discover more about yourself. As I had less drama, I was more willing to trust my own voice and take on a practice that fit me. I began to find my spirit.... the Source energy, which brings feelings of love with it, feelings that leave me in joy or peace. I judge less and appreciate more.
Unfortunately, the author's name was lost in the transition.
Sorry about that!
This is more from the article I've been uploading in bits and pieces this week. This segment focuses on ways to feel good about who we are, and offers ideas on how self awareness can help with emotional healing. I thought might be helpful, so here it is:
If we are perpetually busy, our ego has a hold. We have less energy and may even feel totally drained. Our body is responding to our heavy emotional attachments: resentments, jealousy, anger, and envy. When we release these emotional attachments and our victim status, we naturally have more energy.
How do we do that?
- Regularly observe your inner dialogue ... notice what makes you feel good, what makes you feel bad, identify where you feel that in your body through deep, relaxed breathing. You have heard the phrase, "What you resist, persists?" So, simply sit with it for a while. Then, let it go. This is a practice that we need to do regularly.
- Only you can observe your mind and identify what thought, smell, color and touch, triggered your emotions. The very act of observation slowly closes down your ego and your fears diminish. You identify that you do have control and you can simply decide that you no longer need the drama in your life. As you cut emotional links you gain emotional composure and you reduce your needs.
- Improve your inner dialogue ... this keeps us in the present. Once you identify where the negative feelings are coming from, you can change them or take a program to release your programmed beliefs.
- Ask yourself if you offer joy and hope to others or idle gossip and misery? Genpo Roshi says that, "Participating in slander and gossip is a symptom of how inadequate we feel. If we truly felt whole ... we wouldn't need to fall into the trap of negative speech. When we see that our own true nature is not lacking in any way, we ultimately want to rejoice and celebrate other peoples' success and well-being."
- How do we find our true nature, uncover our innate abilities and talents? Truly knowing our self-worth is often the answer to how we accept ourselves-even celebrate who we are.
Unfortunately, the author's name was lost in the transition.
Sorry about that!
Here is an exerpt from an article I found online. It mirrors many of the things that I have also learned, and seemed appropriate for this project, and so here it is:
- Although you can be intelligent, competent and successful in many areas, you can also carry a negative self-image, frequently engage in negative self-talk, be perpetually busy, hold many fears, repeat failed relationships and have no focus.
- That although most of the world focuses on the intellect and our external world: this is only one reality. The other reality is our inner world that is driven by our hopes and dreams: our heart's desires. The inner you is activated by our own observation of it ... observation of your thoughts, your emotions and how that feels in your body. Our whole body is our subconscious and every cell holds memory. Each and every cell listens to what we say about ourselves. What do you say?
- We need to be patient. Our progress goes back and forth. Our inner vision begins to open, we have more energy and there is an inner space growing: it feels like freedom and strength with moments of inspiration.
- We accept concepts intellectually and it takes much longer for the concept to become real in your heart, so that we can live it naturally. If we rush our growth, it becomes empty, we become bored and listless since we are in unfamiliar territory and still identified with ego.
Unfortunately, the author's name was lost in the transition.
Sorry about that!
Taking care of yourself is letting your heart know that you are responding to its needs - the needs of your soul. It is self-development through self-awareness: wherever we find it. People and resources will come to you. Some will resonate with you and some will not. Trust your intuition.
- Use whatever form of meditation works for you. There are many techniques and resources available. (meditations)
- Make a decision to choose the feelings, thoughts and actions that take you to whom and where you want to be.
- Take time to learn what your purpose is. It will evolve over time and you may have more than one.
- Gift yourself with a reading escape, a dessert, enough time in your week to exercise.
- Do whatever it takes to get in touch with your true self. Find the resources to guide you to loving yourself unconditionally.
- Understand and experience our own divinity.
- Spend more time with groups that lift you, help you discover the meaning of living from our heart.
- Ask your self regularly if what you do is taking you in the direction you want to go. Our activities should support whom we are, where we want to be and what we want to do.
- Express love to others. Service to others may be the fastest way to be happy ... giving away what you want most.
Sorry about that!
I found this article on Insecurity over at the Daily Om. It seemed appropriate to this project, because I have this idea that a person with a good sense of self-worth wouldn't be plagued by insecurities and self-doubt.
