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Quadrant-Based Model for Esteem for the Self

Self-Esteem Matrix

[Validation (V) ::: Worth | Referencing (R) ::: Efficacy]
Internal and external locus

 

matrix_esteem_self

 

If we combine Dr Nathaniel’s definition of self-esteem—that is that self-esteem has two integral and inseparable—yet equally important and parallel—components:

  • Self-efficacy [knowledge of our effectiveness/our value/guilt]
  • Self-respect [Making choices appropriate to life/self-worth/shame

…with another multi-dimensional idea ::: that the “high self-esteem” and “low self-esteem” binary representation is inadequate to accurately explain some behaviors and behavioral choices, and we look at where the individual’s attention is, then we begin to create a richer and deeper—and therefore more accurate signifier—a more accurate representation of esteem for the self.

I prefer that phrase, that is: esteem for the self, to the more common phrase “self-esteem” for two reasons:

  1. The phrase/word “self-esteem” is one of the most misunderstood and overused phrases in American pop psychology. And,
  2. The phrase Esteem for the Self refocuses our attention where it should be; our opinion of the “me” in our self-concept.

 The sad part is that what most of the “experts” in academia call “self-esteem” is simply not self-esteem, but rather “other-esteem”. This can border on the absurd when supposed experts call for an end to competition. Or, an end to grades in school.

Given that our esteem for the self is our immune system for life, it must be tested, so it can grow, respond, and develop the metaphoric antibodies to the hardships of life. While I am far from competitive, I am glad it existed in my upbringing. Grades. Martial Arts training, science contests, spelling bees, etc.

Anyway … to bring a richer texture to the conversation … in the above figure we have 4 basic locations or orientations to esteem for the self. Internal / external and validation / referencing.

Below are some relatively raw notes on the quadrants above, but more importantly, below that is a table that lays out some of the misconceptions about what it means to have true esteem for the self. For those of you who know me to be a proponent of stage conceptions, this is not in conflict with an egoic stage conception, but it would overly complicate the conversation for mass consumption to add another dimension in this writing.

If you are curious about how this quadrant-based model would interact with a stage conception for egoic development, shoot me an email … ok:

With no further ado:

UPPER LEFT ::: If someone is Internally validated [VI] and they are externally referenced [RE] then we have the ideal situation; someone who is internally validated, and therefore “immune” at a core level from the opinions of others—yet also externally referenced, meaning they care about gathering feedback from the outside world and from others—so they can continually become more effective, and—if need be—adjust their behaviors. This quadrant is the healthiest of the quadrants. Those grounded in this quadrant will be happiest, more at ease with themselves, interact more effectively with others, and produce better results in the real world.

 

UPPER RIGHT ::: Internally validated and internally referenced. Not ideal. They truly do not care about the opinions of feelings of others—and do not need them, but simultaneously they do not notice their impact or care about their impact. You could call this person the empowered idiot. Unaware entirely.

 

LOWER LEFT ::: Externally validated and externally referenced. This person is constantly contorting themselves to whomever is around them, based on subtle or gross cues, but they are also dependent on the opinion of others to feel good about themselves. They try to be everything for and to everybody. I jokingly refer to this quadrant as “hell”. They will never feel good about themselves as they are never in touch with themselves—and do not even know who they are—and their feelings will shift like the wind upon the whims or preferences of others.

 

LOWER RIGHT ::: Externally validated but internally referenced. This person is desperate for people’s attention, their validation and praise, yet is inner-focused and not able to adjust to cues. Imagine them seeking approval, and constantly bumping into walls and people all the time. Desperate for approval. Never quite able to do the right thing to get it. Let's call this quadrant "purgatory".

Heh.

 

Pseudo Self-Esteem; Myths Of Self-Esteem

 

True Esteem For The Self [The Truth About Self-Esteem]:

 

People with “high self esteem” are egotistical or arrogant. They are always proving something to others or to themselves. They talk about how great they are all the time

 

Have supreme, unshakeable, yet quiet confidence; they know when they are good at something and know they are fundamentally “OK” and have nothing to prove—not even to themselves. They have no need to talk about how good they are at what they do: for them it is simple fact.

