Self Esteem and Affirmations through the Horizons Approach Addressing Self-Esteem with Challenges Self-Esteem is defined as confidence in your own merit as an individual person. It takes in nuances such as our ability to believe we can accomplish things as well as our fears we should be accomplishing things we cannot. Imagine if you were a student and walked into a vast classroom. There are lots of different things written on the boards. On one board there is information about math. On another board you see paintings and pictures of sculptures. On yet another board, you see instructions on how to build a boat. As you are sitting in this cavernous classroom, others are filing into the remaining desks. There is much chatter going on about you. You finally pick up on the fact there is going to be a test. It seems no one knows for sure what the subject is going to be. Everyone seems to be taking all of this in different ways. The lady in front of you is calm, cool and collected. She almost looks like sheâ€™s already done this before and is simply expecting to do it again. The man next to you is so nervous he is actually sweating. He raffles through a collection of papers he has brought with him and is trying to write down notes from the information and picture on the boards. The couple behind you are happily talking about their date last night and sharing a laugh about how the waiter had dropped
the wineglass full of red wine on his white shirt. They are giggling and cooing, very much the couple in love. Finally, a man walks into the classroom wearing a very professional suit. It is clear he has spent some time preparing for this appearance. His hair is freshly styled and even his shoes reflect the light from the heights of the ceiling. The man begins to pass a single sheets of paper down the rows with a single set of instructions written. As your copy of the sheet arrives, you are a bit apprehensive as you unfold and read the following: “Please assign yourself a grade of 1 to 100 and return to the head of the class.” In effect, this happens to us every day. As we go through our lives, in whatever profession or home we walk in, we are constantly being asked to give ourselves a grade. So, who is this that’s asking the question anyway? What right do they have of us to demand a score from us!? After all, how are we supposed to know? Who the heck is asking this “grade yourself” question? The answer is simple. You are the asker. You are also the answer. The score is a little something we like to call self-esteem. What score should we give ourselves then? Do we aim for a low number and hope we get by unnoticed. Do we give ourselves a 99 and run the risk of seeming arrogant. Or, do we flat out simply assign ourselves a 50 and assume it’s as good as it gets?
The number is important. It is important because it represents the amount of self-esteem you are willing to honestly put out there to the world. There is no right number, but I do think we may die when we get to 100! Seriously, though you are already at a 100 with the Creator. The Source of all Life and of All Things looks at you, connects to you and knows you intimately and assigns a 100 to you. If God thinks you are a 100, who are you to argue. Well, you are you a trinity of being. The mind-self has unlikely thought of any part of us as a 100. Maybe a 72 on a good day. So, what are you doing walking around with a C- when God sees you as an A++? You are human and human do things that are in human nature. The natural thinking and natural beliefs we have built up about ourselves limit not only the way others see us, but the way we see ourselves as well. Self-esteem is concerned with how we see ourselves. If you think back to all of the boards up in the classroom, you probably identified something you were familiar with and had some knowledge about. For example, we talked about math instructions being on one board. For those of us how are proficient in the science of mathematics, we may have seem long calculus equations. But, what if the board were to suddenly switch to the topic of Art History, chances are mathematicians would be perplexed by Attican-influences on Mediterranean art. However, art lovers would be greatly relieved.
