Your Attitude - Your Self-Esteem by Teresa King - HTML preview

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The second mouse orders up two shots of sour mash, pounds them both, slams each glass onto the bar, turns to the first mouse, and replies, "Yeah, well when I see rat poison, I collect as much as I can, take it home, grind it up to a powder, and add it to my coffee each morning so I can get a good buzz going for the rest of the day."

The first mouse and the second mouse then turn to the third mouse.

The third mouse lets out a long sigh and says to the first two, "I don't have time for this. I've got a date with a cat."

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Your Brain is Remarkable!

THE FOUR MAIN BRAIN WAVE PATTERNS

BETA - When you are being active, you brain is in what is called Beta.

ALPHA - When we begin to relax and focus our thinking. Alpha contributes to such things as meditation, hypnosis, REM sleep, dreaming, and day dreams.

THETA - This is a deeper level of brain wave. During Theta state, brain cells are able to restore their sodium and potassium levels, which is important for proper brain functioning. The sodium and potassium levels are involved in osmosis, which is the chemical process that transports chemicals into and out of your brain cells. After an extended period in the Beta state the ratio between potassium and sodium goes out of balance. It is how "mental fatigue” happens.

A short period in Theta for five to ten minutes can refresh your brain.

DELTA - The deepest of the brain wave frequencies.

It is the stage of non-REM sleep. Delta is the deepest, most rejuvenating stage of dreamless sleep. It also produces strong levels of reduced stress.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Chapter 4 The Standard of Excellence

“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.” Antoine de Saint

I have been writing about conditioning and comfort zones, however, I want to really get you to understand how the cause and effect of what has been happening to you and how it really affects your life.

It is called The Standard of Excellence

It’s not too often we look at the Standard of Excellence in light of our own way of doing things. It is usually compared to the Standard of Excellence to how a company performs, or a product performs, or an education system working toward a high standard of excellence, or the standard of excellence for sportsmanship.

However, it is perfectly “normal” to use The Standard of Excellence to our perceptions.

During our conditioning we have formed what is right and wrong. Our perceptions of what we have seen so far in our life are based on our experiences.

What we have read, what we have seen, and who our mentors have been, are a few places that we have learned our perceptions.

What is The Standard of Excellence for you?

The Standard of Excellence is what you decide is acceptable.

Here is an example:

You might know someone that is an absolute work hound. He/she works to make more money, and when not working at that purpose is working on living on a Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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clean esthetic environment, which might mean absolute organization, a scrubbed porch to a beautifully landscaped yard.

If that person was put into an environment that was less than his/her Standard of Excellence, then that person will clean up his/her environment to the best of his ability. If he doesn’t, he has done a very destructive thing to his mind and he/she has been short-changed.

He has learned to accept a standard of excellence that is not up to his own standard of excellence.

Let’s go into a relationship. You have probably seen the show, “The Odd Couple.” If not, here is a quick run down of that old sitcom. Two divorced men live together in an apartment. They both have jobs. One is Mr. Very Neat and the other is Mr. Slob. They each drive each other totally nuts.

The slob is happy being a slob and Mr. Neat is not happy living with Mr. Slob.

Mr. Neat, cleans, organizes, dumps ashtrays the minute a cigarette is crushed out, and dusts anything that looks like it needs dusting.

Mr. Slob, would rather live in his mess, and not be disturbed by Mr. Neat.

This causes a lot of funny situations as the two try to live together.

Unfortunately, this happens in real life, too, however there really is not much funny about the situation. A man marries a woman. The woman wants everything just so, which means the man needs to comply to make her happy.

Maybe he has to pick up his socks, before she turns the negative emotions on.

“Why do you always leave your disgusting socks on the floor for me to pick up?” she screams.

This is not aimed at men. There are many men who live with women who are slobs in their eyes, too.

His response will be whatever he is conditioned to respond. “Because I feel like it!” or “ I was going to pick them up!” or “Why do you always sound just like Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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my mother, if I wanted to live with my mother, I would never have married you!”

Or, maybe he doesn’t answer her at all. In fact, next time it is his socks, the towel and his jeans that conspicuously land on the floor.

