No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Hey, Max here from The Coaching Room, Thanks for checking out our latest blog. Once you’ve read it I hope that these tips provide you with a greater ability to value YOU more fully and some meaningful action points that you can use to develop your emotional intelligence (EQ) using the skills of NLP – and hence the quality of your own life as you have a greater experience of value for yourself, as they have helped me.
Each tip will help you gain greater awareness, an action or attitude to try on or an opportunity for self-reflection. We’re here together, working against the tidal wave of conditioning against society and culture as we recondition ourselves to experience natural value because after all, it is our birthright.
So the first tip is to look at what, in your life can you accept about you that would improve the quality of your life and develop your emotional intelligence? Maybe it was something in the past, a decision, experience or the cards that life dealt you. Part of everyone’s personal development is their ability to accept themselves as they are – their light side and their dark side, to be okay as they are, now.
When we are not accepting of ourselves, we reject and resist. What we resist persists. In pushing something out to reject and resist it, paradoxically we need to hold onto whatever it is as we give it energy for it to turn back onto us. An example of this is someone who wants to quit smoking. If they’re resisting the temptation and urge to smoke by saying “I don’t want to smoke” what they’re holding in mind is smoking, and then the urge begins to grow.
To be clear, acceptance is NOT resignation. Resignation is giving up because you’ve decided that there is nothing you can do where acceptance is simply acknowledging that something has happened or is the way it is, letting go of how it “should be”. In doing so, the energy that was spent to reject, resist and complain can be spent on the choice of how you will respond, adapt and do things differently.
The second tip is to determine what can you appreciate, celebrate and have gratitude for, about you? Perhaps it’s your skills, gifts, talents or potentials. Sometimes we overlook our amazing qualities because we are distracted by our “weaknesses” trying to hide these from ourselves and others.
Practicing appreciation for you can change the way that you perceive yourself and situations by adjusting what you’re focusing on. By taking the time to notice and reflect upon the things that you can appreciate, you open up the opportunity to experience emotional states that serve you, unlock vitality within you and express kindness and compassion, for you.
The quality of your life is governed by the mind-body emotional states that you experience, moment by moment. Have you ever noticed that if you’re in a “bad mood” how those emotions can colour, shape and inform the experience you have as well as your behaviors? If that is something that resonates with you – then I have no doubt that you have also experienced how when you’re in a “good mood” things don’t seem so bad.
So what can you celebrate about you? In doing so, you can flip your focus and realize that in reality; you lack nothing and are rich beyond words.
The third tip is to take the opportunity to be in awe of you. Given that you are a valuable, worthy and magnificent human being – 14 billion years of evolution in the making. Recognize your intrinsic value as a human being, which the universe needed to explode to give birth to you.
We pick up a new born baby who inherently can do nothing of “value” and yet we in awe of them, as we see them as utterly valuable and priceless beyond words. Then they grow up and learn that somehow their value as a human being is conditional based upon what they do, forgetting that actually, their value is unconditional. That was you once upon a time. You just forgot. We all did.
There is a Serbian proverb that states “be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars”. You are both awe-some and awe-ful so if you choose to, be in awe of you relevant to the vastness of the universe.
4. Self-esteem is unconditional
Wikipedia defines self-esteem as a reflection of a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am incompetent”, “I am unworthy”) and emotions about how you feel about yourself. Researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of certain outcomes, such as academic achievement, happiness, satisfaction in marriage and relationships, and behavior.
Let’s look at that for a moment. Self-esteem is an evaluation, judgment and attitude towards the self which influences our emotional states and behaviors. Who then is the one who does the evaluation and judgment and holds the attitude? YOU DO! Conditional self-esteem is a learned habitual higher level belief that we operate from with regards to CONCEPTUAL (meaning they are not real) understandings about our own value and dignity – generally speaking, learned from childhood which so many of us carry into our adult lives.
As children, we learn that our self-esteem is conditional based upon any number of things usually determined by our parents, culture and society such as looks, money, strength, intelligence, education or status. Those who view self-esteem as conditional are constantly concerning and comparing themselves in relation to others to determine their own sense of value.
So the fourth tip as mature adults who have a higher level of emotional intelligence, is to begin to truly understand and embody that your value has human beings is unconditional and therefore full, complete and unquestionable so that you can operate with little ego concerns and show up in the world more fully, more you.
5. Self-confidence is conditional
Many people confuse self-confidence with self-esteem. While your value as a human being is given, your level of confidence is not. Confidence is generally based on competency and experience as well as trust or faith in the level of skill or ability in a certain context. For example I do not have the confidence to pick up a scalpel and perform brain surgery, but I do have the confidence and trust in my ability to learn how to do so, if that was important to me.
Tip number five – want to build your confidence? Build your competency.