We are going to change the board to simply being human. We have to look at the board of from a being human point of view. What we’ve been told and told over and over in our life. The board would probably be headed with things we know are wrong about us. Somebody, somewhere along our life path told us we weren’t good at this or that. Somebody else told us we weren’t as good as someone else. And, as with all things, we begin to define anything, any action or any situation based on the body-self. As our trinity-self, body, mind and spirit, we are made up of three different selves. The body-self is made up of all of our physical structure. Hands and toes, nerves and neurons, anything that is physical is a part of our body self. The body self has one job, to report the outside world to the mind-self. The mind-self has two jobs, it has to receive all the information sent by the body-self, look for similar places, people or situations and see if there is an exact match or at least a match which is close. The closest match is the first thing given back out to the body self. The interaction between the mind-self and body-self, as we have learned, is called natural thinking. New information comes in, is checked to see if it’s familiar to the mind-self’s vast storage of our experiences and then provide a reasonable response. When we are looking at ourselves we first begin to gather the impressions we get from our physical self. We automatically compare ourselves to others. We compare how well we do something to the way we observe other people doing the same thing. We listen to what others have to say about us. These
comparisons, these pieces of information are gathered by the mind self and, before we know it, we have begun to inform an opinion of ourselves. The solution? To use Inspired Thinking to work on our SelfEsteem just as we would to handle any other object or situation. We know the true “who” of “who are we” is our spiritual self. It is the source of our connection to our Creator. The spirit-self is the place where we need to turn to find all the qualities of the source and apply in our lives. Let’s look at a simple example. Julie is an attorney. She is new to the business but graduated from Harvard Law School with top scores. She has been recognized for her research abilities and has received a number of accolades from her professors. Julie is up for her very first job and is interviewing against another attorney named Kyle. Both Kyle and Julie have been invited by the selection committee to interview. Kyle graduated from an online law school and he passed the bar exam by just one point. Kyle drinks heavily and he even shows up to the interview with the smell of whisky on his breath. Both Julie and Kyle complete the interview and are told to wait outside while the committee makes a decision. Surprisingly, the interview committee emerges from the interview and announce they have selected Kyle to join their team. Julie walks away from the building shaking her head in confusion while Kyle heads out to his favorite bar and celebrates his win.
Most of us, at this point, are thinking the selection committee has completely lost their collective minds. However, we don’t know that Kyle happened to handle a case last week which brought in over $10,000,000 to his firm. In fact the selection committee had to seek out Kyle in order to fill the position. All along, the interview had simply been a formality as required by the firm’s bylaws. Suddenly, the committee’s position makes sense. Our self-esteem can resemble this because our selection committee already has its mind set on answering to our body-self. No matter what wonderful, star powered person is presented to our mind-self, it already has its own agenda working. It may go through the motions of an interview of running it through its natural thinking. But, because the committee has already made up its mind, it’s not really going to matter. For our self-esteem to improve it’s time to fire the committee!
Now it’s time to select a new committee and form a better way of looking at your self-esteem. First off, it’s time to find the head of the committee. Because we are looking for the strongest most powerful team member, I recommend the Creator. After all, He seems to know a thing or two. Next we have to find a second on the board. The spirit-self. Now, if the candidate is our self-esteem, it’s time to think about interviewing. It is time to begin to think about self-esteem as being built from the spirit-self up instead of the body-self up. Currently, self-esteem has been built upon Natural Thinking and Natural Beliefs. If you graded yourself less than 100, ask yourself “who said?” Who said the things you are using to define your self-esteem? Try to listen and identify a few of them. For one client, we’ll call her Lisa, the statements about selfesteem responded with a the voice of her mother’s SHOULDS over and over. “It’s like I keep on hearing her voice using the word SHOULD over and over. I should come over more often. I should have thought about getting married earlier. I should focus only on my baby’s wellness,” reports Lisa. Lisa continues, “I hate myself. I cannot give myself anything better than a 50. Every time I try to think a good thought about
myself I am blocked by Mom’s ‘I should’. I just can’t think myself into doing this. I need some help.” “Lisa,” I began, “There is nothing wrong with what you are experiencing. You are trying to apply inspirited thinking to a very built up natural belief. Your mind-self has been listening to your Mom for so long, it’s really a challenge to break out of it.” “Well if that’s the case, how do I work this out.” Lisa and I began where you have to begin with anything you want to change with the spirit-self. You first have to determine what is limiting the change. It begins with making belief statements from which we are operating. For, Lisa the challenges are going to be here feelings about her abilities to be a good mother.
On a piece of paper, I had Lisa write out the following: Natural Belief Statement, Challenge Using Spiritual Qualities and New Inspired Thinking.
