Let's look at the games of false esteem. This will be good because this is where we get locked up and imprisoned if we aren't conscious of these ego's games, then we keep playing them without even knowing it, in an erroneous attempt to develop esteem.
Game #1: Lowered Standards and Personal Values
The first one is lowered standards and values. When you don't have character, have your principles and your ideals defined, you have a sense of lowered standards and values instead. In other words you might say, "Well, I don't understand why I got fired. I always show up on time. I'm very punctual. My desk is always neat. I always say, please and thank you and I always use the proper fork." These are all the superficial values that don't really matter. You don’t think it's about the quality of work you do. You've lowered your standards to these simple standards of perfection and when you do that, you think, "Well, that gives me self esteem.” "See, I did this, I did it right. I followed the rules. I've dressed in the power clothes and looked like the power person. I took the power briefcase and went to that meeting. I did everything that on the surface was right."
These are all superficial standards. You don't have any depth or meaning. "It doesn't matter if I was honest, responsible, or trusting, I looked good." You did other things on the surface and you put that lowered standard of value as your sense of false esteem. "I don't understand why I didn't get hired. I did everything. I said the right things. I wrote the most beautiful thank you note and I sent it out at the right time." That doesn't matter. They're going to hire somebody who they can trust, not somebody who does everything perfectly on the surface. Lowering one’s standards because you don't have a sense of self-esteem is one of the ways people will substitute with false esteem because you will evaluate yourself at the end of the day. You'll do it either with true esteem, those characters and those qualities I mentioned, or by the standards of lowered esteem.
Game #2: Being Judgmental
The Second type of False Esteem is being Judgmental. It's the person who goes around competing with and comparing themselves to other people. They think they can feel good about themselves by judging others. "Ah...There's Michaiel up there, talking. I can talk too and do so much better than he can. I mean, I could teach this stuff much, much better than he can. Why is he rambling on so much about the judgment that people go into?” They are projecting, "Ah, see? See, I could do so much better than him." Even though they would never do the speaking. It's an ego game, but that gives them a sense of value. Judgment gives the cheap hit of power. You see a lot of religious institutions that talk about, "Be a good person or you'll be judged and burn in hell. Wait until Judgment Day." Right? That's the big thing. Well, God doesn't judge. You judge yourself.
You keep yourself from going Home, from returning Home, but God-Goddess doesn't keep you from that. God-Goddess loves and love allows, allows you to create our own reality, allows you to do whatever you want. You can judge and be a judgmental person until the day you die and God will not judge you for being judgmental. But what do judgements do? They always inflict pain. They hurt, and they separate. Separate you from the experience. That's why people judge their anger and their
fear so they can separate, not feel it anymore and shove it down. They pretend they don't have it, but judgment separates and always produces pain. So the moral question isn't whether you're going to be judged, "Why should I stop judging? If God's not going to judge me, I might as well keep judging." Well, yeah, if you want to be a hurtful person, then keep judging.
But if you don't want to be a hurtful person, if you don't want to consciously hurt others, then you need to let go of your judgments. Discern, evaluate, think and feel to make a conscious choice whether you want to be around a person, but don’t make them bad or wrong. Just, “This doesn't work for me. The resonance, isn't a good match for me." That's not a judgment. It's an evaluation after spending time with that person and that's the way to function. So judgment is a way to function without true esteem and to replace it with false esteem.
Game #3: Seeking Approval and Praise
Third is seeking approval and praise. Getting the pat on the back, getting the boss to love you and to tell you how great you are. Getting all your friends to applaud every time you do something and all the great stories you tell and, "Boy, look, I feel good about myself cause look at all that praise and approval." I guess it's like a little puppy dog, right? "Throw me another bone. Throw me another bone." Seeking approval and praise is very common. There's nothing wrong with getting approval. We all want to be approved, right? And we like to be approved and we like praise. But when you use it as a source of esteem, your self-esteem, to replace the lack of value you have for yourself, it becomes insatiable. It's never enough. It becomes this constant need to get more, "I need more and more.” It becomes a hamster wheel and it's very, very frustrating. That's the third and very common one.