So, here's the dissection - I'd love to read your thoughts on it as well.
- There is an innate awkwardness to being human.
I love this sentence. It gives me a sigh of relief, a knowing that it's OK to be awkward and human, like I now have permission to be me, and I'm not alone in my imperfection and gracelessness.
- With each decision we make, there is the potential for self-doubt
Yes, with each decision we make there IS the potential for self-doubt and that's because our decisions don't always take us where we want to go. Sometimes a decision is a good one - meaning that the results feel good, bring us what we want, or put us on a path that is rewarding and interesting.
On the other hand, the decisions we make often take us into uncharted, uncomfortable, and even dangerous territory. If that happens too many times, we find ourselves unable to just "leap" into life without first testing the waters, creating a safety net, assembling our allies and helpers, talking endlessly about all the "what-ifs," and putting it off until either the decision is made FOR us, or the way is so obviously clear that failure is either inevitable or impossible.
- and it is this-self doubt that forms the root of insecurity—a complex emotion that is a mix of equal parts inadequacy, isolation, fear, and hopelessness.
Actually, I'm not sure that insecurity is exactly that. I did an online search for synonyms and came up with the following from Thesaurus.com and I think it's more expressive of how I feel when I am experiencing self-doubt and insecurity:
built upon sand, critical, crumbling, dangerous, defenseless, endangered, exposed, expugnable, fraught with danger, guardless, guideless, hanging by a thread, harborless, helpless, in danger, insecure, nightfoundered, not out of the wood, on slippery ground, on the brink, on the edge, on the rocks, on the verge of a precipice, on the verge of a volcano, on the wrong side of the wall, precarious, shaky, under fire, unprepared, unprotected, unsafe, unshielded, unstable, unsteady, untrustworthy, vulnerable.
I especially like "nightfoundered." It brings up images of storms, and sinking ships, and lost at sea, along with an element of excitement and aliveness... life on the edge... where at least you tried - maybe you tried and failed - but at least you tried, at least you were on that ship, heading for that port in the storm, and maybe the furies will take pity on you... and will you be washed up on some exotic beach, in some totally new place, and how bad would that be really ...
I like that image so much that I'm going to make it part of my self talk the next time I find myself in that insecure doubting anxious place... I'm just going to say - "Looks like I've nightfoundered! Toss all the excess baggage overboard!" And I think I'll need to do more than just say it... I think I'll have to go outside and yell it into the wind!
- Yet these feelings of insecurity that prevent us from fulfilling our potential by inducing us to abide by arbitrary self-limitations are nothing more than erroneous perceptions.
Here is where I begin to disagree in a big way. If you grab a hot pan off the stove and burn your hand, that's not an erroneous perception. When you find yourself in one abusive relationship after another, or when every money making idea you have goes up in flames, when you decide to drink and drive and wreck your car.... Those are NOT erroneous perceptions. They are the results of decision making gone awry. When I decide to do X and ABCD and E falls on my head, and it's uncomfortable, and hurtful, and I'm reeling from it emotionally, that's NOT an erroneous perception. That's a life experience.
- We feel unconfident and unsure of ourselves because we judge ourselves to be so.
I'll concede the point here. Yes, I do think that our stories about ourselves create who we are. If I am "nightfoundered" and the story I tell myself is that I'm alive, and resourceful, and that it was a whale of a storm, and thank God the lifeboats are intact, and immediately turn my mind to how to get off the rocks and on to shore - then I'm no longer paralyzed and lacking confidence. On the other hand, if I'm wringing my hands, and crying, and saying "why me" and "how could I be so stupid" and more of the same, then yes, the story is quite a bit different, and maybe I'll be staying on those rocks, or bobbing around in the icy dark for way a lot longer than I have to.
- Banishing insecurity is often simply a matter of challenging ourselves in order to prove that we are indeed intelligent and able.
Yes, this is probably true. And it's way easier said than done. I don't especially like the flippant way this is tossed out - "simply a matter of..." Newly acquired insecurity might be simple - you get on a bicycle for the first time, and when you fall off, you "simply" get back on until you learn how to ride it. The more times you fall off, the less frightening it is, and pretty soon you've got bicycle riding mastered. On the other hand, deeply rooted insecurity has a long history of painful failure and humiliation fueling it. So, let's not call it a "simple" thing. Let's call brave and daring. I think it takes courage to put yourself on the line like that. Real courage.
