Most of us without realizing it, have been trying to improve the relationship we have with ourselves all of our lives, just not effectively.
The good news is that you don’t have to go from having low self esteem to having high self esteem, you only need to improve your self esteem a bit to make a critical difference in your life and accomplishments.
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important in your life. It is the template upon which all your other relationships are built, a source of wellbeing, and the driving force in your choices and behaviors – the foundation of your psychological functioning. How you feel about yourself impacts the way you negotiate your daily life and affects the quality of love and connection in your life.
Your sense of self is as unique to you as your fingerprints. It represents an accumulation of beliefs – conscious and unconscious – about how you perceive your relative worthiness, lovability, and personal power. Based on trial and error, you unwittingly and automatically estimate your rank in the pecking order and how attachment-worthy you are.
When you perceive deficits in these areas, it infects your sense of self with self-disappointment, self-doubt, self-frustration, even self-loathing For instance, if you compare yourself to others who seem more confident than you, you can become angry at yourself for this lacking. Self anger causes you to reject – abandon – yourself. Self abandonment is an insidious process that shrouds your innermost self in shame and blame.
By resolving the anger you harbor toward yourself and reversing self abandonment, you can raise your self esteem quotient. There is an exercise called Separation Therapy that does just that.
The Abandonment Connection: We all have some self-abandonment lurking within our emotional recesses. Abandonment is a universal, primal fear – a fear of being left, of not being ‘enough.’ Some of us, based on temperament or experience, are more prone to its anxieties than others.
Abandonment fear, working beneath the surface, can trigger self defeating behaviors, i.e. it can inhibit you from taking risks, get you to emotionally overreact, or give you performance anxiety. When this fear gets the best of you, you can doubt your worthiness all the more and feel angry at your most vulnerable feelings for causing the ‘weakness.’ But being angry at your feelings means you are blaming the innermost part of yourself.
Feelings are involuntary. Rejecting them means rejecting yourself – your inner child self. This misplaced blame is the basis for self-hatred, the corrosive element that has been damaging your relationship with yourself all along. A vicious cycle!
No matter how no matter how deep-rooted or long-standing your issues, Separation Therapy can improve the way you feel about yourself, resolve self abandonment, and boost your life forward.
Until now, the main tool for building self-esteem was to give yourself positive affirmations. You may have tried it. Why wasn’t it effective? Because when you stood before your mirror and said things like, ‘I love you just the way you are,’ you made your self the object of your ‘fix-it’ energy which unwittingly triggered some anxiety, causing self anger to enter the floodgates. This contaminated your sense of self with subliminal negative advertising messages, subverting your endeavor to love yourself unconditionally.
“I’ve been telling myself I love myself every day, but I must be doing it wrong, or maybe I’m a hopeless case, because I still don’t notice a change.”
Your outside ear hears, “I love you just the way you are,” but your inside ear incorporates this as: “I love you even though you’re a basket case and ruin everything with your damned anxiety!” Or “I would love you if you had more confidence!”
The exercise I am proposing does not rely on reciting affirmations, but provides a practical, hands-on tool for administering love and acceptance directly to your inner self by separating the inner child from the outer child – feelings from behaviors. It works incrementally like physical therapy for the brain, to nurture your inner self and target self-sabotaging patterns. It allows you accept yourself and all of your feelings unconditionally, especially your most vulnerable ones – they are the basis for a whole new level of self love. You systematically replace self anger with healing doses of self acceptance.
Building a better relationship with yourself doesn’t happen by osmosis or by just ‘reading about it.’ You must do the exercise. There are lots of materials on hand to show you how and support your progress.
© Susan Anderson Oct 3 2012
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