How to Raise Your Self-Esteem By, Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

Many schools of psychological theory involve the notion that individual personalities are made up of many different parts. It doesn’t matter if this is true or not. What is important is that using this notion of many different parts is USEFUL.

If you are a frequent Inbox Coaching reader, you have heard this before. Today, I would like to continue on with this topic and cover the next level—self-esteem.

If you understand the parts paradigm, you can probably see how your parts can have a profound effect on your trading. A powerful part can literally bankrupt you or alternatively help you make really big money. Sometimes parts work together to hold you back or push you forward.

You could have a multitude of internal parts operating on a subconscious level. If you have parts inside you that tend to lower your self-esteem, then you probably cannot easily overcome those problems on your own. However, there are certain steps you can start working on right away.

1. Get in the habit of loving and acknowledging yourself.

For example, acknowledge your accomplishments and your blessings. What do you have to be grateful for? Take an hour to write down all of the accomplishments in your life. What have you accomplished in terms of education, skills, your job, etc.? What goals have you achieved? What special abilities are you grateful for having? What special people do you have in your life?

Perhaps the best way of doing that is to imagine yourself in the scenario of Jimmy Stewart in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. If it’s more appropriate, what if you were Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? You might also look at Barbara Kipfer’s book 14,000 Things to be Happy About.

Once you have compiled your list, start reviewing it on a regular basis. When you do so, say, “I, [insert your name here], am a wonderful person with many blessings. Here are a few of the things I have to be grateful for…” Recall at least five things from memory.

2. Think about how you would act toward a good friend.

What would your behavior be like? Would you criticize that friend or give that person support? Would you do something special for that person? Would you try to meet that person’s needs as best you could? How much have you done for yourself in the last two weeks?

Make a list of what you will do for yourself in the future. Schedule it. What will you do tomorrow? What will you do over the next week? The next month?

3. Give your body what it needs.

These behaviors include such activities as regular exercise, regular meditation, eating properly, giving yourself a vacation, mental rehearsal, and planning. These behaviors are not only stress protectors but are also a way of showing yourself appreciation. Start scheduling these behaviors into your week. (For those of you who have the Peak Performance Home Study Course, Volume 2 has a more extensive list of behaviors that serve as stress protectors.)

4. Negotiate with parts that you determine might be affecting your self-esteem.

For example, remember that each part is really doing you a favor. Get to know each part affecting your self-esteem. Become a friend to each part. Find out what each part’s positive intention is—what is it trying to do for you?

Once you become friends with a part, it becomes easy to persuade it to find more suitable behaviors to carry out its intentions. For example, if you have a part that causes an emotion by trying to avoid it, then make that part responsible for getting rid of the stored emotion inside of you rather than finding external situations that will indirectly allow you to release the emotion. Get that part or parts to search for your real potential that exists beneath all the emotion.

5. Keep your agreements so that your parts trust you.

A key element to friendship is trust. If you plan to be a friend to your parts, then they must trust you. You must communicate with them regularly. You must keep any agreements you make and only make agreements you plan to keep. At the very least, keep an agreement to re-negotiate if an initial agreement does not work.

6. If you are looking for the hidden jewel that lies beneath all of that fear, anger, guilt, or resentment, then learn to give it away.

Maybe you have had the tendency throughout life to find what you judge to be negative as outside of you. As we have indicated indirectly in this series, you can find out what is inside of you just by looking at what you see outside of you. This is a great gift once you realize it is true. We have long described the process of transformation as being a process in which you make an internal change and suddenly everything about you seems different. What you see around you reflects what is happening on the inside.

By this same logic, you can discover the hidden treasures you are looking for by giving them away. If you are looking to make your life more worthwhile, then look around you for worthwhile things. If you are looking to feel better about yourself, then notice how much better the world can look. If you want more love in your life, then give it away. If you are looking for a sense of prosperity, be willing to spend some money on yourself or, more importantly, be willing to give away money.

Try doing one of the following:

  • Pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant anonymously.
  • Fill up a parking meter for a stranger or pay the toll for the person in the car behind you at a toll booth.
  • Think of people you dislike and say nice things about them. See that person in your mind bathed in a pink light.
  • Become a big brother/sister to a disadvantaged child.

Try something small to begin with.

One of the most difficult areas to work on by yourself is your own self-esteem. Get yourself a coach. Find a friend you really trust and practice doing these exercises with that person. This topic is covered extensively in my Peak Performance Home Study Course and my Peak Performance 101 Workshop, coming up on October 6th.

Whatever you do, commit to it and do it now.

P.S. Understanding your parts can be incredibly helpful to improving your trading performance. Click here to read Parts I & II of this series where we discuss how to deal with conflicting parts, plus an exercise for you to try at home!

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