To develop genuine self-esteem begins when you understand what makes up genuine esteem. Below are the seven components as well as the seven steps to begin generating true esteem.
The First Component is the Love That You Earn From Yourself.
The first component is the love that you earn from yourself. That's self-created love, self-generated love. Self-esteem is always self-generated. That's why when people say, "Oh, you're down in the dumps, you have no self-esteem. Just go out and do something fun. Just go out and buy a new outfit." They think that can help you build esteem, but it doesn't, it might lift your mood. But it doesn't develop self-esteem.
The Second Component is Your Personal Appraisal and Evaluation of Self
The second component is your personal appraisal and evaluation of Self. Specifically, it's a personal value that you generate from the way you live your life every day. When you get up and go through your routine, you develop self-esteem by the way you function in life. The manner in which you do anything determines your self-esteem. I'll talk about how to function in a way that will help you build greater self-esteem later in this class.
The Third Component is Being Determined to Become More Empowered
The third component is about being determined to be empowered, to function from your own personal power. Because a person who is functioning in victimhood or martyrhood has convinced themselves and the world that they're powerless. First of all, they are not being honest with themselves. Instead, they are deluding themselves. Everyone has power. Everybody has an ability to think, and everyone has an ability to feel and out of those thoughts and feelings, they can take action. That’s what personal power really is. Those who have chosen to think and feel that they're weak and powerless have created that reality for themselves, they are using their power to pretend they are powerless. So, that determination to be empowered, to discover who you are, to awaken those powers and strengths, is where genuine self-esteem comes from.
The Fourth Component is to Consciously Establish Your Ideals and Your Principles
The fourth component is to establish your ideals and your principles consciously. To know what your ideals are and to choose them. An ideal is a personally chosen standard, and a motivation. An ideal is a lofty vision that you hold that you may never fully accomplish, but you'll become more for having had it.
An example is having a personal ideal of always being loving or always being honest, 100% of the time. Well, you'll never, ever do this 100% of the time. However, because you hold that as an ideal, as your personal value system that you operate from, you reach and stretch yourself to become more loving and more honest. You become a better person and you'll feel good about yourself because of it. But you'll never be that 100% of the time as long as you're in this physical world. Humans aren't perfect, and so the importance lies in establishing your personal ideals to generate self-esteem. Ideals are those lofty concepts that become your personal principles. “I have a principle to be honest, to be responsible. I have a principle to be kind to people,” are some examples.
The Fifth Component is to Develop Principles That You Now Hold From Your Ideals
What are the kinds of principles that you hold now from those ideals and principles? Most people never define what their ideals are. Part of self-esteem is to think about that, "What are my ideals? What matters to me?" Perhaps you have an ideal of creativity, to be creative in the way you live your life and the way you do things. That can be an ideal. Ideals can be honesty or another ideal can be to never consciously hurt anyone.
Now that doesn't mean someone won't get hurt. If you're in a relationship with someone and they say, "Well, if you don't call me every day at noon and talk for an hour and a half, then I'm going to be hurt." You're not consciously setting out to hurt them, but if they choose to hold that manipulation, you can say, “I’m sorry, I'm not trying to hurt you, you're hurting yourself by holding me to that impossible standard.” It doesn't mean people won't get hurt, even though you don't mean to be cruel. You don’t set out to hurt, or to inflict pain, on people to get revenge. That's the ego's manipulating crap.
The Sixth Component is to Function With Character
The sixth component comes out of your ideals and principles, when you function with character. Now, these words are thrown around, especially in the political arena. You know, who's the candidate who has the most character? Well, all politicians talk about their principles and their ideals. Character is the frequency in which you apply your principles and ideals to your daily routine.
There seem to be a lot of religious leaders who have great and lofty ideals and principles, but how often do they actually use them in their lives? A person with character functions from their principles and their ideals. They apply them to the daily living of their life. The person who functions this way has a strong character. A person with a lot of principles and ideals who never applies them in their life has no character. What's important in building the foundation of genuine self-esteem is having character, to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do!
The Seventh Component is to Become Understanding Towards Yourself and Others
The seventh component is reaching to become understanding, to be understanding towards yourself rather than be self-judgmental or self-punishing. We often beat ourselves up because we have these ideals, and we think we've got to be perfect. You believe that you should be a certain way that you were taught and conditioned to believe is who you need to be.
Who taught you that? Where did it come from? Have you ever questioned it? Have you ever become aware of what you were conditioned to believe about yourself? Have you paid attention to that? Take it in and evaluate if this really works for you or not? That's why self-awareness and being conscious is so important to evaluate what you've been taught and conditioned to believe. So being understanding of yourself is so important.