 

People with high self-esteem do not admit their mistakes—or admit them more slowly than others, as they are unwilling to admit they screwed up.

 

 

People with his esteem for themselves can and do admit their wrongs and faults and their mistakes quickly as it “means” nothing about them. They are more concerned with efficacy than how they “look”.

Others can somehow “hurt” your self esteem

 

Are internally validated, so others opinions, while important for efficacy, has no effect on true esteem for the self [otherwise, it would be called “other-esteem” rather than “self-esteem”

 

People with high self-esteem do not care about what other people think or about others’ feelings

 

Want to know how they are impacting others-both positively and negatively-as they are willing to adjust their behaviors; efficacy above all

 

It’s bad for most children’s self esteem to “lose” in a competition [as there is always “winner” and a “loser” and far fewer [and often only one] “winner”.

 

Are just fine losing, but rather have the mind-set around acquiring more skill/developing further, and look forward to the next opportunity to “compete:” yet have no need or desire for competition as such

 

Need people to like them or need them

 

Are fundamentally at peace and love themselves absent any acknowledgement, praise, or need from others; they eschew dependency of others or idolization from others

 

Thrives on the praise of others

 

Have no desire for the praise of others, but takes note of what the other prefers for the practical purposes; for the sake of eficacy

 

Until next time ...

In Warmth and In Service ...

jason.the.mcclain™

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The Self-Esteem Quadrophenia | Egoic Evolution in Stages and Quadrants

Over the years, I have written several several takes, applications, thoughts, and republished dialogues on ego and self-esteem.

In terms of personal development--irrespective of your motivations; no matter if the flashpoint is your inter-personal relationships or professional life--there is no single factor that is more important to the core of your happiness, your ease and flow, and your general thrival and expansion than your egoic development. From ego-centric to gender-centric or ethno-centric to world-centric to cosmo-centric.

Blah, blah, blah. Heh.

Below is a round-up of those articles to date.

Some are tailored to small business folk. Others are more abstract and theoretical. One is a dialogue about ego among me and my brilliant friends on facebook. All are important to you as you settle into the you that is expanding personally, professionally, financially, relationally...and yes, of course, Spiritually.

Where the rubber of possibility meets the road of reality [and sometimes leaves a mark] and whether it gains traction or not, is with this single point of access.

Yes, it will enable you to handle the crap life throws at you. Deal with the less visionary of the world. Regain your balance when you lose it, be able to draw boundaries, ask for what you know you deserve, and have the confidence in the truth that everything will be fine ... eventually. That you will learn, grow, develop, and thrive. Eventually.

And remember, while the distinctions are important, an ounce of integration is worth a pound of insight or knowledge. Build the muscle. Practice. Notice. Witness.

Okee-dokee. Enough of me waxing poetic. Here they are. From the divine to the practical. From the theoretical to the hard driving and direct. Have fun.

:::

  1. Self-Esteem and the Solo-Entrepreneur
  2. Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego
  3. Quadrant-Based Model for Esteem for the Self
  4. The Need for Approval ::: Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter

 

In Service and In Evolution,

 

jason.the.mcclain™

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Motivation | Style, Structure, and Tasty Bite-Sized Morsels

One of the main challenges that small business people face—particularly solo practitioners or “solo-preneurs” in general--is the problem and the art of motivating oneself.

You are your own boss. If you have employees, then the game may be a little different for you as you have people depending on you.  However, if it is just you, there are often no external forces telling you that you must do any particular “thing”.  There are certainly exceptions to this—client deliverables, purchases that have been made, the general inertia of your business pulling you along at some point, but really, especially at first, it is an uphill battle for many on their own.

There are so many aspects to this problem of motivation that some never figure it out—or worse, they find solutions that compound the problem in the long-term because the “solutions” are ill-suited approaches. Ill-suited to them as individuals.