Game #4: Future Intention and Aspiration
The fourth is future intention and aspiration. This is one that a lot of people do. "Well, one day I plan to write a bestseller, so you had better treat me now like as if I've already done it." "Well, I intend to start a new company that's going to cure cancer." That's your intention. So you're living off future aspirations, using intentions as your sense of value right now. Although you don't ever get around to doing anything about it. That's a false sense of self-esteem that people will do. You know people that are always talking about their dreams and never do anything about it. That's because they don't have the genuine esteem to take action. They don't feel that they're really valuable enough to take action to create that manifestation of a dream come true.
They just talk about it to get people to say, "Wow, you're cool man. Oh, I can't believe it. That's a great, great goal to have." They say, ”Yeah, yeah. I've been thinking about it for many years. Aren't I great? Treat me as if I've already accomplished it." Even though you haven't done one damn thing towards making it happen. It's a future aspiration as a sense of false esteem. You know people like that and we can get caught in those traps as well.
Game #5: Outside Validation
The Fifth is outside validation. Someone to validate you, to validate your good or goodness. We all need outside validation. There are a lot of performers that rely upon the audience's approval and they, you know, they're doing it, they're out there. But not using that approval as a source of self esteem. Outside validation is feedback. We need feedback. Your paycheck is feedback that you did a good job. It's validation. "I'm validating you with this paycheck because you're helping our company." We all need validation and it's all valuable. I'm not saying don't go for it, but don't use validation as a sense of self-esteem because it's not, it's not a true sense of esteem.
Game #6: Pessimism and Cynicism
Sixth is pessimism and cynicism. This corresponds with judgment. So we have looked at lowered standards and values, judgment, seeking approval and praise, future intentions and aspirations, outside validation, pessimism and cynicism. Some people are constantly pessimistic because they think that that makes them look intelligent. They're always looking at what could go wrong, being the devil's advocate. And they're actually being pessimistic and cynical. "Oh, that'll never work. See how smart I am. Look how great I am because I'm telling you I know what works and doesn’t work." People get deep into that pessimism. I don't think anybody reading this would be in this category. Pessimism and cynicism is another form of false esteem.
Game #7: Elevated Standards of Perfection
And then finally, elevated standards of perfection. This corresponds with lowered standards of value. "I'm going to lower my standards. I'm going to be punctual, I'm gonna be polite, I'm going to eat the right food with right fork at dinner and I'm going to look good." And all the other superficial stuff that makes you feel valuable. You've elevated those standards to make yourself valuable in your mind, but they are lowered standards. Then there's the elevated standards of perfection where nobody is good enough. "I've gotta be perfect and you have to be perfect too." There are people that don't have that sense of self esteem, that demand perfection from everyone. They make a big deal over something as petty as, "The mailman didn't close the mailbox properly."
That gives them a sense of power, a sense of value. "How cool I am because I have such high standards of perfection and I'm demanding of that from everybody that comes across my path. Aren't I valuable, aren't I worthy?" No, you're obnoxious and irritating probably. That's more what others see.
Summary of the Ways of False Esteem
So these are the ways of false esteem: lowered standards of values, elevated standards of perfection. Like what I talked about the power and strengths and the correlations. One and seven are reflections of each other. Two and six go together, Judgment, pessimism and cynicism. Seeking approval and praise, outside validation and then future intention and aspirations. "One day I'm going to be great. Treat me like that now." All are false games of false esteem and affect many people. It's so crucial that we have feedback on the way we live our lives. If you don't have genuine esteem, you will replace it with false esteem. You will not function without esteem. But as you do this and as you function from false esteem, eventually you feel isolated. You feel you're living a lie. You feel dishonest, you can't figure out what you want to do with your life and you end up feeling not fit to live.
You may turn on yourself asking, “How many years can I keep seeking approval and praise?” And one day you realize this game is not working. “Who am I?”
Michaiel Patrick Bovenes, Metaphysical Teacher and Founder of Soul-utions