Step One: Being Honest With Yourself and Others
One of the first steps to create character, ideals, and principles is about being honest. You learn to be honest with yourself, to be real with yourself. “Does this work for me? Is this flowing? Is this relationship building up my energy or is it diminishing my energy?” It’s very important to be honest with yourself and to be honest about and to own your feelings.
A lot of people have so much anger and rage and they won't even be honest that they have it. They shut it down, they repress it, they ignore it, they deny it, they discount it and they pretend they don't have it. That's what depression is. Being depressed is when you take all this emotional energy, and you shove it down and hold it down. You become exhausted, and you can't figure out why you're depressed because there are a lot of different feelings that you have shoved down. Letting those feelings come up to be expressed is so important to be conscious of what you are repressing. So, honesty is a very important character to function from every day. To think about, "How honest have I been today?”
Step Two: Take Responsibility
The second step is responsibility. “Did I take responsibility? Was I able and willing to respond? Or did I blame others and try to get other people to manipulate and control other people?” Do you take responsibility for the way you live your life? Ask yourself “Am I a responsible person?” If you say that you are going to show up, going to be somewhere, do you actually do it? Or are you a person who always promises everyone what they want to hear and then you back out at the last minute? When you function that way, it erodes your self-esteem. You are always evaluating yourself, always appraising yourself. Even while evaluating whether you can get away with something or not, whether anyone is looking or not, YOU are your subconscious mind. YOU are looking at what you are doing. Your higher conscious mind is always evaluating you, and when you continue to act irresponsibly with dishonesty, when you are constantly manipulating and controlling in that world of domination I spoke of earlier, then you end up feeling not fit to live, and you end up abandoning yourself.
The homeless people on the streets lack self-esteem, most of them. They don't feel fit to live. They just go through day to day, trying to numb out the pain with whatever it takes. It's very sad to see. It's not just about giving them money; it's not just about putting them in a home. They have to develop a sense of self-esteem and value. They have it inside of themselves. They just don’t know it. They have the potential for self-esteem, but for whatever reason, they haven't discovered it.
So much of our self-esteem comes from having productive work. People say, "Oh, I want to retire early so I don't have to work." A lot of people who do that, especially businessmen who've worked hard to climb the corporate ladders, are dead in two years after they retire. They just stopped living. It's because their self-esteem is so important. And they had tied that self-esteem to their jobs and titles. We need something to do that boosts our self-esteem, and it doesn't have to be a job. It could be volunteer work or gardening or whatever. It doesn't have to be a traditional job but do something that makes you feel productive.
Those people who are in a position of victim always have to take and get, take and get. They've gotten to a point where there's so much pain. The pain has alienated them from life and from themselves. That doesn't mean they're hopeless, it just means that they're in that place of victimhood. Some people can climb out of it, others hit the dark night of the soul and that depth of despair wakes them up to their soul. They then climb out or get lifted out.
Step 3: Living In Integrity
The third step is living in integrity. Now, integrity means several different things. One of the components of integrity is being a spontaneously honest and responsible person who doesn't say, "Well, I SHOULD take responsibility for this and I SHOULD be honest. Okay." But then they don’t. That’s lack of integrity. A person who naturally says, “I'm always going to be responsible, integral and honest,” has integrity. There's also another meaning to the word “integrity.” Integrity means “different parts that function in harmony with each other. The integrity of a mechanical machine, the way it’s parts flow and function with each other.” This includes the integrity of your Masculine and Feminine Energy, which is so much of what Soul-utions is all about. When you can value and honor both the masculine and the feminine energy within you, you see the value and the beauty of both, and how they need each other to become whole. That’s integrity too.
When you are saying, “Well, it doesn't matter how I feel, it doesn't matter. My intuition doesn't matter, my imagination or my creativity. Let me just do, do, do. Let me just think, think, think,” and then you take action without evaluating your feelings, you are not in integrity.
“Oh, I don't have time to meditate. I don't have time to take a break. I don't have time to nurture myself. I don't have time to bring myself into balance. I just have to get these deadlines done. I've got to run at 90 miles an hour.” That's out of balance. Integrity is bringing that back into balance.
Step 4: Trust and Trustworthiness
The fourth step is trust. To trust yourself and to trust others. Now you want to trust someone trustworthy. Don’t go trust everyone blindly. Don’t just trust people who are manipulative, controlling, and backstabbing. You see them being dishonest with other people, but then you choose to say, “I'm going to trust you 100% regardless of all the evidence that you are untrustworthy. Maybe you will be different with me.” That's just called stupidity. But there are many who have proven to be trustworthy. Look for integrity. Also ask yourself, are you worthy of trust? Look at that and own that. You must trust yourself first.