To really add fuel to the fire [or baking soda to the lack thereof] we have distractions, overwhelm, time management, prioritization, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

What works for one person in terms of motivation may or may not—and often does not—work for another. So it is with time management, goals, and the like. There is no one-size-fits-all or even a one-size-fits-most solution. Particularly for those who are more sensitive both emotionally and kinesthetically/energetically, many of the “take massive action” or “get present to the consequences if you do not” approaches create more internal dissonance, and if the tasks or milestones the individual is accountable for are not accomplished, this can lead to a build-up of that same internal dissonance, or worse, feelings of guilt or worse still, even shame, and with the principle of compound interest on the “debt” you have with yourself…well, we can see where it may and often does lead: overwhelm rather than accomplishment.

Even if it does not lead there for you, these levels of intense urgent styles of motivational techniques can cause a lack of balance at best, and at worst, hardcore burnout.

What is the solution? Custom design your own motivational strategy using a few basic principles and approaches.

 

Step 1: Discover Your Style

Find out what works for you at a base level. Since at least Aristotle was writing in the  300s B.C. we have known that humans are generally motivated in two basic ways or “directions” ::: away from pain or toward pleasure. Or both.

Stated in the context of goals and deliverables: away from consequences or toward a vision.

You will notice one creates leverage [and often contraction and internal dissonance] in your body—it pushes you. Compels you. Often uncomfortably. The other pulls you forward. It is expansive. It opens you and draws you toward it.

The danger is to judge one or the other. Urgency/away from/consequence driven motivation could be “bad” because it creates tension and dissonance. Vision is “good” because it is expansive. Or the reverse; vision/toward is “bad” because it does not create massive intense action, necessarily. Urgency/away from is “good” because it creates more instant [in some] results.

An additional component is style is how you like to be supported. 

This is also a critical component. While I am not an "accountability coach" per se, and never have been, quite often, clients ask me to support them in getting stuff done. Before I even begin such an aspect of our relationship, and since I can assume almost any style of coaching to serve them at this point, I ask them ::: how do you like to be supported.

No this before asking for external help--or be prepared to explore that inquiry with your friend, guide, coach, or accountability partner.

The truth is, whichever style works for you, as you become more aware, even now, at how you have created results in the past for yourself—when you found yourself simply motivated to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish—is the “good” style for you.

If an “away from” strategy works best for you, then create externally supported consequences to propel you forward. Engage a coach professionally, who coaches in that style. Or have a friend be your accountability partner—and someone willing to enforce uncomfortable consequences for/on you.

If this kind of approach has you feel overwhelmed, or has you feel like running from your entire support system [missing phone calls, not emailing them when you said you would, unaccomplished tasks building up, etc.], then consider the other approach: an approach that has you moving toward a larger vision. Toward a future you are creating. An approach that has you stay constantly present to the deeper meaning in the work you are doing; what your purpose of mission is, so you stay in the game. Plainly put ::: remember why you are committed to doing what you are supposed to do, in the grand scheme of things.  

As an example: you’re not simply “having a client session”. You are doing far more than that—you are helping someone have the life they have always dreamed of. And even greater or larger, you are contributing to the evolution of humanity itself—to a global vision of the Greater Good.

 

Mission. Vision. Life Purpose.

Whatever your style, be sure you use the one that best suits your sensibilities and produces the results for you, in your life, that you want produced.

 

Step 2: Make Your Tasks Bite-Sized.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” –Anonymous

It is not an "event" is an unfolding process.

Make sure your expectations are realistic, and that your goals and outcomes are in stages, and a palatable size. Often, people set these wild expectations for themselves or they have their goal of “building a business” be a one-step process, rather than what it is: a natural process of growth we see all around us.

First, we crawl. Then we walk. Then we run.

You would not expect to go to the gym for the very first time and lift 300 pounds would you? Of course not. You would go, do a little to stretch yourself—just get a little sore—and then do a little more until you are at the level—eventually—you want to be at.

