Self Esteem Building
What does this mean? What is Self Esteem? How do we know that we need to
build Self Esteem?
Hello, I've been a psychologist in private practice for over twenty years.
Self Esteem (good or bad) is central to and related to most human experiences
and certainly connected to virtually every issue I encounter; from drug
abuse to parenting skills, to relationships, assertiveness training--you name it.
Fix Self Esteem and almost magically, there is improvement in lots, and I mean
lots or other areas, including these four.
Self Esteem is something that evolves out of zillions of little messages
that accrue in our heads over a long time. The average of these accumulated
impressions, or "epiphenomenona" begins to emerge when our awareness reaches
a kind of critical mass, which is at a younger age than you might think.
Kids have budding self esteems certainly by age two. You might think that
that oppositional behavior that parents hate so much is the beginning of self
esteem, and you would be right. That occurs as early as age one and a half!
For example, one of the first steps in expressing individuality is in saying "no,"
or from a parents' point of view, being oppositional. From a psychologist's
point of view, this is healthy and marks the beginnings of personal power, or
"individuating" (separating from others,thus defining self against what already is).
In this case ones sense of self is expressed in behaviors that frustrate parents
and its relative success or failure impacts the esteem of the child. Crude
But this is necessary, and from this early stage, children amass a ton of other
messages about themselves. Are they the same height as other kids the same age?
Are they as loved? Are they as smart. Can they run as fast? There are
millions of comparisons kids make about themselves compared to the information
they are fed about other kids. From this data base emerges a more complete
sense of self, good or bad.
Most of you reading this article think your self esteem needs some improving,
so I'm guessing yours, in spots, is "bad." You can tell this is true if there
is too much sensitivity to criticism, resistance to accepting compliments, fear
of being seen without some "cover" or escape route in mind, etc.
Building self esteem is about re-working the negative messages in a very
specific way. It isn't about just thinking positive, or surrounding yourself
with "up" people and lively activities. No, self esteem started, then evolved
one idea and feeling and association at a time. And that's the way it can be
In my ebook on this subject, I emphasize "thinking small," which of course is
just the opposite of what most self help books preach. To build a self esteem,
you literally have to take one of the millions of images, impression, thoughts
or feelings that you presently carry, and work with it in a very special way.
The technique I developed over twenty years is called the "Anchor Concept."
You create this and apply it liberally to negative ideas, feelings, associations,
etc. until the bad stuff "yields." When it does, there is an immediate boost
in positive feeling about you. I doesn't matter if your self esteem is horrible
or just a little dinged. The effect is the same. When another negative
feeling or thought comes along, you use the same anchor concept again, applying
it in the same way, now dealing with this next lousy memory. Again, the feeling
yields to the anchor concept (which is strategic and very positive, by design.
I tell you exactly how to craft your anchor concept.). The thought behind the
anchor concept is crafted to create a certain kind of feeling and it is the
feeling behind this technique that actually changes self esteem. This technique
is applied to one crummy association, memory, emotional reaction at a time.
This is just the opposite of conventional thinking, which states that you change
self esteem by just changing your thoughts. Close, but no cigar.
The keys to doing this successfully I describe in great depth in my ebook.