Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Social Media and You | In-Depth Analysis and Recommendations

Social Media and You | In-Depth Analysis and Recommendations

 

In the modern marketplace, if you are in business for yourself or at a high level within a company you work for, it is impossible to avoid social media and its use if you truly want to thrive. That combined with what I believe is an emerging Age of Authenticity ... well, you get the picture.

Just scratching the surface of the broad strokes, it allows you to:

  1. Provide value to others
  2. Manage your brand
  3. Market inexpensively and freely
  4. Show your human side
  5. Stay connected to others, events, and your own reputation
  6. Other fun and cool stuff

 

This is why I cover social media in depth in the technology module of the Evolutionary SalesEvolutionary Sales course.

But recently, I have stumbled onto a few resources I thought some would find useful and valuable, and I wanted to recommend them to you.

The first is a wonderfully in-depth book I read about a year ago: Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their BrandTactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand. Whether you are a solo-preneur or you are in charge of PR for an enterprise level organization, its content will be very, very useful to you. Chock-full of examples of both the dos and don'ts and great advice for best practices. I recommend you pick it up at Amazon at the link above.

And since social media is all about sharing, here is an incredibly useful article: 9 Reasons Why Your Content Is Not Shared on Social Networks: New Research9 Reasons Why Your Content Is Not Shared on Social Networks: New Research. Again, very useful stuff backed by a respectable amount of research. Links to follow in that post as well.

And if you are looking for full education around social media for small or solo businesses, I can not recommend Laura RoederLaura Roeder enough. Just a great person who really, really knows her stuff and is on a scale the rest of us can relate to. She gives away a ton of free valuable content if you subscribe to The DashThe Dash.


On blogging [and really, email marketing as well] here is a great piece intended for students, but equally as relevant for solo-preneurs in re blogging, articles, and email marketing on how to write great headlines and subject lineshow to write great headlines and subject lines, using, one again, using some of Guy Kawasaki's Genius.

And finally for this post, I thought I would round it out with something humorous/light/fun and also very useful. So many people ask [especially now that Google+ is out to a wider invite pool] which social media service they should join, or what is suited for them, or what is the differences among them, or even, "what's the point". So, via the genius of Guy Kawasaki comes the Social Network Decision TreeSocial Network Decision Tree. Have fun with that.

UPDATE ::: several people have asked me about facebook fan pages. Without intending the pun, I am not a fan of fan pages on facebook. You can read a prime example of why I do not recommend them »HEREHERE«.

And in general, I have a long-held aversion to running anything in re business where I invest a lot of time, energy and/or money when I do not "own" the data and the DB. I have known a couple people who have lost everything in biz groups as a result of a facebook "oops". You do not really own your data, and your ability to administer it is at least limited on facebook [or any other social networking site].

At the same time, the service is free--you get what you pay for--and we have no right to complain about such a great platform that is offered to us at no cost.

Having said that, it does not mean I will build my business on it in any signifigant way.

How I think facebook pages can be useful is to interact with followers on a platform they are already subscribed to, but I still think the pages should be used to drive traffic to our actual web sites outside of the closed eco-system of facebook.

Update 2:   in re who reads what [links you share, emails you send out, etc. Again, via Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki ::: "Fascinating study by Bit.ly about the lifespan of tweets and updates. It found that the half-life (how long it took for 50% of all clicks to occur that a link would ever get) was 2.8 hours for Twitter, 3.2 hours for Facebook, and 3.4 hours for direct messages (such as email)."

Check out the research » HEREHERE« And speaking of the stream, readmore about the art of the Tweet repeat » HEREHERE«

Update 3: Also ... be sure to check out How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Website SinsHow to Avoid the 7 Deadly Website Sins.

Update 4: I have been asked about scheduling tools for social media. The tool I currently recommend is Hootsuite ProHootsuite Pro. It allows you to scheudle your entire markeitng day [or your social stuff while you are off the grid] in advance. I used to recommend TweetDeck, but sice twitter bough them and took over development, they stripped it of a lot of its functionality.


