How much do you think you are worth? No, don't check out your bank balance. Look within and assess your self-esteem. For the true measure of your worth
BOOSTING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
Self-assertiveness comes from self-worth, the knowledge that you are okay as you are. It means not allowing anyone power over you or the right to control you. The self-assertive individual neither controls nor allows others to control him. In the book, Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No by Herbert Fensterheim and Jean Baer, we are told to do basic things like make eye contact, stand straight, speak loud enough to be heard and learn to communicate directly. Unassertive people, according to the authors, can be wordy, have shallow feelings, and lack clear-cut desires. Know your rights and enforce them—rights to judge your own behavior, thoughts, emotions, and to take responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself. You have the right to change your mind. You have the right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. You have the right to say: "I don't know" or "I don't understand" or "I don't care."
Heal the inner child
Sit erect. Relax and focus on your breathing as you breathe in and out. Now imagine walking down a long flight of stairs. As you reach the end of the stairs, turn left and walk down a long corridor with doors to your right and left. A force field of light shines out from the end of the corridor. Walk into that light and find yourself going through time to a street where you lived before you were seven years old. Walk down the street to the house. Look at the house. Notice the color of the house, its roof, windows and doors. See a small child come out of the front door. How is the child dressed? What color are his shoes? Walk over to the child. Tell him you are from the future, that you know better than anyone what he has been through—his suffering, abandonment, his shame. Tell him that of all the people he will know, you are the only one he will never lose. Promise your child you will meet him for five minutes each day. Pick an exact time. Commit to that time. Place your child in the palm of your hand and let him shrink to the size of your hand. Place him in your heart. Now walk to a beautiful outdoor place and reflect on your experience. Get a sense of communion with yourself, your Higher Power and with all things. Now gradually count up to five, feeling sensation return to your body and you will feel happy, restored and fully awake.
Choose to love yourself
Close your eyes and imagine that the person you currently love and respect the most is sitting across you. Take three to four minutes to see the person fully. Get in touch with your feelings when you experience the person. Now imagine yourself sitting next to you. Take three to four minutes. What are your feelings? Notice what you felt when you looked at yourself. Most of us have negative feelings about ourselves. To counteract these, say to yourself: "I love myself. I accept myself unconditionally."
A variation: Strip and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Look at every part of yourself. What do you feel? If there are parts of yourself that you flinch at or reject internally, repeat to yourself: "I accept all of me unconditionally." Says Bradshaw: "When we make the decision to love ourselves unconditionally, we accept ourselves unconditionally. We are at one with ourselves. If you decide to love yourself, you will give yourself time and attention. You will allow yourself solitude, a nourishing time of aloneness. You will take time for hygiene and exercise, for fun and entertainment. It means learning techniques for getting in touch with your feelings. It means discipline."
Rework personal history with NLP
Close your eyes and relax. Recall a moment that filled you with shame, inadequacy or embarrassment. Now think of what new resources you have that could have helped you counter these. For instance, if your classmates teased you about your reading glasses as a kid, why not use your greater powers of articulation and assertiveness to rewrite the history? Recall the moment as vividly as you can. What are the visual memories it evokes? What sounds do you associate with it? What feelings do they arouse? Recreate these factors to their highest level of intensity. Anchor the moment by bringing your left thumb and forefinger together. Recall an experience when you were articulate. Recreate it by evoking visual, auditory and kinesthetic associations. Anchor it again by bringing the right thumb and forefinger together. Do the same with a memory of being assertive. Use the same anchor as that for being articulate. Now return to the original memory of being humiliated and use the new resources. This is done by simultaneously activating both sets of anchors. Now say whatever needs to be said to those who hurt you to prove that you can stand up for yourself. Feel complete within yourself. Take a deep breath and open your eyes.
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