 

Nothing happens in one step.

And make sure the chunks are an appropriate size for your sensibilities—again, not someone else’s no matter how much of a “motivational guru” they are.

Allow me to give you a personal example. Nearly a decade ago now, I used to make 200 cold calls a day. However, I did not last long when I tried to declare or commit to making that many phone calls. Too large of a chunk.  So I tried blocks of 50. It was still daunting. Eventually, I got down to committing to simply doing blocks of 10. That was easy. In fact, it was so easy, I did another 10. And another. This little psychological game I played with myself made it easier and easier to consistently accomplish 200 calls a day.

Make sure your level of expectations (your workload, your milestones, and even your to-do list if you use one) are all designed to maintain balance, while consistently building and growing.

Slow, sustainable, constant growth and expansion is always preferable to short-term, over-the-top goals, as that is the sustainable, and more ecological [both emotionally and systemically] approach.

I will suggest one thing : make sure you always accomplish the most important or most pressing single task for that day. Just pick one. You know which one it is. If you want to do more, great. But commit to doing that one thing you know needs to be done today. If that “one thing” is too large a task, break it down into sub-tasks, and eat that elephant one bite at a time.

 

In sum, there are three major steps to “motivating” yourself.

  1. Discover The Style or “direction” that works for you. Are you motivated toward something larger or toward a vision? Or are you more motivated with consequences and pain?
  2. Set up systems and structures to support your style of motivation. Whether that is through a colleague, friend, professional, or with yourself is irrelevant until you learn what best works for you--both in terms of style and in terms of actual structures.
  3. Make sure your goals or milestones or “stuff” you wanna get done is not only realistic, but is also in the appropriate “chunk size” so you do not undercut or undermine the first two steps. And relax—you can always increase chunk size or workload as you gain momentum and a sense of accomplishment.

Above all, be  a scientist in the laboratory of your own life. Consider the above and the choices you make at first an experiment. Test it out. If you find, after some days, or a week, or more that the style of motivation is not working, be willing to be flexible and try the other style. If you discover you are seldom—or never--accomplishing your desired “things” to do, that’s fine. It only means one thing ::: you need to adjust the size or the scope or the chunks as appropriate.

Test. Adjust. Test again. Find out what work. Build on your successes. Harvest the lessons when you miss your target. Build upon that as well. Often, those lessons are even more valuable than accomplishing what you set out to do.

If you know where and how to examine the failures they are always more valuable than the successes and will lead to exponential success in the long run.

Have fun with it. Remember, it is your life. You get to live it as you choose.

 

In Service,

 

Jason The McClain

 

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The Need for Approval | Ego | Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter

[Originally written in August 2008]
 
Many people have read this piece and encouraged me to post it publicly. So, by popular demand... It is an email I posted to a client near the end of their completion of the Personal Evolution Program, and in it I address a need for approval, ego development, the purpose and motivation for personal evolution...and the distinction between self-worth and value, and more... Your self-worth is a settled matter if you will accept it as such. Enjoy.

::: :::

Now back to you.

I was thinking about the approval thing. But first--you have come a long way. So stop, take a deep breath, turn around towards the sunset and enjoy the vista. You deserve it. 
 
"The mountain we climb in Personal Evolution is a bit like a mirage while hiking/climbing a mountain. You could stop now and camp for the night--or say, "forget this", it and go back down the mountainside.
 
Buuuuutt, you can also see there is a reachable summit. So you choose to go further--yet...when you reach what you thought would be the summit, there is yet another summit that materializes out of the mist. And this goes on forever. There is no omega point except when you choose to simply stop and rest.
 