And if you have not read the email charteremail charter, do that » HEREHERE « 

In Service,

jason.the.mcclain™

 

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Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication Part 1

Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication Part 1

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 1: The Problem (1346 words. Average reading time: 6 minutes)

In the global marketplace of cultures, ideas, relationships, and business strategies, we can no longer say that there is one way to “do relationships” or that there is an “is-ness” to what form they should take.

 There simply is no global—or even local—consensus around relationships—if there ever was.

Whether we are speaking about arranged marriages still common on the other side of the globe in India, gay marriages—legal in some countries and some U.S. Statesegal in some countries and some U.S. Statesegal in some countries and some U.S. States or other alternative forms of relating from polyamory, or other non-traditional, non-monogamous relationship forms, we can certainly say that what is considered an acceptable form of relating is massively expanding in scope.

Whether you agree or disagree with those life-style choices, it is undeniable that the very idea of relationship is in evolution both morally and culturally.  Not to mention in practicality—in form.

And yet … 

And yet, most people still cannot seem to even navigate the waters of traditional relationships with facility and elegance.  Even many friendships are not always fulfilling and conflicts are rarely navigated effectively—if at all. Sadly, many marriages and intimate romantic relationships often hobble along until people are just in a habit, not a relationship. They’re still “together” on the surface, but the reality, truth, intimacy, and dynamism faded—or died—long ago.

They are in a habit, not an actual relationship.

There are certainly exceptions to this.  Both in relationships and in society as a whole. We have individuals and small “intentional” communities who have it as one of their stated values to become facile at navigating the waters of relationships—including  conflicts and misunderstandings that arise, as well as their internal, individual, personal emotional upset or “charge” that comes along with it—with skill, ease, and a good degree of elegance.

But even after more than 40 years of the rise and expansion of the human potential movement, these are exceptions, not rules.  Heck, they are often not even expected standards, let alone the rule.

But it could be so.  

We can all have fulfilling, harmonious relationships. Even in conflict, there are philosophical approaches as well effective communication models that, if take on, can fulfill on this possibility—and make it a reality.

So…what are they?

 First, let’s look at some of the common problems that arise. And then, together, we will examine some simple solutions.

 

The Problems

 

Many of dynamics within inter-personal problems and/or conflicts can be summed up thusly:

  • A belief that relationships are “supposed to take work” or “supposed to be hard”
  • Dishonesty. Dishonesty in at least two ways
    • Deceit—actual lying
    • Hiding the truth—not just of facts, which we will lump in with the above, but of our internal, subjective experience. Our process. And what is going on for us.
  • Blaming others for our circumstances or the situation AND
  • Failing to take responsibility for our part in a conflict or misunderstanding
  • Simply meaning two different things—or interpreting something in two different ways—that are in conflict unknowingly until the it causes a conflict explicitly and openly
  • An egoic need to “be right” put before a search for truth and accuracy
  • A lack of emotional choice or facility [being run by our anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, resentments etc.]
  • A lack of knowledge around how to effectively communicate through a conflict—a lack of a positive, effective, workable model
  • A lack of skillful means with those models
  • A collision of values/world-views that are in conflict

 

Why are people dishonest? Several reasons seem to occur most frequently:

  • We do not want to “rock the boat”
  • We do not want to hurt someone’s feelings by telling them the truth [even though, in reality, most people can handle the truth, it is the deception or the hiding that causes the true hurt once revealed or discovered
  • Fear—fear of being judged, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, or just plain fear of speaking the truth directly.

 

Why do people blame others?  Oh, so many reasons, but a few common reasons are:

 

  • It’s just easier to point the finger outside of oneself than it is to take responsibility—even when oneself is more “to blame”.
  • We do not have solid enough sense of self to take responsibility without going into a state of shame—and therefore avoid doing so
  • We have fault and blame collapsed with responsibility


Why do people resist—sometimes at great cost interpersonally and in terms of intimacy—taking responsibility?