If you have a high level of confidence to do a particular thing and can generally trust your ability to learn and develop new skills you can also gain a sense of self-efficacy when you see yourself mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas.
That brings us to the next tip…
6. You are a human BEING not a human DOING
At one point or another, we’ve all questioned our own value or perhaps our value was questioned by others. We’ve been raised in a dysfunctional society that has raised us to tie our value on what we do, or what we have. In NLP this is referred to as a distortion in our conditioning, to take our extrinsic capacity to DO something and tie it to our intrinsic worth as a human BEING.
We then falsely identify with our behaviors to mean something about who we are. If we fail, we become failures. If we succeed we become successful. I cannot do something and therefore I am incompetent. But the truth is your value as a human being has zero to do with your doing. A baby does not judge itself, nor do we judge a baby about his or her ability to stand up and walk.
They do grow up however conditioned to think that they are worthy of their parents love only if they live up to their expectations. These messages create a sense of human doings in which their value is overly connected with their accomplishments and after internalizing these distorted perceptions, forms the basis for their own self-love and sense of value – loving themselves only when they have done something successful and self-loathing if they have not.
7. Stop confusing excuses with explanations and reasons
Sometimes we excuse ourselves from excellence, living out our intentions and realising our potentials. The more intelligent a person is, the more elaborate the excuse – so much so that it sounds like a legitimate reason for not doing what is important to us.
We excuse ourselves from stepping into our potentials because we fear what it might say about us and damage our sense of value if we “fail”. If our value is conditional based upon what we do then we create excuses to protect our self-esteem by procrastinating, not attempting and pretending that it’s not important. The beauty of making excuses or not trying too hard is that if we fail we can always say that it wasn’t a true reflection of our abilities.
On some level creating excuses is a rational strategy. The problem with creating excuses however is not giving yourself the best chance of achieving what you want and therefore not getting the best result – and it all lies in the your value as a human being to be conditional, when it’s not.
You can however choose to preserve the reasoning in the excuse, the positive intention or any part that might prove useful and let go of the empty shell of an old, worn out excuse to realize what you want.
8. Have compassion for you
The eighth tip is to have compassion for you, because it isn’t dependent on external circumstances, it’s ALWAYS available. Research indicates that the ability to have compassion for yourself is associated with greater level of emotional intelligence, a higher level of awareness, more caring relationship behavior, a happier existence, as well as less narcissism and reactivity.
You are THE most important person in your life and YOU alone have the power to truly determine your sense of value. You are a valuable human being simply because you exist. It doesn’t matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, where you’re from, what you do or what you have – you are still a worthy person. So, have compassion for you. Even making mistakes is valuable – use them as feedback and learn from them, adjust accordingly. Do not however use them as a measure of your value. As a human being, you are perfectly imperfect, infallibly fallible. Pure perfection, trying to perfect itself.
You have the capacity and right to feel compassion for yourself because ALL human beings not only deserve but desire compassion and understanding, not because they possess some particular set of traits (pretty, smart, talented, or rich) but because we are human. If you’re able to have compassion for you, then you don’t have to feel better than other people to feel good about yourself, nor do you need to make excuses for your personal “failings” or “short comings” which can actually be acknowledged with kindness instead of being hidden or excused.
9. Be with reality as it is now
In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) there is a presupposition that states that we deal with a map of reality, not reality itself – however the map is not the territory. And so we abstract reality by thinking and feeling something ABOUT reality, and we can do this upon thought and feeling forever. The more we do it, the further we get from reality. The further we get from reality, the larger the gap, the greater the emotion we can experience.
To get to where we want to be, the only place to start from is where we are, now. When we can accept our current reality and own it, we can then respond accordingly. It takes practice and awareness to really see how we keep taking ourselves from presence. When we are responsible for ourselves and recognize we are in control of our life, we no longer feel the unresourceful emotions that get in the way of what we want.
Living in the past can lead to regrets, and living in the future can make us feel disappointed or anxious about the present. This moment, right now, is the most important time of your life. So be here.
10. Let go of old beliefs, frames of mind and habits which do not serve you
In your NLP training, you can learn that your personality is a by-product of your conditioning and a collection of habits. Our past and present experiences play a key role in how we develop. If there is negative programming then it is likely that you will identify with a lower sense of value. Through learning NLP and developing your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) you can gain awareness of the frames of mind, habits and beliefs that you hold about you, from your past, which do not serve you today.
So what is it that you could let go of? Beliefs around “not being good enough” or even “if I have $x in the bank then I’ll be a person of value”. The habit of self-sabotage or comparing yourself to others or frames of mind like “what I do is who I am”. These beliefs, frames of mind and habits that we hold can be valuable (perhaps at one point in time) as we constructed, created and used them to operate and make sense of the world as a younger self; however they have nothing to do with NOW.
