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Monday, February 15, 2010

Conquering Low Self Esteem

My Story
Recently, I was romantically involved with a man I enjoyed immensely. Little by little, I began to fear FEELING GOOD. I started to wonder, "This relationship feels amazing, what will I do when this ends?" So, as a way to control the issue I found a way that I would self sabotage the experience by rejecting him before he could reject me. He would tell me that he was falling in love with me and I would just blow it off and say to myself, "He can't be serious, this is just something he is saying to play me. Once I let my guard down and believe him then I will be vulnerable and he can hurt me. So, it's better that I just keep a little emotional distance so it won't hurt as much when it happens."

Later, in one of our conversations I told him that I was intentionally blocking myself from feeling his love and he was saddened. See, I have NO problem attracting a man into my life, but I have not yet sustained a healthy relationship. Shortly after, we had a discussion on self worth. He happens to be one of the most well read and practiced people in psychology. Once he realised that I was suffering from low self esteem he gave me a protocol to follow. It was funny, he was so matter of factly it reminded me of how a doctor would prescribe medication.

My Homework
Do the following exercises daily:

Morning and night I am to write out and complete the following with 10 replies to each:
"If I trusted myself 5% more..."
"If I accepted myself 5% more..."

In addition, I am to attend The Landmark Forum and read The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field by Nathaniel Branden.

I wasn't more than a page or so into the book before I started taking notes for my journal. By page 13 I was in tears. This book is EXACTLY what I needed. My self worth has been the ELEPHANT in the room that I was ignoring. I knew I was having issues with self esteem but I didn't realize how clearly I was sabotaging my efforts in health, career advancements, and romantic relationships.

The fact that I had an automatic expectation of rejection in my romantic endeavors is a huge red flag of self esteem.

Immediately, I identified with many of the signs of low self esteem such as:


  • ignoring my intuition, and rationalizing poor habits
  • being extreme and being hard on myself
  • having a hard time admitting
  • as soon as I made progress I would stop and act against the thing I know to be true
  • having an automatic expectation of rejection
  • seeing people as a source of approval or disapproval
  • finding ways to end the relationship before my partner could reject me
  • giving up, not following through to completion
  • getting distracted or frustrated
  • telling myself I didn't need to put out any content (value) since others were already doing it and talking about it. Who am I to do this? I am not inventing anything new, the information is out there for those who want it.
I am still in the early phases of reading this book and doing the exercises. However, I can already feel the enthusiasm bubbling within me because I KNOW that this is my obstacle to tackle. This is what is keeping me from attaining what I know deep down I deserve to have. This is what I need within me to have quality of life.

I look forward to giving a full review of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field and the Landmark Forum in the near future (before May) as well as sharing my results. If you have already attended the Landmark Forum or read this book I would love to hear how it has impacted you! In the meantime, I wanted to give you a heads up if you identified with anything I have mentioned above. No one deserves to feel this way, not even me! I would feel terrible if I withheld any information that empowered me in my life to anyone of my readers. We all deserve to feel good now and realize our dreams. I suggest that if you are not getting the results in your life that your truly want that you check out this book or follow the protocol that I currently am following.

I love you guys! :)


Chantal said...

Hi Lori, Wonderful post! I realize it's a lot easier to be honest with other people (like your readers) than admitting things to yourself. Just so you know, just by reading your blog, I've always so admired your optimism, energy, and honesty and have often used it to fuel some of the things I want to achieve in my every day life. Because I feel that you are such a wonderful person, I hope you can give the encouragement and optimism you give to others to yourself as well! Because as much as one should give and teach, you should also always equally look out for your own health and happiness.

I definitely know what you mean about self-sabotage though, and I've just put the book you mentioned on hold at the library! I think there are a couple things I could learn from it too :) Always all the best to you!

Nick said...

Wow Lori. This is so timely thank you for posting this and I look forward to seeing your progression... As I was reading I thought that is ME!!!!! Until today I didn't realize that self sabotage could be/ is rooted in self esteem issues! Thank you again beautiful for opening your heart,

Be well,

Biljana said...

Thanks for sharing Lori. We all got our elephants and it really takes mind work to grow enough to face it. Self sabotaging so easily rules undetected. I can relate so well.You are an exceptional woman and leader who's self-growth absolutely inspire others to act. Keep up the great work you do.

Many blessings,


Arthur Klein said...

IMHO this is the Yoga and you are moving from a 1-2 practice to a very advanced one. I have personally found when these things come to the surface they are the gifts from the Universe...

