In Part one of Improve Your Self Esteem, we discussed the impervious self-doubt that so many of us are victim to and how to start becoming consciously competent in changing our neural net to support more positive thoughts and beliefs.
Next I’d like to discuss the real reason I started this piece, and a major reason why many of us won’t allow ourselves to expect the best; the fear of getting our hopes up and being disappointed. It seems like everyone I talk to has this deeply ingrained belief that it’s not safe to expect really good things, because if we don’t get them, we’ll be disappointed. I certainly had that belief, but I quickly obliterated it when I started to learn the power of positive thinking and beliefs. I think it’s natural that our elders want to protect us from disappointment, so they discourage dreaming big so we won’t be disappointed, just in case it doesn’t happen. I remember an episode of The Simpson’s when Homer gives Bart the fatherly advice of “See Son, you tried and, you failed, so what did you learn? Don’t try.” I know that’s a bit extreme, but essentially we do tell our children that to a degree.
When we dissect the emotions involved, it plainly becomes obvious that we’re going about it the wrong way with our negative thoughts. The emotion of disappointment when we fail is 1) temporary and 2) not necessary when you look at “failure” in a different light. In Thomas Edison’s quest to create the light bulb, a reporter once asked him how it felt to have failed so many times in that endeavor, to which Edison supposedly replied, “I have not failed once, I have found 700 ways in which it will not work.” The actual number of times he tried is up for debate, the quote still applies though. Instead of assigning failure to the things you try to achieve in your life, try saying to yourself, “okay, so that way doesn’t work, I’m not going to do that anymore.” In this way, you’re never failing; you’re just getting the bad ideas out of the way first! That simple reframe will eliminate the majority of disappointment we might feel in the face of “failure”, but if you need more fodder for your creative juices, think about this for a minute. Living a life of not trying because you’re afraid of failing will result in a constant undercurrent of emotions that are detrimental to your happiness and well-being. If you constantly feel as though you’re not good enough, and are destined to fail, how is the Law of Attraction supposed to bring you anything different? Remember, you get what you think about MOST of the time. Having a consistently low vibration about yourself and your abilities is ultimately stronger than fleeting moments of trying and “failing”, especially when you can remind yourself that there is no such thing as “failure”. Are you still going to let the fear of being disappointed hold you back from dreaming big? While it’s true that not trying means you’ll never fail, it also means you’ll never succeed.
You have to let yourself dream big. Don’t let possible disappointment slow you down. After all, the positive emotions you could conjure by dreaming big usually outweigh any possible disappointment you might feel if you don’t get it. Especially when you consider that you could dream big every day, just for the fun of it and not really expect anything to come of it. The cool thing is that the act of dreaming with positive emotion DOES begin to summon that reality, or a reality that feels just as good and causes it to manifest in your experience. You have to care about how you feel, but not care too much about how or why you feel it.
One more aspect of not wanting to let yourself dream big, or try to achieve things in your life, might be the embarrassment of others seeing you “fail”. I know there have been lots of instances in my own life when I’d like to try something, but I wouldn’t because I knew the first go at it might be a little messy, and others were watching me. I was always afraid they’d laugh at me, judge me or I’d waste their time. I’d often say to myself, if I could just practice it without anyone watching me I know I could get it, yet I never had the opportunity to try it on my own for logistical reasons, so I was never able to achieve it. Since doing EFT on it, I will now attempt things I never would’ve attempted before. For example, I joined the volunteer fire department which brings me up against this issue on a weekly basis, so I can master it. Also, at the gym I will try things like a 38” box jump that I would never have attempted in front of others in the past, for fear of looking stupid. I still look stupid, but I don’t care anymore, at least not enough to stop me from trying. Here’s a bit of the tapping I did for that issue:
“Even though I’m a slow learner and I don’t want people to laugh at me, I love and accept myself completely.”
“Even though I don’t want people to see what a spaz I am, and I’d rather not embarrass myself, I love and accept myself completely.”
“Even though I don’t have the confidence that I can do it right off the bat, and I feel like I always mess up when I first try something, I love and accept myself completely.”
Eyebrow: I feel so embarrassed when everyone is watching me and I mess it up
Side of Eye: Everyone will know what a loser I am if I mess it up in front of them
Under the Eye: They will judge me and think I’m no good
Under the Nose: I hate them for judging me
Chin: They expect me to be perfect at it the very first time
Collarbone: I expect myself to be perfect at it and if I’m not I feel like a loser
Under the arm: It’s so embarrassing when I suck at something
Top of the head: This embarrassed feeling
Then, once again when you have tapped down that embarrassed feeling, start to tap in more positive affirmations and thoughts;
“Even though in the past I was afraid to try because I felt like I would just mess it up and I didn’t want to waste their time, or call attention to my inadequacy, I choose to know the future can be different”
“Even though I’ve felt inadequate in the past when I try something new in front of others, I love and accept myself completely.”
“Even though my life circumstances taught me that it’s more efficient if someone that knows how to do it just does it so no one is waiting around for me to figure it out, I love and accept myself completely.”
Eyebrow: I learned that when I was little and didn’t have any adult skills
Side of Eye: Every skill is learned, why am I so hard on myself?
Under the Eye: Some people might be better at things right off the bat than I am, but why does that make me feel inadequate?
Under the Nose: I have lots of skills that others might not be so good at
Chin: I choose to celebrate what I’m good at, and not worry about the things I need practice with
Collarbone: so I’m not a fast learner sometimes, that’s okay, I have other amazing traits
Under the arm: I choose to know that I don’t need to feel embarrassed about my inability to be a really fast learner
Top of the head: I choose to accept myself exactly as I am
So, go ahead and dream big, get those creative juices flowing, let go of your limits. The disappointment is not that bad, especially if you tap on it.