Jack Canfield, psychologist and author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, has what he calls the poker chip theory of self-esteem. If a poker player has a lot of chips, they will be more willing to take chances. If he loses, it is not a big deal. However, a person with only a few chips will be much less likely to take a lot of risks. The same idea holds with self-esteem. If individuals have high self-esteem, they will be willing to take more risks than those with lower self-esteem. For example, if you have high self-esteem and you invite a person out for dinner, and the person says no, you will easily be able to handle it. However, if you have low self-esteem, the “rejection” may really upset you, and you will probably be less likely to do it again. According to Jack Canfield, the more risks you take, the more willing you will be to go after what you want.
One of the reasons people’s self-esteem is not very high is the messages they received growing up. If you received a lot of negative messages, such as “you’ll never amount to anything,” or “you can’t do anything right,” or “you’re not adequate,” etc., and you still believe these messages, your self-esteem will not be very high.
When we are young, we accept these messages, and as adults, they are still present in our subconscious minds. We often are not even aware that we have these beliefs, yet they control our lives. Some people who are aware of them may blame their parents or siblings, or teachers for these messages. The problem with this is that we cannot make changes if we are blaming others for how we feel. The late Wayne Dyer made a joke about this. He said if you are blaming your parent for the problems in your life, send the parent to him, and as a psychologist, he would cure the parent, and then you would be OK. Obviously, that is not going to solve the problem. As adults, we need to take responsibility for what is going on in our lives and make the necessary changes.
There are many ways one can raise their self-esteem. Dr. Canfield suggests dividing your life into thirds. For example, if you were 45 years old, you would go from age 1 to 15, age 16 to 30, and age 31 to age 45. Then for each of those periods, come up with three accomplishments you feel very good about. At the end of this exercise, you will have nine accomplishments. At a later time, come up with 100 accomplishments. By doing this, you will definitely get a boost in your self-esteem.
While this and other exercises can be very helpful, one really needs to look at the deep-seated beliefs that are causing the individual not to feel very good about him or herself. To accomplish this, psychotherapy or hypnotherapy can be very helpful. Hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious mind and is thus an excellent tool to discover your subconscious beliefs and then help you eliminate negative and self-destructive thinking.
There are thousands of peer-reviewed studies that show hypnosis works. In addition, it does not take a great deal of time to get to the root of the problem. Hypnosis is safe when done by a certified and ethical hypnotherapist.
If you want to learn more about hypnosis or experience a session, please call Phil Rosenbaum at 248-688-6469. Don’t let low self-esteem prevent you from living the life you deserve.