Whatever the reason for any of the above, is all conditioned responses. The person cleaning up after the other, is in the “I’m being used” mode, and the one who does not have the courtesy to take thirty seconds of his time, stays angry and pushed to do something he doesn’t want to do.

The hurt one, feels unloved, for if the untidy one loved her/him, then he would pick up the socks every time, out of courtesy, out of respect or love, or to just plain avoid an argument.

In order for one to live without lowering his/her standard of excellence he/she must pick up those socks, because they refuse to live like that. It’s below his/her own standards.

The one who will not pick up the socks has a lower standard of excellence in this particular area of his/her life.

Now, these two are STUCK living together. What a mess.

So, the marriage goes on with ups and downs until both of their standard of excellence has dropped off the scale. She gives up and refuses to pick up the socks. Now, the house is full of socks, and one day, he goes to his drawer and finds no socks and is late for work. She has received her revenge.

He is upset and blames her because he has no socks.

Here is a common one:

She might leave the lights on. He might not want to pay the bills for the lights being on. She decides to make more money so they can have the lights on. He decides that money can be used for better purposes, and on goes the problems.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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She feels she is working extra time so she can have the lights on and the socks are still landing on the floor. One or both of them start eating more, or one or both of them start drinking to cover their upset, or one or both of them stop coming home because home is not, in this situation, where their heart is, until the relationship is almost beyond repair.

The kids watch and learn while all this is going on, creating their perceptions on life.

Then the big D (divorce) happens, as neither can take it anymore.

Oh my - what has happened here?

Do you think I am getting carried away with this marital problem?

Well, okay, maybe a little, however, this is how it can escalate from a BUMP of a problem to a mountain.

Is there a positive answer to any of the above?

YES.

The socks are the problem that one sees.

The lights being on, is yet another problem.

It’s not the lights; it’s not the socks. Truly, it is not the SOCKS; it is not the LIGHTS.

Think about it.

It is how the little things in life can grow huge over time because the real problem was never addressed. It is the way we communicate with one another.

Harry, I would really appreciate you picking up your socks. You’ve done it before for me. When you leave your socks on the floor, it makes me feel like you don’t care about me.

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Estelle, I’m sorry, I will try harder to remember.

Estelle, I was raised where every dollar counts, leaving the electricity on makes me feel like we are wasting money that can be put to a better purpose.

Harry, I get so tired when I don’t get enough light. My eyes are just not as good as yours are and many times, I get awful headaches. I will save in other areas, to make up for the lights being on.

Let’s make a deal, you pick up your socks, and I will use only the lights on in the room I am in, and I will try to do the best that I can do, to remember how it concerns you that the house is lit up like a forest fire.

Compromise, without using words such as ALWAYS and NEVER.

Always, and never are words that cause more battles than religions have caused wars.

Now back to Standard of Excellence. Each of us has a perception of what is important and what causes us to lower our standard of excellence.

Harry in the above example does not like wasted money. His standard is not to waste money.

She wants the home to be clean, but does not feel loved enough because he does not seem to care about how she feels about having to be stuck cleaning up after another adult.

Can this marriage work? Of course it can. It can work as long as the lines of communication stay open, and each is willing to make a few compromises to keep that relationship working. Marriage is not something that is all a bed of roses, it takes work to keep it working, and it takes understanding how the other feels, and the only way that one can know how the other feels is by having decent communication, without accusations and raised voices.

Of course, it also takes accepting responsibility for your own actions, which means maturing into a responsible person.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Now, suppose you are not living with someone with all the above chaos?

How does your own personal Standard of Excellence reflect on your life?

Oh, this is a good one:

I wish I knew exactly what part of your life you would like to improve, however, I need a general idea so I shall pull one out of mid air.

Is it okay to lower your Standard of Excellence?

Let’s say you are single, and you are renting a house. Your dream is to purchase your own house one day, however, you are saving for your dreams. Your standard of excellence is to have a lovely yard. You work, you plan your weekends so that you can keep up the lawn, your rose garden, and maybe even have a workshop that you are keeping organized.