Sadly, people think that responsibility equals blame or fault, but they are actually separate matters. Responsibility really means just that—being able to respond.  To engage. To resolve. To accept your part in it.  When they collapse fault and blame with taking responsibility, they avoid it like the plague, lest they experience guilt and/or shame around it.  Unfortunately, the other person in the equation is often all too willing to assist the other in feeling guilt or shame for egoic reasons—or to extract their pound of flesh, their pint of blood.

While I certainly do not want to oversimplify these complex and multi-faceted issues, we could say that all of those items can boil down to one core cause: insufficient esteem for the self; a lack of healthy and appropriate ego development. Except in the case of actual physical abuse, there is no reason other than a lack of esteem for yourself—knowledge of your competence to communicate it and your belief that you deserve to be happy—to explain it. AND, in the case of actual physical abuse, if the individual is staying in that system—and therefore participating in it—we can trace it to the same core: a lack of esteem for the self; that they deserve better and take action to make it so.

Without boring you by vivisecting all of those problem dynamic bullet points let’s cut to the quick of it: we could trace all of the problems in relationships down to 4 basic common denominators, 3 of them completely resolvable, and the 4th, quite often possible to resolve:

  1. Anemic esteem for the Self
  2. Underdeveloped facility – both emotionally as well as communication skills
  3. Lack of knowledge of effective communication models or processes
  4. A collision of worldviews at the level of values

We will address solutions to items 1, 2, and 3 in Part 2. For a partial examination of the 4th item, I will point you to another article on that subject HERE.

 

 You can proceed to Part 2 of this article: The Solutions «HERE».

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Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication, Part 2

Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication, Part 2

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 2: The Solutions (1100 words, average reading time: 4.5 minutes)

[Part 1 can be found HERE]

 

I have a very simple approach to relationships, that avoids most, if not all, of the problems outlined in the interpersonal conflicts above. It is the philosophical grounding I take on in all of my relationships explicitly:

  • Realize—and accept—the fact that no one way of approaching relationships, communication, or conflict is the “right way”. That there is no consensus agreement or reality except that which you form with the Other. They are simply different styles…therefore take this on as an organizing principle and act accordingly: 
  • Give the other person the freedom to be however they want; to be self expressed free from attempts to control them or suppress them
  • Give yourself the freedom to be fully self-expressed—to be your authentic self
  • In the event that one person’s behavior upsets the other, the person who is upset makes a clear request to alter the offending behavior
    • If they accept the request, you now have an agreement
    • If they decline the request, you now know what to expect from them and have more understanding of each other’s approach to the world
    • Forge an agreement with the other that this is the way you will approach relationships and conflict

 

Simple.

It gives both parties maximum freedom to be themselves. It treats both parties like adults who are responsible for their own experience—and can express their needs. Everything is on the table and at face value. There is no second-guessing. There is no ambiguity. There are no guessing games or “game playing”.

And really, holding someone accountable to agreements they have not made—in the form of your unstated expectations—is simply unjust. It is also supremely arrogant, in that it assumes that “well, everybody knows that you should…” which can be translated at a deeper level of its assumption is “my way of doing relationships is the global standard”. 

Incredibly arrogant.

Your way of doing it may be more effective—and may even be more enjoyable for both parties if accepted by and engaged in by both parties—but it is not the only way to do it, and in the absence of an explicit consensus or agreement reality, you must create one.

As I said, it is simple. However, it is not easy.   

There are several things you must do and develop efficacy with for this approach to work and work well for both parties.  There is also a very effective way to communicate through those upsets before making your request (the last bullet point above). We’ll get to that in a few minutes.

First, here is what you must do:

Take on the recommended philosophical grounding and approach outlined in the bullet points above. 

