Emotional Self Endorsement transcript
Good feelings stir us to continued action. Immediate satisfaction is critical to sustain the work and practice required to attain the natural rewards of virtually every important skill, viz. getting an education, sustaining a relationship, keeping physically fit, playing a musical instrument, growing a garden, and – most importantly – growing our capacity for loving our self and others. Emotional endorsement is the main source of immediate satisfaction that allows us to enjoy the work we do now in order to attain more satisfaction later. Knowing we are doing something worthwhile is intellectual endorsement; its satisfaction is usually weaker than emotional joy. Joining emotional endorsement to intellectual endorsement provides the most effective incentive to continue our efforts.
How often have you known what you believed was the wisest and best thing to do, but instead did what felt better at that time? Get the idea? Understanding simply isn’t enough!
Few people know how to emotionally endorse themselves. We get little training in this skill. You know how to say to yourself, “I did a good job,” or, “That was nice,” but after you say those things you go right on to the next worry or problem to be solved. You don’t extract all the honey you can from your efforts. Yet you are probably more than well-developed in the opposite of emotional self-endorsement, self-blame. When you become intellectually aware of a shortcoming, you experience guilt, shame, or embarrassment within every fiber of your being. Most of us are so practiced at blaming-in that the negative feelings come automatically, seemingly without effort or intention. Could you imagine that you can teach yourself to create good feelings with the same ease that you “naturally” feel guilty, embarrassed, ashamed or depressed? You can! ... if you become aware of how to endorse yourself emotionally and practice doing so.
Since you know how to emotionally blame yourself, you already have the skills for emotional self-endorsement. The problem is that you direct your emotional endorsement to others. Think of the times you’ve expressed yourself in such a way as to stimulate a response from a dog -- you know how to get that dog to wag its tail, shake its behind, and get thoroughly excited. You’ve probably called forth great enthusiasm in doing the same kind of thing with a child. You’ve even emotionally endorsed food. “Wow! Look at that fantastic, gooey ice cream creation!” Recall the enthusiasm with which you’ve applauded a great musical performance or cheered for your team at a sports event. You just haven’t had much direction and experience in emotional self-endorsement, in “wowing” yourself. The skill is there; it simply needs to be directed to yourself. Most people are familiar with directing emotional blame to themselves, but unfortunately they were taught that it’s “selfish” to emotionally endorse themselves. One man recalled being told, “Praise only counts if it comes from someone else.” (This is one reason most of us become so dependent on what we imagine others might be thinking about us.)
When you do something worthwhile (i.e., your “reasonable best,” which is virtually always in your control!!!), imagine a gala brass band marching down Main Street. Two people are carrying a banner that stretches across the whole street with streamers being tossed about, and people are cheering you from their windows. There you are, smack in the middle of the parade, smiling proudly and waving, “Yep, I did it all right. It was me.” Such a self-endorsement tool in your repertoire is much more likely to call forth your emotions than an intellectual, flat, “That was O.K.” Use this image and/or create your own as a regular self-endorsement tool.
Some people can use or develop their existing creative imagery and fantasy to initiate enthusiasm. Others find it easier to call forth feelings of joy, inspiration, and enthusiasm from prior experiences. Make a mental scrapbook of times you’ve felt loved, got a pat on the shoulder, experienced joy, happiness, or enthusiasm. Permit yourself to call these “snapshots” forth to re-create similar good feelings. Combine past experience with the present creative imagery to develop the results you want.
Experiment by creating your own skills in emotional self-endorsement. Try it when you wake up in the morning. What do you say to yourself when you first look in the mirror? “What a hot sketch I am!”? Or do you say something else? If you are like most people who are practiced in the art of emotionally self-blaming, but are weak in emotionally endorsing yourself, apply your conscious awareness to nurture self-endorsement. Your efforts will be amply rewarded. Practice! Practice! Practice!
The next four wisdoms will recognize the three masters who govern our life’s experience, how we free ourselves from our early dictators, and the powerful tool that enables us to become a powerful creator and make our life’s experience joyous and meaningful. Then we’ll resume with a number of proven self-endorsement wisdoms.
Once you recognize the value of self-endorsement and begin to combine both intellectual and emotional self-endorsement, you can initiate the skill of creating good feelings as an effortless habit. Your task will become much easier if you develop the skill I call “secondary endorsement.” Secondary endorsement is endorsing yourself each time you engage in the very, very worthy act of endorsing yourself!
If you’re like most individuals, you have either been discouraged from emotionally endorsing yourself or you never received effective education in this powerful skill. Your first experiences with generating emotional self-endorsement will be a bit like forging a path through the jungle. Unless regularly cultivated, the new path will soon be overgrown until not even a trace of the hard-to-cut path remains. The long established negligence in taking care of your emotional needs and self put-downs re-appear and will, predictably, soon overpower the new.
When you endorse yourself, you are engaging in one of the most constructive acts available to you. Self-endorsement inspires immediate encouragement for constructive acts whose natural rewards may not come until far in the future. Self-endorsement is the secret of creating patience, which is a required ingredient for all sophisticated skills. Therefore, give yourself credit each time you endorse yourself.
“Hurrah! Congratulations to me for endorsing myself. That’s worthy of a special bonus. I deserve to endorse myself for endorsing myself.”
Here is one of the most common observations: “Behavior that is rewarded is repeated.” Since self-endorsement is one of the most constructive means to build your mental strength, regularly practice secondary endorsement until it becomes automatic and effortless. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that secondary endorsement will rapidly build mental muscles that you will be proud to own.
Secondary endorsement is the opposite of secondary blaming. Secondary blaming is blaming yourself when you realize you continue to put yourself down. It’s putting yourself down because you see that you are still putting yourself down and you “shouldn’t do that!” Once you recognize this tendency of, as one person described, “shoulding” on yourself, self-putdowns will become apparent, like a blinking light bulb. By now, you may be wise enough to label instances of blaming-in. You are working to stop putting yourself down when you make an error, when you “do what you shouldn’t,” or “don’t do what you should have.” But since you, like most people, are a creature of habit, it will be only a matter of time before you recognize you are still blaming yourself. You say, “I’m so stupid; I should have learned that by now!” Secondary blaming is far more persistent than secondary endorsement. This is because most of us get more training in putdowns than pull-ups. “Pull-ups,” i.e. self-endorsements, serve you better than putdowns.
Here’s a bonus tip on secondary blaming. When you recognize that you are engaged in blaming or any variety of negative thinking, instead of the usual put-downs because you’re still putting yourself down, remind yourself that the very act of recognizing your negative self-talk is worthy of a self-endorsement. Instead of pulling yourself down with each act of blaming-in, endorse yourself for the important act of recognizing your negative thinking. Then add a secondary endorsement to reinforce your new behavior. When you endorse yourself for endorsing yourself, you pull yourself up and keep yourself up.
Just as secondary blaming is a variation of blaming yourself, secondary endorsement is a special variation of self-endorsement. Teach yourself to become consciously aware of any endorsement you initiate when you do something worthwhile. As soon as you recognize that you’re endorsing yourself, enthusiastically call forth images such as blinking lights, musical accolades, and cheers as your signal to automatically trigger the secondary endorsement you deserve for endorsing yourself. This reinforcement can escalate the intensity of the immediate pleasure you experience and create the energy you need to overcome your old, established, negative patterns. Once the patterns of blaming, avoidance, worry, and helplessness/hopelessness are established within you, they cling tenaciously until you substitute the positive pattern of self-endorsement.
Practice: Endorse yourself again each time you catch yourself endorsing yourself.