Step 5: Own Your Power and Strength
The fifth step is to be powerful and strong. Because you are powerful, and you do have strength. Often, we go into the “if only,” "Yeah, but if only I didn't grow up in the Bronx. If only I didn’t have flaws and defects, I could be powerful. If only I were taller, if only I were the right weight. If only I were a male, or if only I were a female…” Whatever your excuses are. Saying “if only,” is just a way to justify not being as powerful and as strong as you truly are. Be powerful, be strong. It’s your nature. It’s not difficult.
There’s a difference between dominion and domination. Dominion isn't the power over anyone or anything like the dominating principle of power that the world has defined. Dominion is the power to generatively create your own reality consciously by desire, imagination, and expectation. You clarify what you want, you imagine having it, you expect it to happen, and you put it out there. Then things start to fall into place. Especially when you have a clear connection with your Self. That's being powerful and strong.
The determination to be powerful and strong is what develops self-esteem. Right now, you may feel weak when it comes to relationships, or dealing with your finances, Or, you may feel really weak and powerless around any other area of your life that you deemed “weak.” That's where you need to be determined to be powerful and figure it out. "I don't know right now how to resolve this, but I'm a person who's about to know. I’m a person who's about to figure this out. Not a person who is still floundering and spending years on the hamster wheel. I'm determined. "
Step Six: Co-Creating Your Life With Others
The Sixth step is co-creating your life with others, including Spirit. Be co-creative. Work in partnership, work in teams, work together. Ask for spiritual help and guidance. Part of developing your own powers and strengths is to be conscious of what they are. Then when you become aware of your strengths and their potential for development, ask for spiritual help.
Ask for God/Goddess/All That Is, to help you. Ask for your soul and spirit to awaken and bring this into your awareness. Your higher self, your soul and spirit will help you, but they will not override your free will to choose, to ignore them, to deny them, or to discount them. You have to make the conscious choice to ask for and accept their help.,
That's what is an amazing thing about the setup system of the consciousness. There's the unconscious, subconscious mind that knows every lifetime you've lived. It knows every experience you've had. It knows a lot more than your conscious mind. Your unconscious, subconscious mind has such power, but it doesn’t have choice. You do. The conscious mind has the power to make the choice, and you can choose to ask for help. With low self-esteem, if you don't feel you deserve it, you won't let it in. But you can always ask for the guidance and help that is always available to you.
Some people beg and plead, "Oh God, help me. I don't know. I'm just miserable. I'm weak. I'm powerless. You have to save me. You've got get me out of this mess that I'm in." First of all, God knows you're not weak. You're trying to manipulate God to do your work, and God will not be manipulated by your ego. So those prayers won't be answered. You've got to ask genuinely, "I need help. I need clarity, I need guidance. I'm doing my part, and you'll do your part, and we'll work co-creating my life together." Not asking God to do it for you to avoid being powerful.
You think, "Maybe I'll win the lottery," so you don't have to figure out why you have a conflict and consciousness about your abundance. Well, you came here to learn that. That's why you're here on this planet. To learn to understand the nature of abundance as an example.
Abundance is a state of being. Being abundant. And as you express your Divinely given abundance into the world, what comes back to you is prosperity. Prosperity is a manifestation of your feelings of abundance, it's the masculine expression of the feeling of abundance. The feminine is being abundant, and the masculine is the action of creating prosperity and wealth out of your state of being abundant.
Step Seven: Never Consciously Hurt Others
The seventh step is to never consciously hurt others and be conscious of that as your goal. It is the way you live your life. No one can make you live and act from that ideal. No one can force you to do these things. But guess what? No one can stop you from doing them, either.
You can be locked up in prison and still function with honesty, responsibility, integrity, trust and not consciously hurt others. That's self-generated. At the end of the day when you’re evaluating your life, “Well, today could have been a horrible day. Everything went wrong. But you know what? I was honest, and I took responsibility as much as I could. I functioned with integrity and I trusted myself and others.” And so even though the day may not have turned out as well as you would have liked, at the end of the day you can feel good about the way you handled it, the way you live your life, and you can build a sense of self-esteem, self-appreciation, and self-value. “I evaluate my life. No one evaluates it but me.” That is what genuine self-esteem is.
Michaiel Patrick Bovenes helps spiritual people quickly transform their stress into strength and their struggle into greater freedom, confidence and positive change. Michaiel is the inspirational leader at Soul-utions and the author of a popular series of guided meditations. Soul-utions can activate your inner-power to create the changes you desire by aligning with your purpose, power, inner-wisdom, and destiny.
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