Take responsibility. Don’t do it for them, or for the other person. Do it for yourself—as your esteem for yourself will expand and grow each time you accept responsibility. Your sense of self expands. It also has the effect of allowing people who are emotionally mature enough to follow suit and take responsibility for their part in it—rather than polarizing, blaming each other, and digging your heels in—to the detriment of the relationship and/or for the thin gruel of short-term ego inflation (as opposed to healthy egoic expansion, which occurs, again, by taking responsibility). 

Engage in as many other practices as possible to build true and healthy esteem for the self.  It is your immune system for your emotional life.

Make a firm decision to practice and exercise your facility with self.  At a bare minimum, know that even if your interpretations of what is occurring are mostly accurate, they are at least incomplete. Always look to include more information in your world-view. Expand your perspective.

More advanced practices to exercise your internal facility would be to consider:

  • How else could the events/their actions be interpreted?
  • Where else could the person be coming from?
    • What else—besides your disempowering interpretation/projection/guess—could be their motivations? Their intent? Their outcome?
    • What could their positive intent be?
    • Step into their shoes. What could their experience of you be right now? Is it positive? Neutral? Negative? What else is going on right now for them that is straining their resources?
    • What emotion is underneath their communication—and speak directly to and validate that before getting to facts and agreements

 

Take on a responsible and conscious model for communicating your emotions, expectations, and for requesting an agreement around styles.

All three of those can be addressed by one simple model—in 4 steps. For this, I borrow heavily from Dr Marshall Rosenberg’s work. Here is my suggested approach to communicate upset and negotiate an agreement:

  1. State the emotion responsibly [“responsibly” is explained below in step 1]
  2. Take responsibility for the unstated/un-agreed-to expectation
  3. Make a request
  4. Get an answer

 

Let me provide an example of the kind of language to accomplish this, mapped to the steps, with some guidelines. Let’s take an innocuous example of someone not calling you and they then arrive 20 minutes late [recommended language in bold]:

 

  1. I am noticing I am experiencing anger [or worry, or frustration, or ____________”… [not “you made me angry”, “It pisses me off when you do that”, etc. Not everyone would be angered by it. It is your interpretation and your expectation causing the upset—not some external force or person;
  2. That’s because I have an expectation that people will call if they are going to be more than  _____  minutes late…
  3. So my request is that from now on, if you are going to be more than _____ late that you call and let me know.
  4. Is that something you are willing to agree to…or not? [yes and no must both be fine answers, otherwise it is a demand/boundary declaration, not a request. Give them the freedom to say no]

This model can be used with any situation between two people where there is emotional upset present to elegantly and rapidly move through it.

And…to turn this in on itself, you could use this very model to get agreement around using this model. In fact, I highly recommend you do that.

How? Here is the model used to get agreement around the model:

 

  1. I am noticing I am frustrated by the way we have been communicating when we are upset or in conflict
  2. That’s because I have an expectation that it could be done in a way that would honor us both, while moving through it rapidly
  3. So my request is that from now on, when we are upset, we use this simple 4-step process when we are upset  [show them the model—heck, show them this article]
  4. Is that something you are willing to agree to…or not?

 

Simple.

If there is an actual agreement in place that was broken, there is another equally facile way to move through that…but I will save that for another time.

Some people have protested, “but this takes so much consciousness” or “so much awareness” or “but they should just know that…”

You have to choose for yourself if the relationship—intimate or friendly or professional—is worth increasing your consciousness and your skill. And it is a skill to navigate both your own interiors as well as the conflict using these approaches and models. Since it is a skill it will take practice—and give yourself the freedom to stumble until you become skilled at it.

What awaits you on the other side is fulfilling relationships based on clarity and truth—rather than assumptions and delusion—as well as the ability to rapidly move through conflict so that it takes just minutes, rather than days—or, frankly, never—to do so. AND these are approaches and skills that will serve not only you, but all of those around you in every single context and every relationship in your life.