Okay, Lisa, let’s think about the statement you are hearing which is coming from your mom. Any one statement you are hearing that is bringing down the score you can give yourself, write it down. Lisa wrote down a belief; “I am not as good of a mother as I should be”. Next, it’s time to challenge the belief through inspired thinking. In order to challenge our natural beliefs, we have to use a statement from the spirit-self. And, in order to use the spiritself we have to look at the qualities of the spirit-self. Of the spirit-self’s qualities, Lisa selects knowledge and patience. Our spirit-self contains unlimited resources because of its connection to the Creator. Lisa writes out a challenge; “I am a good mother and can meet the needs of my child. I have knowledge and patience to be a good parent.” Next, her inspired thinking is written out as; “I am a good mother. I meet the needs of my son easily!” After doing this was Lisa automatically giving herself a 100 on her self-esteem scale? No. But she did move to beginning to open the door to the spirit-self to “speak” to the old beliefs through challenges. She has also introduced us to Affirmations.
Affirmations and Self-Esteem An affirmation is a powerful tool in the Horizons Approach to Helping. An affirmation is making a statement, either aloud or written, which presents information from the spirit-self to the mind-self using traditional channels of accessing the mind-self from the body-self. In other words, an affirmation is a written or spoken statement originating from the spirit-self. However, it is presented through either written or oral format so the body-self provides the information to mind-self. From the mind-self, the affirmation is assimilated into natural thinking. This feeds directly to our self-esteem by placing spirit-self statements into our learning and experience.
An affirmation sneaks around the mind self and makes an entry through our body-self. An affirmation in effect hijacks the
natural thinking and natural learning we experience by placing a positive statement about ourselves into our natural thinking. This process is why journaling is such an effective method for helping people deal with emotions. It is the reason why we like to keep diaries and other documents. It gives us a chance to present divine information in a third way. Instead of using prayer or inspired thinking, we can get into the hard wired body-self and mind-self. This gives us a powerful way to access ourselves because it presents the inspired and the divine as natural thinking. Affirmations are powerful. Because they are so powerful, it is very important to use them correctly and to use them often. Affirmations must be from the spirit-self and our inspired thinking. We must be careful they contain no negative language because we are opening up a direct connection to our mind-self which is very strong. We will be taking advantage of the way our natural thinking works. So, once presented to the body-self, we cannot take what we say or hear back. Once it’s perceived, it’s automatically filed away in the mind-self for consideration in similar situations. Affirmations begin with the statement “I am” or “I can”. When we are using affirmations, we can either be general or be very specific. For example, “I am a loving person and I am worthy of love” or “I can ask Jim out. I am worthy of being accepted.” Both of these are going to be immediately perceived by bodyself and sent to the mind-self. The affirmation is going to be filed away in the mind-self. Once the mind-self has labeled it as
a piece of information it is stored to be used in the future in any situation close to the information contained in the affirmation. If we decide to say, “I am a lovable person.” The body-self presents the information to the mind-self, the mind-self quickly accepts the information and files it away to be recalled later. The next time someone tells us, “I love you” the mind-self checks to see if it has information on file. It finds it does. It finds information about a divorce and a man shouting, “You are a bitch and not worthy my love.” It also finds, “I am a lovable person.” If the affirmation has been repeated over and over, the mind-self finds more and more of these files. Instead of responding to the person with “this person is lying and is unsafe” the mind-self responds with “I am lovable so I may be able to trust this person. The more an affirmation is repeated, the more powerful it becomes. The more times it is presented to the mind-self through the body-self, the more your natural thinking begins to match your inspired thinking. Affirmations make challenges much more effective, because they provide supportive material already present in your natural thinking. Remember, inspired thinking is the process of presenting challenges or statements from the spirit-self to beliefs held by the mind-self. The beliefs held by the mind-self are completely based on learning about the information presented to it from the body-self. The more positive information you can make available to your mind-self, the better you will feel and perform.
The power of affirmations comes from making a positive statement about you. This statement, either spoken or written, must come from the qualities of the spirit-self. The qualities of the spirit self, remember, are eternal, loving, intelligent, powerful, insightful, supportive, empowering, challenging, patient and joyful. Affirmations should be used daily to help increase self-esteem. We simply need to be kind to ourselves in making the affirmation. Even if we donâ€™t really feel the way we state in an affirmation quite yet, the more we make the affirmation, the better our self-esteem. Again, we must be careful in the wording of affirmations. If you would like to find a daily information to use in your life, just visit
www.myhoirzons.org or www.crossingtwice.com and you will find a link to our blog.