What defines success?
Is it the outcome, or how others see you? Outside-in process. OR Is it how you see yourself? Inside-out process.
The outside-in process keeps the reins of your success outside of you so that you must keep performing to feel a sense of self-esteem – leaving you with an external locus of control. This is a state wherein your self-esteem dwindles between successes and requires constant attention to remain buoyed.
The inside-out process is the opposite. One develops an internal locus of control and is buoyed from within between successes and even through failures or difficult trials. This is what we want to develop in ourselves and our children so that we can weather the storms of life.
When you get kudos for something you did, it can pull you away from what’s inside, or who you are, especially if the thing you accomplished did not develop out of an internal drive toward something but rather to make another happy. It puts you at cross-purposes where you are working to get the kudos but not necessarily focusing your energy onto your own goals.
If you are pulled forward toward the creation of something by an inspiration from within, then the kudos for that thing transcend the exterior into the true self, and connect directly with your self-esteem. This can be enhanced by the support of others but develops you along the path you have identified for yourself.
The development of self-esteem is an internal process.
If you are helping a child develop his or her self-esteem it is an internal process that is guided from the outside.
It requires a type of mindfulness that applies lovingkindness, compassion and perspective toward the child with an intuition of what is happening within him or her. It is a reinforcing of his or her internal talents and vocations.
Self-esteem is caring about, having a fondness for, and connection to, ones self in a balanced and harmonious way. Don’t think narcissism, think joy de vive – it’s a gentle sweetness. Self esteem is an energy that says I can do it – or I can’t do that but it’s ok, I’m ok. It’s accepting and strong, both.
When you are developing a positive self-esteem within your child, successes and accomplishments and people being proud of him or her are necessary. This looks outside-in, but it is actually a reinforcement of inside-out behavior.
The way in which this is promoted or encouraged is though en –courage -ing. Distilling the inner courage by taking advantage of courageous opportunities. Successes are not required for this to develop, however having triumphs over small conflicts is very helpful.
Mindful intuitive guidance helps to focus those opportunities so that the child can move through to see the growth and expansion he or she can create. Courage is the energy of moving through the fear of something to see that you can do it. It is also the energy that embraces how we are different and unique, and how these unique talents may create opportunities in our life-path, embracing the whole of who we are.
The utilization of mindfulness as a way of navigating our environment increases our understanding of ourselves and others.
Mindfulness incorporates an integrated spiral inspiration and expiration of sensing information, while remaining connected to that inner compass of spirit-self.
Cool image don’t you think – an integrated inspiration and expiration of sensing information while being connected to that inner compass of spirit self, – I see it as the spiraling dna-structure or a kundalini spiral of energy.
I once experienced a kundalini spiral of energy. It began at the base of my spine and swiftly moved up along my spine through all my chakra energy centers. I had the most cathartic and joyful feeling rising through my body. It was automatic and profoundly joyful. It was like a laugh or cry of joy that began deep within me and then rumbled out quite unexpectedly and rather forcefully and uncontrollable like a sweet little belch of happiness. I can only lightly remember the whole of the experience – much like birthing my child – only remnants of the experience remain. I believe this is partially because the full emotional and visceral qualities of the memory are not held within my mind but within my body.
The full body memories seem to be re-kindled when involved in a similar activity.
Self-esteem has the same quality of wholeness. Feeling a sense of self-confidence can be re-kindled when participating in a similar experience or activity whence once you built it. It’s one of the reasons that once you have a habit of success with something you want to repeat the experience or activity because it reinforces that sense of self-confidence or self-esteem.
It’s also why using repetition can ingrain a greater sense of self-confidence. The trick is to practice the activity correctly so that what is entrained is positive and en-courage-ing. You want to avoid, side-step, setting into place a negative habit reaction pattern. This relates to activities like math, and gymnastics, and bicycle riding, but it also applies to social interactions, problem solving, and facing fears.
Mindfulness increases your connection to yourself so that you can have a more accurate ability to focus your positive energy toward your own successes and growth. Teaching mindfulness to your child increases your child’s capacity to find courage and attain an inner sense of en-courage-ment.
Watching my daughter practice her gymnastics I observe how perfectly she stands on the beam, and I am grateful to her gymnastics coach for teaching her small components that en-courage her to continue and build her inner self-confidence through her constantly developing spiral of success. Step-by-step she moves toward her own internal goal of perfection through the mindful guidance of her coach who provides the requisite set of practices to allow her mind and body to develop the building blocks of self-confidence and then mastery.
Mindfulness is truly a treasure as it allows us to move back to center and en-courage our best self to come out and play. It en-lightens our awareness, and increases our connection to our inner locus of control and develops a solid self-esteem.
Mindfulness is re-member-ing, re- connecting our experiences so that we can build on the components that best help us move toward our goals. Mindfulness is like my daughter’s fantastic gymnastic coach gently pulling us back to center, then adding a new move and refocusing us, and then moving on to keep adding the building blocks of success.
Use mindfulness to get a handle on what parts of your life are under your internal locus of control. If there are areas that feel like they are controlled from without, use mindfulness to bring you to center. Then with compassion and lovingkindness reframe, re-set your center so that you can connect or re-connect with your own positive self-esteem.
See you tomorrow.
January 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Love this! An awesome reminder that we have control of our successes and that we shouldn’t put that control in someone elses hands. We set out goals based on our perspective of success, not someone elses!