Do it for yourself, if nothing else.

I think you’re worth it. I trust you do as well.

 

For more clarity and resources on the critical component of self-esteem, see Dr Nathaniel Branden’s work in general, and his Six Pillars of Self Esteem in particular. Here is an articleHere is an articleHere is an articleHere is an articleHere is an article to get you started.

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Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego | Expand and Dissolve Rather than "Annihilate"

Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego  | Expand and Dissolve Rather than "Annihilate"

We have been sold a bill of goods around ego. One that creates internal division and conflict. One that creates internal dissonance. One that creates pain. One that, at its worst, can foster a certain degree of self-hatred. A dis-ownership of the self. A bill of goods that is 2,500 years old in terms of its story around ego, the nature of ego, and the "problem" of ego.

And there is a better way. One that can create the same intended result with a kinder, gentler more self-accepting approach that can accelerate the evolution of the ego through the radical acceptance of expanding the ego, rather than attempting the psychological and spiritual suicide of ego annihilation. 

You can also see some similar themes around ego in the business context, read this article:  Self-Esteem and the Solo-Preneur | Internal vs. External Locus of Responsibility for an even deeper cut, taken from an email I sent a client a couple years ago, read Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter.

Ok...ready? ::: Heh.

A quote from Ken Wilber I posted spawned an in-depth, yet brief—discussion on the nature and evolution of ego, Spiral Dynamics, the Integral community, and related topics, including the difference between cognitive development and actual development ::: the difference being understanding vs emotional response and being, or stated differently ::: one’s “center of gravity”.

The style is conversational, as it was an actual conversation.

Below are excerpted comments in the thread that followed. The order of some of the comments have been changed for continuity of the discussion, and for flow. Some have been deleted for the sake of relevance. If you want to see the full, unedited thread for yourself, you can see that HEREHEREHERE. The edited and streamlined version is below for your reading enjoyment.

The quote that started it all :::

“The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.” --Ken Wilber 

Of course, I cannot speak for Ken Wilber—nor will I attempt to.

Simultaneously, I have read and listened to most of his stuff. As a result, I can certainly imagine—to varying degrees of accuracy—what he is speaking to, so I will attempt to translate him.

AND this will be based on my own experience after 19 years of conscious work, clearing, and self-examination and evolution—AND based on my work with over 200 clients one-on-one in my Personal Evolution Program, which lasted [when I used to do that work]  about 7 months--designed to accelerate the evolution of their ego ::: to widen their embrace. To increase their ease. To reduce their fear. To eliminate most of their anger. To increase their esteem for the Self.

So I may be and will be projecting/hallucinating…and it will be accurate—to varying degrees. Your mileage may vary.

So…what is “ego”? Most in popular spiritual and psychological circles will say we must transcend our ego, or worse ::: “annihilate it”. Is this healthy? Is this ecological? Does it suit the ecology of the environment we exist in?

The ecology of the self?

Is “ego what motivates us” as Pi asserts? Perhaps sometimes, yes. perhaps always—sure.

And the question for me becomes, motivates HOW? From what stage? Because, you see, we will be motivated differently from different stages, for different reasons.

For me, ego is essentially the seat of our consciousness. Where it rests and comes from. Not its Source. Its Source is the very kosmos ::: consciousness with a capital C. 

James Reidy suggested as a definition :::

Ego: n. a person's conscious and unconscious beliefs about their own identity. 

To which I responded ::: think of it as a prism through which Spirit is shining. A prism the light of God Consciousness shines through [and is skewed to varying degrees]. To the degree the stuff you are talking about is clear and or conscious is the degree to which it is god/dess, spirit, the very cosmos. I would say the stuff you are talking about is the dirt on the glass. 

Which is what I think Ken Wilber means when he says:

 

“The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine."

 

Everything is a perfect manifestation of the divine. That is the essence of non-dual reality. AND of course, even duality is held within non-duality. It must be. Spirit does not judge. We do.