One of the biggest frames of mind that you could let go if, if you choose to, is that your value is conditional is based upon external factors. But don’t believe me, try it for yourself.
11. Step into your potential more fully
In order to lean into your edge and falling in love with the possibility of you, means letting go of the probability of you where your past determines your future. Living to the probability of you is doing what you’ve always done and getting what you’ve always got. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We are conditioned to be fearful to the possibility of ourselves and embrace the struggle. Society values struggle and calls them resilient as it gives people credibility in society. “Despite all your hardships you’ve made it”. The stories of success through hardship where if you haven’t seen enough adversity, how can you be worthwhile.
It’s easy to become “stuck” and “lost”, feeling that you’re not progressing or growing as a person, sitting inside your comfort zone, relative to where you are and where you want to be. The uncomfortable truth is that growth exists outside of your comfort zone and your potential can only be realized now, in this moment. By stepping into your potential and the possibility of you more fully, there is freedom from habits and the power to respond and choose based on what is true for you, now.
12. Live, intentionally
If you’re ready to use NLP for your own emotional intelligence and personal development then set your intentions – if you intend, you become. Intentionality builds meaning; your meaning drives your performance. If you’re doing something that is important and meaningful to you rather than seeking the approval of others, does it feel like work? Do you need to motivate yourself to do something that you’re passionate about?
Don’t get me wrong. Just by having and holding intent doesn’t mean that things will magically work out for you. That is not what I’m saying.
What I am saying is when you’re holding intent you’re more open to seeing opportunity and responding in new ways rather than habitual ways. The intent you hold about what you do will direct your attention and energize you accordingly, filtering what you pay attention to as a frame of reference which governs what you do and can act as a motivational energy charge – a movement from inside to complete the goals you set for yourself. This is one of the simplest tools in NLP to run your own brain and deliberately program your Reticular Activation System to pay attention to what you intend.
Live life on purpose.
13. Basic Trust
Reality has its own intelligence, far more intelligent than any person can be. Basic trust is the embodiment the highest form of emotional intelligence, of the understanding that everything is going to be okay, because reality will unfold as it will, and resisting reality is like standing on the shores of a beach, trying to hold the tide from rising.
If you don’t have basic trust, you will react to feelings and thoughts that arise within you, given your conditioning where your value is conditional based on the external world. You won’t let yourself be present; instead you’ll experience this tenseness and contracting. Without it, we live our lives defensively, in conflict with others and with ourselves.
To find our basic trust is to reconnect with our natural state that we have become separated from. To have it is to be courageous and authentic – to be able to take risks instead of sitting on your capacities and making excuses. You engage in life wholeheartedly, doing what feels appropriate to you with the confidence that it will work out. Without much basic trust, you are paralyzed with fear of failure and fear of rejection.
14. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Everyone is different and we’re all at different places in our growth and development. It can be damaging to our sense of self-value when we look for others who have everything we don’t, or when we compare ourselves to people with different creative gifts and talents.
Most of the people I talk with who compare themselves to others do so either as a motivation strategy to improve themselves or to make themselves feel better about their sense of value by perceiving someone else as having lower value. Either way, this is predicated on the assumption that your value is conditional upon other people and is a fruitless attempt which will only result in feelings of extremely high value on some days and equally low value on other days.
When we compare ourselves to others, we don’t do it fairly. We judge and criticize others and ourselves based on own criteria – which is made up anyway. The process itself has nothing to do with reality, but our own map of it. As explained in tip number 8, the further the gap between map and reality, the greater the emotion we experience.
The thing is, we’ve learned to compare ourselves with others in a society that teaches us to do so. Given that, you can unlearn and stop comparing yourself to others to determine your sense of value.
When we are committed to our own wellbeing and evolution, our personal development and emotional intelligence, we begin to recognize the harm we do to ourselves and others by seeing our value as conditional, the ways in which we can disintegrate into lower levels of health, and so we can decide to stop, and do something different – if we choose to. Physiological, biological suffering is a given. We’ll experience physical pain and age. For a healthy human being, psychological suffering is NOT a given. It is a choice.
It is our power as human beings to choose. To take responsibility for our OWN thinking, feeling, speaking and behaving. But let’s be really clear. The words on this page can inform how you can value yourself more fully, but the only person who can really make that happen is the person reading it. You.
You can choose to read this, or not. Choose to enact it, or not. Choose to see your value as unconditional… or not. Whatever you decide is your choice.
Given that, what will you choose? Will we see you in the room?
If you’d like more information on learning how to value yourself check out our NLP Practitioner Courses. If you’d like to dip your toe in the water, join our NLP Conversations or our Self Actualising Conversations; monthly on a Friday morning (they are free and everyone is welcome).