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Insights From The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem Pt.2 (#51)

How do you feel about yourself day to day? Sh**ty (low self-esteem), OK (medium self-esteem), or pretty good (high self-esteem)? 

A little over 2 years ago I wrote part 1 of this, which kind of explains the basics of self-esteem, and how it pertains to high performance and business:

This email actually gets into the various 6 pillars of self-esteem. Great book to read IMO.

The Focus On Action

  • We pursue and maintain values in the world thru actions. 
  • What determines the level of self-esteem is what the individual does within the context of his knowledge and values. 
  • People who live mindfully feel more competent than those who live mindlessly. 

Practice Of Living Consciously

  • Our mind is our basic tool of survival. 
      • Betray it and self-esteem suffers. 
      • The simplest form of this betrayal is the evasion of discomforting facts.
  • Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.
  • To live consciously means to seek to be aware of everything that bears on our actions, purposes, values, and goals 
  • Being concerned to distinguish among facts, interpretations, and emotions. 
    • What I perceive, what I interpret it to mean, and how I feel about it are 3 separate questions.
  • Noticing and confronting my impulses to avoid or deny painful or threatening realities
    • Nothing is more natural than to avoid what evokes fear or pain.
    • Fear and pain should be treated as signals, not to close our eyes but to open them wider, not to look away but to look more attentively.
  • Being concerned to know if my actions are in alignment with my purposes. 
    • Living consciously entails monitoring, my actions relative to my goals, looking for evidence of alignment or misalignment. 
  • Why do we need to notice what is exciting and what is draining?
    • To do more of the first and less of the second
  • Why do we need to notice our emotions during an encounter with someone? - To better understand our actions and reactions. 
  • Why do we need to notice our patterns of behavior?
    • To know which actions are producing desired results and which aren’t, and to discover what patterns need to be challenged. 

Practice Of Self-Acceptance

  • The greatest crime we commit against ourselves is not that we may deny and disown our shortcomings but that we deny and disown our greatness - because it frightens us. 
  • Nietzsche wrote:
    • “I did it”, says memory. 
    • “I couldn’t have” says pride and remains relentless. 
    • Eventually memory yields.
  • We typically encounter two false assumptions when people have difficulty with the idea of self-acceptance. 
    • The belief that if we accept who and what we are, we must approve of everything about us. 
    • The belief that if we accept who and what we are, we are indifferent to change or improvement 

Practice of Self-Responsbility

  • To feel competent to live and worthy of happiness, I need to experience a sense of control over my existence. 
    • This requires that I be willing to take responsibility for my actions and the attainment of my goals. 
  • No one can be said to be living self-responsibly who has no productive purposes. 
  • Without productive goals and productive effort, we remain forever children. 
    • If I hold myself responsible for matters beyond my control, I put my self-esteem in jeopardy, since inevitably I will fail my expectations. 
    • If I deny responsibility for matters that are within my control, again I jeopardize my self-esteem.
  • I am responsible for the achievement of my desires. 
  • I am responsible for the level of consciousness I bring to my work, relationships, behavior with other people.
  • I am responsible for how I prioritize my time, quality of my communications, and personal happiness, for accepting or choosing the values by which I live.

Practice of Self-Assertiveness

  • Self-assertiveness means honoring my wants, needs, and values and seeking appropriate forms of their expression in reality.
  • Finally, self-assertion entails the willingness to confront rather than evade the challenges of life and to strive for mastery. 
  • When we are attempting to understand something and we hit a wall, it is an act of self-assertiveness to persevere. 
  • Appropriate self-assertiveness pays attention to context.

Practice Of Living Purposefully

  • Self-responsible men and women do not pass to others the burden of supporting their existence.
  • Self-discipline requires the ability to defer immediate gratification in the service of a remote goal.
  • Power lies in the source of wealth, not in the wealth; In the cause, not the effect
  • In addition, if a person makes the error of identifying self with his work he is fucked.
  • Living purposefully entails the following core issues:
    • Taking responsibility for formulating one’s goals and purposes consciously
      • We need to be concerned with such questions as: 
        • What do I want for myself in 5, 10, 20 years? 
        • What do I want my life to add up to? 
        • What do I want in the area of personal relationships?
  • Power lies in the source of wealth, not in the wealth; In the cause, not the effect
  • When a question of self-esteem is involved, the question to ask is: 
    • Is this matter within my direct, willful control?
  • Doing more of what doesn’t work doesn’t work.

Practice Of Personal Integrity

  • Integrity is the integration if ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs - and behavior. When our behavior is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match, we have integrity.
  • When we behave in ways that conflict with our judgement of what is appropriate, we lose face in our own eyes. We respect ourselves less. If the policy becomes habitual, we trust ourselves less or cease to trust ourselves at all. 
  • Personal integrity entails such questions as: 
    • Am I honest, reliable, and trustworthy?
    • Do I keep my promises?
    • Do I do the things I say I admire and do I avoid the things I say I deplore?
    • Am I fair and just in my dealings with others?
  • When it comes to matters of self-esteem I have more to fear from my own judgement than from anyone else’s.

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