And if we are careful to incorporate stages, the ever-increasing, ever-widening waves and stages and levels that one passes through, plateaus at, regresses and contracts to on occasion—where our emotional reactions come from and where our interpretations are filtered through—whether we use Kolberg, Gilligan, or Gravesian models to determine our “stage” ego can not be transcended.

It cannot be annihilated—with one exception. Blowing your brains will do it.

Death will do it.

And this is the problem I have with most “gurus” is they set up a massive internal conflict or increase internal dissonance/discordance with their idea about annihilating the ego. Their 2-dimensional, either/or relationship to ego. Which is what I think Ken Wilber is pointing to when he says :::

“The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one."

AND it is only their ego that wants you to annihilate yours—to submit to them.

However, we can get the same intended results of openness, expansiveness, acceptance, with a more ecological and holistic understanding of ego. And with that understanding, what we CAN do is evolve it. Expand it. Have it occur as more diffuse. So wide and so diffuse it needs no protection. It needs no assertion. It has nothing to prove.

It will occur like a transcendent ego. It will look like “ego-less-ness”. What it actually looks like it the ever-expanding upward spiral. AN unfolding. A larger embrace.

Let me ask you what kind of ego can be “one with all things that are arising…moment to moment…even now”? I’ll tell you what kind of ego—a huge fucking ego. A wide and high ego. A diffuse ego. An ego so large that feedback or other’s attacks are accepted and absorbed into it like a still lake. it is also a subtle ego.

Unfortunately we are used to seeing very loud, pre-rational egos, and calling that “ego”. Yet it is an underdeveloped, uncertain ego than needs to be a gross [vs subtle], hard, reactive, ego. A defensive ego. Not a huge, well developed ego. A large, expanded ego is subtle and diffuse.

Simultaneously, their presence can be very powerful. When they look at you, their gaze often sees deeper into you than you have into yourself, which can be very uncomfortable for some. For others, habit forming.

Wilber again: "…and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego"

AND as I am fond of saying ::: the biggest ego trip in the kosmos is thinking you can or will ever “transcend” your ego.

However, we can expand it, evolve it, and have it so developed and so diffuse that it occurs “transcendent” for most people—because there is little resistance. There is so much confidence that you do not need to prove yourself—even to yourself. It allows you to more easily look in the mirror. To accept where you are wrong and have wronged.

There is a true freedom there. The freedom that Wilber speaks to, I believe. And resting there…is fun in the quiet joy kind of way.

Derek Arckis said :::

Another example is: 'Awareness alone is curative'. Yes, this works well as well, if you don't have to come back into the world (Samara) and socially function via emotions and affect response / motive (seat of ego). Not so subtle if you ask me. Awareness of the great intensity of feeling through the burning off of karma is much more realistic and painful, yet truly evolutionary, rather than blowing (ungrounded) in the high winds of a brightly lit day (merely enlightenment). 

But who wants to bypass the quick and dirty and do the actual work to truly evolve (in the egoic sense, rather than mere cognitive experience)?

Exactly … AND what it takes to get there—is work. Being vigilant in our awareness. The subtleties of our awareness. Subtle effort. And in that, is freedom. When re-relax into the Witness—our ever-present awareness—we are there in the atmosphere of enlightenment.

I understand this turns the popular idea of ego on its head. I get that. I also get that Wilber and Cohen [not Cowan] have both talked about this in passing—briefly. At least the idea that it is a big ego that is an enlightened ego—and the obviousness of the stages in all of their work.

Why they still talk about it in two-dimensional terms I am uncertain of. I have one major guess ::: They are speaking into the existent memes and tapping those associations, rather than attempting to undertake the effort to recode and reframe over 2,500 years of entrenched traditions.

Given they are some of the very few who understand this, that is my guess.

AND who knows?

They do. He does. Some part of you does … even now.

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Quadrant-Based Model for Esteem for the Self

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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