The people who worry about their self esteem are those who don’t have much of it. Research shows that people with high self esteem rarely think about it, they just have it, and they have it with effortless and consistent excellence.
Zero conscious effort, maximum emotional effect – every time.
Some people have really mastered this ‘do less, achieve more’ approach and can do nothing yet achieve everything, which contradicts everything we have been taught.
We are taught that hard work is an essential ingredient for success, yet the ‘no pain no gain’ philosophy may be only half the story. Sure, in any physical task where reward is influenced by effort we would clearly be well advised to try hard. On the other hand when we try hard to feel calm during a panic attack, the conscious effort involved may be counter-productive to our emotional state.
However much we’d like to believe otherwise, certain emotional shifts cannot be created by consciously trying hard, as can be confirmed by anyone who has tried hard to fall asleep or feel calm when they feel anxious.
In terms of unwanted emotions, what we resist will persist. Paradoxically, our emotional state changes effortlessly once we stop consciously trying hard to change it. It’s as if our acceptance empowers an unconscious process in which emotional change flows with effortless elegance.
Acceptance isn’t about giving in to negative emotions it’s about self awareness and understanding that we can re-programme our unconscious mind to effortlessly empower a more nurturing and nourishing sense of self.
Our first clue lies in a greater understanding of how we subconsciously influence our emotions, for in that ripening insight we learn how to rewrite our unconscious agreement with reality and create effortless and sustainable self esteem.
Effortless Self Esteem Exercise
At the top of a sheet of paper write ‘Personal Resources’.
Breathe deeply and relax, allowing your mind to be clear and still.
When you feel relaxed and ready, begin to write a list of your qualities. Include anything you do well. Perhaps you’re a good friend, a loving parent, a good listener or you have a certain skill.
When you finish writing fold the list and put it somewhere on your person, such as your pocket, your purse or anywhere you choose as long as it stays with you.
It is essential your list stays with you for the next ten days. This means the list stay with you always and when you go to bed put it where you will see it when you wake up.
Starting this exercise empowers your unconscious mind to initiate a subliminal search for positive information about you and the process will continue as long as the list remains with you.
A pleasing aspect of this exercise is that once you begin, it requires minimum conscious effort and you can trust your unconscious mind to deliver the relevant information into your conscious awareness over the next ten days.
Around day five ask two people who know and care about you to tell you what qualities they think you have.
Up to this point your list consists of information drawn from your perception. We must remember that, since we all see things differently, these two people may see you in a way you have long since learned to forget. This is especially true if you have been unconsciously filtering out your qualities, while seduced by the self-limiting trance of low self esteem.
The subliminal impact is further increased by reviewing your list each night before you go to sleep. Research shows that our mind reviews what we see in the hour before sleep five times more often than anything else we did that day which is an excellent reason to be mindful what we watch or think about in the hour before bed.
Review your list each morning and bring back to mind the last time you demonstrated one of these qualities in your life reliving it as vividly as you can. Notice what it is like to remember it again and what else you become aware of as you do this.
Retain your list for10 days and enjoy noticing the subtle shifts in your self perception.
About the Author:
Extract from Change Your Life and Keep the Change. By Gary Dooley.
Gary Dooley is the founder of Life Balance UK and author of
Change Your Life and Keep the Change Published by John Hunt books.