We are all snow flakes and although we basically do the same things and think similar thoughts it is the uniqueness of us all that makes the consideration of life so valuable to share and compare (in a healthy way) with each other... this is one of the concepts of Big Mind, collective consciousness... the spiritual google. The questions are so much more important than the answers.

I love your article because it not only give me more insight into you, my new and wonderful friend, it also gives me insight into myself... what a gift... at our best we are reflections of the best, worst and everything in between of each other..

much love,

Dave Chan said...

Hi Lori,
I really enjoy your blog! Years ago I attended the Landmark Forum, Advanced Course, and several of the related seminars. If you would like I can email you more about my experiences.

Goddess Alexandra said...

Hello Gorgeous!

I have read most of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and found it to be amazing! I got the cliff notes from Brian (philosophersnotes.com ;).

I have done lots of Landmark Education!! And, it has all been very useful on my journey!! I no longer participate in the program. I got to a point that it no longer resonated with me! But, there are extraordinary leaders and people that attend!!

Enjoy! :)



Bob Beliveau said...

Hi Lori,
Thanks for the post.
The many 'symptoms' of carrying a lens of misperception of 'low self-esteem' in your life has just been awakened!!! I am so happy for you!

Personally, I have witnessed phenominal improvements and core level changes in people who have used The LifeLine Technique (my earlier emails to you) Anyone out there choosing to move thru these and other 'limiting beliefs' with laser precision... and remove the root cause(s) of these symptoms trapped in the sub-conscious mind, The LifeLine Technique can be your trusted guide.
People are amazed at how much lighter, clearer and more available (mental, physical, spiritual) energy they re-claim, once they no longer experience 'triggers' from these once trapped emotions of the 'reactive thought banks' - stored in the limbic brain.
Dr, Darren Weissman was just interviewed on ABC Ch 7 in Chicago just 2 weeks ago, see http://tinyurl.com/yctfqg6
Can also see his new book just out and a FREE chapter d/l avail that lays out the ground work of the Triune Brain.

With Infinite Love & Gratitude,
~ I See You ~

Joe said...

Hi Lori,

I have participated in Landmark Education programs for a number of years and the programs have provided me with many breakthroughs in my life. Here is one that was and still is very important to me.

When I was in 6th grade I reluctantly performed in a talent show with my sister at school. I am Croatian and I didn’t want to perform Croatian songs in Croatian costumes (The guys costume kind of resembled a dress) because I really thought I would be made fun of. However we actually won the talent show and when I got back to class I got a huge applause. I was like WOW they really like me.

I figured out that if I performed well, people might like me and I could be popular. So I became very good at performing Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian music and actually achieved a great deal of success, but it was never enough. So I tried performing like other popular people or performed a different style that I thought was better. I switched in and out of bands or the people in them always trying to find the right recipe for popularity. It was like the search for the Holy Grail and I got frustrated and angry. I even resented the people I performed for because I HAD to do this for them to like me. Just me alone wasn’t enough.

While in the Landmark Forum I saw that I created this as a way to fix the problem of not being popular. It was in seeing this, that my relationship to it immediately altered and I was left with freedom. I didn’t need to use the music and performing as a way to be popular. I could actually just enjoy the music for the love of it and enjoy being with the people I am performing for.

Performing today is an incredible joy and privilege and it’s my gift to people. When I perform in front of people today I’m amazed at the relatedness we have with each other. It is as we’re in the same band together. I love seeing people leave happy and satisfied and that I was able to make a difference in their lives. That is just how awesome performing is for me today. Funny but when I stopped looking for being popular, I got popular.

I hope that answers your question.



Lori Painter said...

@ Chantal- Thank you so much! I hope you check in with me as we read the book together. I'd love to hear your experience.

@ Nick- I am glad that WE BOTH recognized the cause and not just the symptoms of the problem! Time to be done with low self esteem!

@ Biljana- Thank you! BIG HUG!!!!

@ Arthur- Hey yoga buddy! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts. Sorry I missed yoga on Sunday...see you this weekend! :)

@ Dave Chan- YES, I'd love to hear more! There is a an email link on my contact page.

@ Alexandra- Hello beautiful! I was totally going to check out if Brian did a cliff notes on this book. I am off to go check out philosophers notes! BTW, I loved the V Day vid you and Brian did together! You guys are too cute!

@ Bob- YES! I am awake! Thank you for all your support. I am going to check out the links you mentioned! :)

@ Joe- WOW! What a great story! Thank you for sharing! :)

CutistRawFoodist said...

Lori, you hit the nail on the head, girl! It was like reading my own self-sabotaging story. I find it harder to be "me" again since having two kids in suburbia. I've put on so much weight that I don't even recognize myself in the mirror. I used to be such a hottie, but even then I suffered from low self-esteem.