Each of us have that choice every day. For some, we still consciously choose to continue to deepen our depths--and plumb just behind them. There is no end or bottom to the depth, there are only unplumbed depths. For others, they have achieved a high enough peak, that there is no motivation--no real life reason--to climb the next.  And there are others I will not list in the interests of time. I choose--consciously--to evolve further when I should or must--that is when my business or financial or relational results are inhibited by some aspect of myself. Otherwise, I am pretty darned content with where I am at-BUT I still need to have constant attention on where I need to be for others in the context in which I want to move with greater velocity--or frankly, sometimes, ANY velocity. 
 
I urge you to make the same or a similar real world criteria as you become more and more comfortable with you you are...and as you come to full acceptance of yourself, there is a pitfall of not caring what others think--and disregarding their feedback. Care what others think in practical terms--and care deeply--as it fosters results. Do not care about their opinions and judgments of you on a personal level. That is--think about the practical results and adjust, but know that as an internally validated man, the matter of your self-worth is settled. The question of the value you bring to people and the world in this context or that context, well, that is never settled as it depends on too many variables [each individuals expectations and sensibilities, your skill and competence in the domain, your sensitivities/awareness when adjustments are needed, market forces, etc.]. But that is a separate practical matter. 
 
The personal: your self-worth, is a settled matter. It is...well, pick your preference/metaphor: it is good. It is priceless. It is worth-full. It is Spirit manifest. It is divine. 
 
As for the seeking of approval-that is obviously pretending as if your worth could be determined externally. It can not. Whether you realize it yet or not, you still have to accept the opinion of others--good, bad, right, wrong--to have their opinions matter. In other words, you have the ultimate choice still--even if you are not exercising it to as full a degree as you will enjoy in the future. 
 
But why even do this work? What does it make possible? Why spend the time, energy, and the--at times--grueling work of dis-identification, detachment, and internalizing validity when you notice it as external? Why forgo the feel good and the short term false ego pump of compliments? 
 
In a word: Freedom. Freedom from what? 

Freedom from the ebbs and flows of the opinions and judgments of others. Why is this important? So you can gather feedback, without the moral and emotional cloud of personal meaning. Here is the challenge with tying your valuation to another's opinions: you are not only cast about from one end to the other, AND the problem with that is that people react from and interpret through their stage of egoic, emotional, and values meme stage of development. There will be patterns and probabilities, and all feedback is valid for them, but there is only so much contorting you can engage in, and stay sane and centered, and more importantly, live authentically--true to yourself.
 
Additionally, believe me, as someone who has had people tell me I am a god [literally] on more than one occasion and at times, had people tell me I was an a**hole and the devil's spawn [literally] I came to realize that no matter what they say, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and their acknowledgments and their judgments are worth only one thing: getting specifics around those experiences [I did X Y and Z in A context and they felt B emotion as a result] for the purpose of adjusting my behavior for improved results. 
 
Their characterizations are worthless except as crude pointers to their stage of development because, again, we interpret through and react and respond from our stage of development And even then, I have to gauge how valuable it is -- determined solely by how large a percentage of people are at that stage and would react/interpret the same way. 
 
All feedback is valid--and everyone's emotional experience is valid as it is and to be left untouched unless requested otherwise. However, not all feedback is valuable
 
Now, what I can not say is where the line is between the idea that they are responsible for their own emotional experience--and you are not--and where you are responsible for your impact on others and the results you garner. That is a line I have yet to determine for myself after nearly a decade of inquiry. I do know that I tend to move more and more towards having room for the emotional reactions I create in others-sometimes by simply walking through the room, or making a benign comment about my schedule, or not noticing someone in a room I am in--having space for that and having them feel valid without my trying to adjust their experience is a skill I am still developing and only in the last year and a half feel fully competent at. And I get it right about 65% of the time. 
 
Circling back--the thing to remember is that you are already determining your own worth, by agreeing or disagreeing with those who assess you as good/bad or some variation. You still have to buy into their perspective. And since you are the ultimate decider, decide now, that irrespective of the value assessments they are making and the validity of the feedback, the matter of your self-worth is settled. 
 
