I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time. ~ Carl Jung
In my coaching practice, I have found that beneath the animal instincts, egotism and frustrations, lies a treasure trove of Spirit. This Spirit seeks to truly connect with other human beings, to be of service to humanity, to seek purpose and meaning in life and to self-actualize and self-transcend.
Beneath the animal instincts, egotism and frustrations of Man,
lies a treasure trove of Spirit.
My experience as a psychologist and life coach has born out countless variations of the same phenomenon: that we human beings carry within us the potential to connect to our own self-actualized and self-transcendent selves and to express deeds of profound meaning from this part of ourselves.
I also have recognized how uncommon it is for people to truly connect with this part of themselves. This is largely due to parental, educational and societal pressures to conform our thoughts and beliefs. Conformity asks of us to disregard the inner voice of our Essence, i.e. WHO WE ARE. This inner intelligence is the primary source of information available to us in terms of what will truly fulfill us and awaken our natural vitality and joie de vivre.
It is the norm for people nowadays to feel disconnected from themselves. People feel that they are not living up to all the confusing expectations that their parents and society expect of them. They have little contact with their inner intelligence, the source of personal fulfillment. Their goals drive them to fulfill external demands that provide them with little self-actualization.
The sense that we are constantly measuring ourselves and coming up short, is reflected in the rampant low self-esteem which our generation experiences.
After a lifetime of measuring ourselves we become wired to continuously measure ourselves to determine our value. We also become wired to give ourselves low-scores in these self-assessments. To us, it sounds like a negative, harsh critical voice that follows us around criticizing us. When we expose clients to praise, positivity or spiritual positive approaches to seeing themselves (i.e. “You are a beautiful child of God”) the mind almost instantly rejects these notions as hokum as they contrast these external positive thoughts to their deeply ingrained negative beliefs.
Taking an approach that will not be instantly rejected by the psyche as wishful thinking became an essential component of the work I engaged my clients in. While I do believe that human beings are great, spiritual beings clothed in the garments of our negative thinking, it would do my clients very little good to just lecture them on MY BELIEFS. I therefore cannot ask clients to STOP measuring themselves completely at this initial stage.
Instead, I ask my clients to identify core values that provide satisfaction and fulfillment and to redirect their self-measurements to these values. In this stage, clients shift from measuring themselves on external values (e.g., money, power) that provide very little payoff to measuring themselves exclusively on THEIR core values that provide joy and fulfillment (e.g. service, spirituality). The mind does not reject this as easily because the values they are using come from their own mind and they are still measuring themselves by some criteria.
Many people who have used this approach have benefitted from redirecting their internal self-evaluations from an external locus to an internal locus of their choosing. This has allowed them the freedom to pursue what truly fulfills them. They have reported major improvements in their self-concept and self-esteem that have been tracked and measured using psychological instruments.
Once people allow themselves to stop caring about external values that give no real payoff, they are freed to focus on what they really do care about. Their Core Values.
After a period of enjoying the benefits of listening to the intelligence of our core values, the notion that self-measurement may not be necessary becomes plausible. The notion that we are spiritual beings who can enjoy being ourselves without having to do anything becomes a possibility.
What emerges in many clients I have worked with is a new appreciation for what they relate to as their “Self.” This deeper notion of the Self may be referred to as our Essence, that is, WHO WE REALLY ARE independent of what we do.
A connection with your Essence leads you to a realization that your entire self-evaluation process is predicated on a belief that you must be productive to have worth. You must do something to have value as a human being. Yet, when you connect with your Essence, you will experience, perhaps for the first time, the sense that “you are great just the way you are.”
When you connect with your Essence you will experience the sense
that “you are ok, even great, just the way you are.”
Clients often report that their need for “the rat race” comes into focus as irrelevant to their values and goals. Over time, the part of yourself you will begin to relate to as “the real me” is in fact your Spirit and the need to measure yourself decreases and ultimately dissipates. Your work in The Valued Self has already removed you from the rat race of external values, but consider that even your Core Values can be a way of negatively evaluating yourself (“I am not doing enough “service,” so I’m not good enough”). Consider that you are now ready to give EVEN THAT up. Paradoxically, we you do so, you will become more productive than ever, because you will be fully self-actualizing, not because you have to, but because YOU LOVE DOING IT.
The knowledge that your Core is intrinsically “good enough” allows you the freedom to act and express yourself from a new place. People who were previously motivated to fulfill their values from a need to be worthy and valuable as people, recognize that they no longer need to fulfill their values to be worthy. They recognize that they were worthy all along, because they contained their Essential (Essence-Centered) Selves within them from the start.
This Core calls upon all of us to express our Core Values, because we sense that this is what we are here for. This is a very different “place” to be motivated from internally: we know we are worthwhile and nothing can add or detract from that, yet we want to express our Core Values because this is the most fulfilling expression of our Essential Selves. We are motivated from what we want to do, not from fear that we will not be worthwhile, but from a desire to be us.
The results are magnificent: Instead of anxiety and depression – clients feel fulfillment and vitality.
Just a baby knows it is a beautiful being worthy of love, deep within all of us is the Essential Self, which knows it is valued beyond measure.
The tools I offer you in our training program are the tools I use every day on myself and my clients to continue removing the layers of external values, instinct and ego until your Essential Self becomes freed to get what it needs so you can fully and joyfully fulfill your Life Purpose.
From The Essential Self by Dr. Elliott B. Rosenbaum