Your boss offers you some overtime. You want to purchase your own house, so you start working overtime. Then you come home and park in front of the television set, letting your mind say it is okay, because you have worked overtime. One day, you take a look at your yard. You quickly get up, mow the lawn, take out a few weeds, but not all. A few things at your shop don’t get put back where they are belong because time is now less than what it was before.

Eventually, you have allowed your yard to not look so good, your workshop a bit messy, but your bank account is growing. However, to have that money, you have compromised your own standards of what you feel is important.

Now, you have choices here. Get up away from the television, do your yard, and get that shop picked up, then vow to yourself that you won’t let it grow to weeds and that every time you use something it will be put back into place.

Alternatively, you can lower your standard of excellence and decide that is okay, for now, for things to be a bit messy and learn to relax with your new game plan, or, you can hire someone to do your yard for you, and take a little longer to get your dream house.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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You need to take responsibility for your own actions. It certainly is okay to not have the most beautiful yard in the world. It certainly is okay to lower your standard of excellence, as long as you don’t do it more and more, until you look around and you wonder where that “real you” went.

Here is another example. You have just lost weight. You worked hard at it, you watched what you ate, you started an exercise program, and things are going great. You are proud of yourself to take control of that area of your life. You meet someone, fall in love, and nine out of ten times, you will lose a little more weight because you are in the euphoria of “being in love.”

Time wears on, your new partner takes up more of your time, you start dropping 20 minutes of your exercise plan, soon, you drop it completely out of your life, and before you know it that darn weight is back on you again, only this time, it’s worse than it was before.

What happened? Did you lower your standard of excellence? Did you learn to accept that the extra weight was okay, or did you lose your focus or change your priorities?

Can you lose it again? If so, can you keep it off? There is now a niggling doubt, and of course, self disgust, because you allowed yourself to gain it all back again. Then you start looking at yourself, and think, "Hey, this extra twenty pounds is not so bad, look at that fat neighbor down the street"… and soon you are allowing yourself to accept something that used to be very important to you.

Do you see how lowering your standard of excellence can affect how you feel about yourself, how you make excuses, how you allow little things to continue on until they become so overwhelming that they hard to face?

WHAT if you never did have a great standard of excellence in the first place, because the perceptions that you grew up with did not teach you what is accepted as “normal” in the society that you live in?

This can be from chewing with your mouth open to passing gas in public, to it is okay to have urine on the toilet rim, and not making the bed is no big deal. Your dishes are piled up and so you use a paper plate. Your yard has two junk cars in it, so why not a rusty old mower?

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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If you lived with slobs all your life, two things would happen - you would be a slob, or you would decide that it was unacceptable to live like a slob.

Now, if you are a slob, and your mate is a slob and your close friends are slobs, and this just does not bother you and your self-esteem is high and you are getting what you want out of life, you are making the money you want to make, you are happy at your job, and you are living in complete harmony in your environment, then that is your Standard of Excellence, but I am glad you are reading a self-help book ☺

I remember as a child, coming from a very poor background, thinking that if I saw a house that was clean and had some furniture, and had a television that those people were rich indeed. If they had a real dining room table with matching dishes, and food in their refrigerator, in my young mind they were as rich as rich can be. It was my perception.

When I went to live with my grandmother and I got mud on a doll and I put in the toy box, grandma came in and said. “What are you thinking? How can you put that doll back in that toy box with mud on it?”

“But, grandma,” I answered, bewildered. “I am going to take it out later to the fort I built.”

Grandma then said, “if you put it in with the other toys, then you are getting other toys dirty causing more work for yourself.”

“Oh, I didn’t think about that.”

Then she added, kindly, “Teresa, I know you are not used to having things in their place and everything in its place, and I know you don’t come from a home where everything is kept clean and tidy as this house is. In this world, there is no excuse for not keeping things clean. No matter how poor you are, soap is cheap and elbow grease takes your own desire and determination to improve your own living conditions. You can then have pride in all that you do, whether you have money or don’t have money, because you have given it your very best. There is no shame in being poor; there is shame when you allow poverty to keep you Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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from being able to hold your head just high enough to keep your nose out of the air.”

