Stren #40: The Self-endorsement Response

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          Today’s stren considers the fifth of the eight choices available to our will power to transform information into action.  I have labeled it the self-endorsement response because it is the means by which we generate the emotional energy we require to assume responsibility for our destiny.  

          Endorsement means to approve and/or support.  This “becoming your own best friend” mental skill, though vital, is one of the most neglected.  Helpless at birth, we depend on others for many years.  Most of us learn to provide for our own physical needs and would be offended if some “other” tried to attend to our feeding, dressing, bowel care, and so on.  Yet, I observe that those adults who regularly provide their own minimum daily requirement (MDR) of self-endorsement are in the minority.  Do you know individuals who are overly sensitive to what others think?  Those I call “love junkies,” individuals who remain dependent on others’ approval for much of their self-worth?  Approval is the major source of the mental energy that powers our mind.  It is the basis of what we call “will power.”

          Unlike blaming, which we express quite instinctively and effortlessly, we only learn self-endorsement through willful mental action.  With the intensification of approval, we generate increasingly higher levels of energy as follows:   

                                                       approval → endorsement → enthusiasm → love

Love is an intense, affectionate concern and enthusiasm for a person, object, or belief.   Self-endorsement is so critical because the ability to love another grows from our skill in loving our self.  How do you understand “Love your neighbor as yourself”?  Love is not to be confused with sex.  Our sexual organs contain receptors that receive and relay messages, usually pleasurable, to older, more primitive areas of the brain.  I find it interesting that the brain’s pleasure area is closely related to the area that deals with aggression.  Love, on the other hand, is a willfully created and expressed activity of the latest to evolve portion of our brain, the cerebral cortex.  Love and sex often go well together but they can also be quite unrelated.    

          Here is an easy way to evaluate if you are providing your minimum daily requirement (MDR) of endorsement.  Imagine you could tape your thinking, the conversations you carry on with yourself in your head.  Replay segments of it.  Does what you hear sound like a conversation between best friends?  No putdowns or blaming?  How much endorsement, support, warmth, friendliness, problem-solving, and good feelings are expressed?  How often do you hear, “I like what I did,” “Good job,” “I’m such a hot sketch,” and sustained enthusiasm for your life’s experience?

Secondary endorsement is an important, special expression of self-endorsement.  Since endorsement is one of our most important mental acts, we are wise when we reinforce the skill of self-endorsement by endorsing our self for endorsing our self.  “Attaboy! (Attagirl!)”  Congratulations to me for remembering to endorse myself.”