Are negative criticism and judgments reducing your self-esteem? Here is my experience to help you recognize your true value.
After running into an acquaintance at the hardware store earlier in the day, I caught my mind thinking about an unflattering conversation I had overheard months before about this person. The comments, from my co-workers, were about the children and some unpaid bills.
It dawned on me that these comments were statements of disapproval and value judgment. What I found interesting however, was that my mind had unconsciously picked this particular memory to think about.
As I considered this, I noticed that a part of my mind
seemed to be feeding off the negative comments, relishing the put downs
and literally sucking the family of my acquaintance of their goodness and self
I tuned into the part of my mind that seemed to feel nourished by the demise of my acquaintance and her kids, and in a second, it vanished. In its place a completely different picture arose.
I saw the mom and kids and felt compassion and love for them. I recognized that given their circumstances, they were doing the best they could, just like all of us. Their inherent self worth, self esteem and goodness was clearly apparent.
In this experience, I saw how a part of my mind holds on to negative comments, much like a dog that buries a bone to dig up later and leisurely savor and chew on it.
In observing what took place in my mind, I recognized that their is inherent goodness and equality since we are all created with and are given this by a loving Creator. Trusting this to be true, I cold see that our true value cannot really be stripped away by gossip and negative judgments.
However, it can seem and feel like our worth and value can be taken away, to the part of my mind that wants to believed it's own judgement, opinion and interpretation of others value to be absolute truth. This is wishful thinking, and more extreme, self-delusion.
I may fool myself into believing that I or others can be made less than or more than simply by the positive or negative judgements I make in regards to their behavior, appearance, possessions, character, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, social economic class, etc. But from this experience, I can assure you that this only happen in the misguided perceptions and feelings of a part of our mind that blinds itself to the sameness and perfect equality of all of life as one Creation by one Source of Life.
Forgetting the inherent, infinite self worth and self-esteem that we are created with, sets us up to judge and condemn ourselves and others. It feels like our judgments have the power to give or take away value from everything and anything we choose. Because we believe this to be true, many of our decisions are aimed at preserving or increasing our value as protection from this threat that other's judgments and criticisms seem to pose.
We have been trained to give this part of our mind the authority to notice differences, compare and assign value to those differences. This is how we order and select what is best or has the best value for us in a consumer society. This process sets up a standard for rating, separating and categorizing by degree. We can judge, this is best (good) and this, the opposite end, is the worst (bad) with confidence that we are right. This is where our likes and dislikes come from too.
We make judgment templates or images, which are just sets of rules, for quickly making decisions of value. For example, which can of tomatoes should we buy? Our template compares style, price, quantity, taste, etc. It helps us determine the best value.
Which movie should we see? We have rule templates that take into account our preferences. It considers information about the type of movie, the actors in it, who invited us, etc. In choosing, it is about what we value and how much we value it. As long as we like the person we are going with, maybe we don’t even care what movie we see.
How do you select which food or slice of pizza to eat at an event? Stop and notice your mind’s decision process. For some of us every piece is not the same. If this is so, notice what thoughts cross your mind as you are engaged in choosing. What did you look for and consider?
You will be surprised to notice how complex this choice is, or not. Perhaps you have little preferences when it comes to food or you are starving and don’t care what you eat. The point is that our mind has been trained to quickly evaluate value or worth in particular areas of our consumer life and we have extend this to people who are not objects for consumption.
We esteem or value that which we have judged best. Self esteem then, comes when we have compared our self to others and concluded that we are good, better than others or at least, good enough based on the template in our mind. But we have reduced our "self" and that of other's "self", to being objects.
So, the central problem is that we don't just evaluate goods for our consumption, we evaluate people, including ourselves. A person's worth then, and the ensuing self-esteem that follows, is not inherent to the person. It is measured or judged based on many things: their net worth, their titles, accomplishments, money, reputation, fame, power, the car they drive, their race, gender, honor, loyalty to us, intellectual ability, physical beauty, etc.
You can see that people with a high levels of these things will find it easier to have high self-esteem since the collective opinion has weight in our thinking. And of course, this type of measuring is deeply reinforced by advertising.
Pay attention to the promise of commercials. They are selling the generally accepted values of society in one shape or form. We buy things that we think will increase our value. We perceive that we can make others feel valuable and affect their self-esteem and self-confidence by complimenting them, praising them or putting them down, with negative comments.
We have accepted by default a perception that says value can be given and taken away and that it is possible to lack value.
Lacking value, or self-esteem, implies there is not enough and we must work to get more. It means that we must work at keeping the self esteem we do have (keeping our body beautiful, the money coming, etc.) to keep feeling good about ourselves. From this perspective, we must also defend our self-esteem, especially if we only have a little, if someone tries to take it away. This is where situations can become very personal and even vicious sometimes.
If you liked this article and want to read more on self-esteem I recommend my book which you can download as a PDF, Beyond Self-esteem: Discovering Your Boundless Self-worth.
Interested in working with an experienced and Certified EFT Practitioner
to clear blocks to connecting with your true and infinite value? EFT Sessions are available.
Perhaps you prefer to do EFT for yourself? I also offer a condensed, online EFT Seminar which consists of four classes to get you started and put you on your way with EFT.
Feel free to contact me
with questions or for permission to copy or reproduce this article.