Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Boost Your Self Esteem: Let Go of Lack Mindset
By Amy Phillips-Gary
Yesterday, I offered advice for stopping the stories that fuel low self esteem. As I pointed out, we all tell ourselves stories and there might be quite a bit of “truth” to those tales. But if the stories are contributing to a sense of inadequacy, it's not necessary to keep repeating them over and over again-- or ever again.
There are other stories we can tell ourselves that are also accurate; and these different stories can allow each of us to bolster self worth.
A common story that tends to feed and intensify low self esteem is rooted in a lack mindset. When you look at yourself, it might seem that you are not enough. This can play out in a variety of ways depending on your situation.
You might feel like you're not a good enough person/partner/parent/employee, etc.
You might feel like there's just not enough of you to go around.
Both sets of these lack beliefs take you deeper into the hole of low self esteem. This usually shows up in your body, your emotional health, your financial situation, your relationships and a whole host of other areas. The stories usually revolve around you somehow being deficient or incapable of being the person you think you should be.
Your lack mindset might also expand out beyond you and your sense of self worth. You may look all around you and mostly see lack.
There's not enough money to pay your bills.
There's not enough love, peace and harmony in your relationships.
There's not enough love, peace and harmony in the world.
There are not enough natural resources to sustain our population.
This lack list could go on and on.
When your story is rooted in a lack mindset, you tend to look at yourself, your life and the world through lack-colored glasses. You can literally become stuck in this mindset.
And none of this will help you improve your self esteem or live the kind of life you truly desire.
Question your stories.
Internationally known teacher Byron Katie has created a method for dealing with those stuck stories that hold us back and fuel low self esteem. This process of inner inquiry that Katie calls
"The Work," can help each of us question the stories we habitually tell ourselves.
This is a deceptively simple process that's quite powerful. Basically, a person doing “The Work” will ask him or herself if a particular story or belief is absolutely true. A series of follow-up questions are also asked relative to the issue.
The power and possibility lies in not only realizing that the majority of the time we don't absolutely know that a statement or belief is true, but also in the space that's created. By acknowledging that you can't usually be 100% certain of a belief, you open up and allow yourself to consider alternatives.
Byron Katie asks the question, “Who would you be without your story?” This can be a place for transformation.
When you notice yourself thinking or saying that you are not good enough for or deserving of the promotion, the relationship, the vacation, the respect, the appreciation or whatever it is you are focused upon, pause and ask yourself if you know with 100% certainty that this statement is true.
Chances are quite high that you can't provide that much irrefutable evidence of your own inadequacy!
Now, envision who you would be without this particular lack mindset thought. What opportunities would be open to you? How would you feel? What would be different about your life and plans?
Who would you be without low self esteem?
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