- When we feel insecure, we not only perceive ourselves as incapable of meeting life’s challenges but also fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness.
This is true for me, and I wonder why. Why would I tell myself that I'm fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness when I feel inadequate to the task of meeting the challenges of life?
- We move through life plagued by a sense that others have judged us and found that we are lacking.
Yes. This is big. I don't even know what to say about it except that this is exactly how I feel much of the time. How to get over it? I don't know.
- As a result, we are robbed of our personal power and rendered unable to feel positive about the choices we make.
And this is how give our power away. This is where we sell out. The opinions of others become more important than our opinions of ourselves. The needs of others become more important than our own. How other people see us becomes extremely important because it feels as if our very survival depends on their good opinion. So we base our decisions, we make choices, we do what we do in an attempt to control the people around us, to persuade them to think well of us. We hide who we really are, we forget who that even is because we focus and concentrate so hard on what we imagine to be "good" and "acceptable" in someone else's eyes.
- Everyone feels insecure from time to time
OK... I agree that everyone has feelings of insecurity. I am pretty sure that every person you meet is struggling with self-doubt, worries about how their decisions will turn out, and might even be assuming a completely false identity in order to win YOUR approval. And that's something to think about, isn't it? Your false face meets their false face, assumptions are made, adjustments are done, and you lose even more of your self even as they lose more of themselves. Pretty soon nobody has any integrity, we're all running around trying to find approval in the pretend people we think we know but don't really know because they are pretending as well. WOW. That's a mind boggler isn't it?
- because each of us is born into the world with unique strengths.
I know this is true... and yet... not really. It sounds true, but do I experience it as true? Do I even know what my own unique strengths are? I'm not sure I do. I'd probably have to ask someone... Wow! How's that for an "approval seeking" idea! What about you? What are your unique strengths?
- If you should find yourself with feelings of insecurity, however, endeavor to understand its source.
This sounds like a good idea. Worth investigating.
- Perhaps you were repeatedly berated as a child
We were all probably berated, humiliated, and possibly beaten or abandoned as children. I don't know a single person who didn't have a painful childhood. I actually have a theory that our painful childhood experiences give us tools and grit and that without them we might be weak and inept. Look at what happens if a baby eagle is not allowed the long and difficult process of pecking its way out of the egg - it dies.
- or seldom receive positive reinforcement in the present.
Every person around you was humiliated at least once, berated a thousand times, put down, knocked down, slandered, and wrongly punished in those long difficult growing up years. So... be kind. Be kind to the people around you, and be kind to yourself. You are not "less than" and no one else is "more than" we are just how we are. And who we are is fine. Who we are is acceptable. And, actually, who we are is pretty amazing! You don't need someone else to give you positive reinforcement - you need to give it to yourself.
- A tendency to withdraw from risk or uncomfortable situations can amplify feelings of insecurity.
I totally agree. So just get out there and do it. if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch. If you want a life that's worth living, today is the day to get started.
What's the worst that can happen? You'll fall on your ass? So what! That's how you learned to ride your bike. You'll fail miserably? OK... again, so what! Every one is bound to fail at any number of things. No one will like you? Oh come on... that's just silly. People love a loser because it makes them feel compassion, and people love a winner because it makes them feel hopeful, and people love you for your faults and your flaws more than your perfections because it makes you more human, more approachable, and more real. You'll lose everything? So, think about this. Eventually, at the end of this thing called life, you're going to "lose" everything anyway. Afraid of something different? I'm sure you can come up with your own "So what" answers.
There you have it. I've pretty much said everything I can think of. Here's the rest of it:
- When you have pinpointed the origin of your insecurity, focus on your abilities. The more you utilize your personal power—by taking risks, boldly facing challenges, and acting decisively—the stronger it will grow.
Remember that insecurity is not objective. Rather, it is an emotional interpretation of your value unconsciously based on doubt, shame, and fear. As you overcome those underlying emotions through courageous action and copious self-love, you’ll discover that you are capable of achieving more than you ever thought possible.
Want to read the original article without my observations and comments? Here's a link: Insecurity - Reclaiming Your Power