We were told a lie as children--something about original sin. It is more accurate to say we were born with universal innocence. And imagine, the preciousness and the innocence of a blameless child. At your core...that is you irrespective of any behaviors that are not aligned--YOU, at your core, are precious and pure, and have a hologram of divinity that you are reflecting and projecting. 
 
To think otherwise is an error--a mistake--and nothing more. 
 
In Service and in Evolution, 
 
Jason
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NLP, Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Our Responsibility to Assist Clients in Self-Acceptance

somebody i met was asking me if NLP processes can change an identity layer as deep as sexual orientation.

Great question. Several ideas about it:

There are some aspects of sexual orientation that may extend into identity structures, but I am uncertain about the presupposition that there is where it lays--in fact, after seing hundreds of clients, for some people it creates tremendous internal dissonance when they finally admit to their desires because it is directly in conflict with their identity structures. In other words, I disagree with the presupposition in the question.


this guy is straight and very open-minded. i think he genuinely wanted to know about the range and reach of NLP. i did tell him that i did a training with richard bandler in 88 or 89 where he *claimed* that guys (terrified of aids) had begged him to "make them straight" AND he said that he did that!



Bandler may have in fact done that.  Again, lots of "instant research" in the early days. But if Bandler did it and was bragging about it, I would be even more hesitant. Bandler once bragged in a video I watched about installing a phobia in someone so they would stop sitting in the front row. Ugh. However, there is a documented intervention [Laid out in "Heart of the Mind", I think] where a guy was effeminate, and supposedly gay, married, but did not enjoy sex with men [or something like that] and there was an event where he was going under anesthetic, struggled, and was put under. This was somehow tied to the effeminate-ness and cleared and his orientation "changed" to straight.

Again, not sure the guy was ever really homo-erotically driven.


NOW, i am open-minded, so i said i think that there are aspects of person's 'taste' for certain things could be altered and very likely even the cues for arousal. i am also aware that there is a big difference between chemistry/attraction and a constructed identity--so yes an 'identity' could be shifted. BUT I don't really know if the primary gender attraction could change.



Yeah. I agree with you here.


thoughts?



Of course.

If someone came to me wanting to change their sexual orientation/gender attraction, I would probably decline to do so. But I would do it elegantly in this way ::: Get into communication wiht the part of them that feels like something is wrong with their desires [assuming consenting adults] and look at the guilt and shame that must be driving the desire to change and resolve that to make them okay with their mutually consensual, alternative, yet natural desires. Thereby sidestepping what I consider to be a questionable intervention.

To me, that is a more ethical approach, rippling out to areas in every aspect of their life, creating internal peace, and avoiding making change that is motivated in the ways this request for change likely would be.

It is not the thing itself [sexual orientation in this case] that is the problem, but the relationship to it the creates it as a problem.
And again, just because we can, does not mean we should.

Self-acceptance being one of the highest and deepest contributions we can make to our clients.

Jason

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On Ego Development | Self Esteem

Your Self Worth is a Settled Matter 

I wrote this to a client in an email and thought it may be useful for others to read:

The mountain we climb in Personal Evolution is a bit like a mirage while hiking/climbing a mountain. You could stop now and camp for the night--or say screw it and go back down the mountainside. You can also see there is a reachable summit. So you choose to go further--yet...when you reach what you thought would be the summit, there is yet another summit that materializes out of the mist. And this goes on forever. There is no omega point except when you choose to simply stop and rest. 

Each of us have that choice every day. For some, we still consciously choose to continue to deepen our depths--and plumb just behind them. There is no end or bottom to the depth, there are only unplumbed depths. For others, they have achieved a high enough peak, that there is no motivation--no real life reason--to climb the next.  And there are others I will not list in the interests of time. I choose--consciously--to evolve further when I should or must--that is when my business or financial or relational results are inhibited by some aspect of myself. Otherwise, I am pretty darned content with where I am at--BUT I still need to have constant attention on where I need to be for others in the context in which I want to move with greater velocity--or frankly, sometimes, ANY velocity.

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