Most people think that attractive people can't possibly have those same issues, and they feel like it's a slap in the face. I am so proud of you, as attractive and successful as you are, to be human and real to your readers. Kudos, girl!!

jimtsutsui said...

Dear Lori,
Wow, you are so lucky to have a guy who did the Landmark Forum. I did it back in 1978 and have been happily married for the past 30 years. (We got married in 1980) The Forum helped me in sorting out the feelings, thoughts, and reactions that my mind would fire at me that were based on the past. I learned that most of what didn't work in my life, were all incidents from early childhood. By clearing up and completing these past events, it left me free and clear to enjoy my life, and especially my relationships.

Liza said...

I attended the Landmark Forum, Advanced Course and Self Expression Leadership Course all about 5 or 6 years ago. I credit Landmark with the quickest and longest lasting breakthroughs in my life. Reading books can be amazing, but nothing touched what I got out of Landmark. You've got to be open and ready, which, obviously, you are. There were other people around me who, in the long run, didn't get much. But those people weren't willing to do daily work on themselves and keep up with the things they had learned. I did Landmark in LA, where it looks like you will be, too. Always a huge crowd. Expect someone to be vocally skeptical and cause delay! The leaders are amazing - you may even find yourself attracted to him! So, basically, I couldn't imagine my life without having done these courses. (Especially because it lead me to a life coach and eventually to becoming a life coach myself.) Be ready for the rocky road, but what lies ahead is pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori,

I highly recommend the Landmark Forum and the other programs offered by Landmark Education (my favourites being the Self Expression & Leadership Program and Communication Access to Power).

Prior to completing the Landmark Forum in November 2008, I started my own dance business teaching people how to Latin dance on a part time basis. I started with barefoot Latin dancing classes on Friday nights. I wanted to expand to other locations, however, things never seemed to work. I was doing everything on my own and I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. It was frustrating and disheartening.

During the Landmark Forum and other programs I’ve completed with Landmark Education, I realised that I had created my dance business about me, I hadn’t been willing to ask for help, I hadn’t been willing to take on other instructors, I arrogantly thought that the students wanted only me and that I knew exactly what the students wanted. I actually resented the students/my customers for not wanting what I offered them. I was an arrogant, control freak and running things my way.

What I got out of Landmark Education’s programs is that by making the dance business about me and by not getting other instructors on board, I was limiting the number of people I could actually reach through dance. I let go of what I thought the classes and the business had to look like. I listened to the ideas that my students chatted to me about and actually put those into place. I gave up having to know everything. I gave up having to do everything on my own. I gave up having to look a certain way as a dance instructor. It has been quite a liberating journey!

Today, I am full time with my dance business; I have two instructors and two student supports on board with me; I run classes on Friday and Saturday nights from two studio locations and am currently looking to expand into other locations. Landmark Education’s programs have given me the courage and confidence to go for what I wanted and the freedom to be able to express myself through dance – because since I was a child, I always wanted to be dancer and I now realise that being a dance instructor and empowering others to dance is all part of my dance expression!


Anonymous said...

haha~ funny! thank you for your share~ ........................................

Greg said...

Hi Lori, I see how I would sabotage what I thought I wanted in life, being wanted by others and a growing career. Not until I took the Landmark Forum, did I realize how I was stopped by fear. There is an exercise in the course that had me get present to my fear.

A result since taking that course, 18 months ago I took on job change at my office. And now am seen as a leader in this function of the company.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your review. Nice information! Your content unique and meaningful about it. You doing very well job!.

LoveCompanion said...

Hi Lori, I can totally relate to this post also! ;) Thanks for sharing! hugs, Jenn

Amanda@thegrainsofparadise said...

Aloha! I just nominated you for a Sunshine Award! Check it out!


Anonymous said...

You're singing my song, honey. I am going to check out that book! Is it my imagination or is it true that a lot of beautiful women have self-esteem issues? It can't be easy to age gracefully with that kind of baggage. We need some clarity before the looks start to fade! Personally, I feel the storm coming. haha
Thanks for the post!
Karen D

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J.D. Meier said...

Have you explored the book, Feeling Good, by Dr. Burns? It's actually a pretty insightful book and Dr. Burns is generous sharing all of his know-how in plain English.

It's like a tomb of know-how for feeling good, finding motivation, improving self-esteem, ... etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori-

You seem like you're doing good work here. In the spirit of careful investigation, would you please take a look here: http://www.rickross.com/groups/landmark.html before you sign up for Landmark courses? Scroll down to the personal stories and start there. At least you'll have a fuller picture of what you may be getting into.

Good luck.