I sure miss my grandmother.

Take pride in what you do, and do the best that you can. Do not fear failure, we all fail, then we get up and brush ourselves off, and try again. Each time we fail, we learn yet another way to not do something. It is all in learning.

Each time we learn something new we take the risk of failing and stepping out of our comfort zone. Imagine, not learning how to walk for fear of looking silly when we repeatedly fall down, or not learning how to talk because we were afraid we could not say the words properly. Keep learning something new in perspective, and failure should not scare you at all.

Did you fear failure when you got on your first bicycle, or were you so excited about getting your bicycle that you took your falls until you mastered the bike?

Here is yet, another example:

You have set your Standard of Excellence very high for your grades in school.

In fact, you strive to get all A’s. You graduate, start college, and then decide to have a baby. Now, you have another responsibility, a baby, and you still want those A’s. Do you drop courses because you only got a “B” or do you accept a lower standard because now you have a baby to tend to?

These questions I ask you really don’t have answers. What they are doing is getting it so that you can set your own Standard of Excellence. If you see someone that is exceptional in your mind, you can learn by watching them and getting an idea of what you can do to improve the quality of your life. You can Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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add little decisions into your life. They can be as simple as deciding you will not leave the house unless your bed is made, all the way to having an organized drawer, to planning the time to do your laundry and shopping and organizing your time, to deciding that wearing curlers to the grocery store may not be acceptable to you.

Speaking of curlers in a grocery store, it reminded me of the time my sister told me she wanted some milk. She had her hair in curlers. She lived in a small town.

She snagged her three-year old daughter and snuck to the store, ever alert that no one knew her. Her daughter started pulling toys from the lower shelf in the store. So my sister said, “Put those back!” Her daughter didn’t comply so she stepped closer to her daughter saying, ‘I told you to put them back.!”

Her daughter then sat on the floor and started dragging her rear end across the floor screaming, “Please don’t beat me, mommy, don’t beat me mommy.”

Of course, by this time the whole store was staring and my sister, in her lovely curlers, mortified, paid for the milk, and rushed out of the store, blushing.

In case you are wondering, no, my sister did not beat her children. She never wore curlers to a store again. She did take her daughter to the store again, and that was very brave, indeed.

By watching successful people and acquiring some of their qualities, and not overwhelming yourself with trying to do too much at one time, you can improve your own self-esteem. Your self-esteem comes from inside. The more you do to improve how you feel about yourself by setting your own acceptable Standard of Excellence, the more you can achieve, and the better you can feel about yourself.

You are not the label on the clothes you wear. How many times have you purchased a pair of $60.00 Levis because they are a status symbol, rather than getting three pairs of quality jeans for the same price, or having the one pair and using the other $40.00 to build your future?

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Your perceptions cause your Standard of Excellence.

There is only one person who can raise your standard of excellence, and that is YOU. No one can do it for you.

The question is what is acceptable and what is not acceptable?

Can a person have low self-esteem and move mountains to always look perfect, always do everything right, because they feel if they don’t, no one will accept and love them? Or worse their own fear of failure makes them totally unable to relax about “normal” things in life.

Yes. A person can have all the outer things, cleanliness, name brand clothes, a nice car, a beautiful face and body and still have low self-esteem.

Brian Mesinger, PhD, a pediatric psychologist, states: "Self-esteem is the collection of beliefs or feelings that we have about ourselves. How we define ourselves hugely influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviors."

Self-esteem comes from the inside, not from the outside. Yes, we can put up values to how we will appear to others. We can put on our outer facade and still have low self-esteem. It’s an inner feeling of unworthiness.

However, if you put up such a high standard of excellence that you find fault in everything from: OH MY GOD… I have a pimple, and you don’t go anywhere in the big bad world because you have a flaw that others can see. You may not know it, but you have a problem with self-esteem.

It is normal to not like having a pimple. It is not normal to let that pimple ruin your whole day.

Poor self-esteem comes from the environment that you were raised in, and it takes some help to first recognize that you do live in, or have lived in a dysfunctional environment. You then have to acknowledge and meet it straight on so that you can enrich your life in a way that you may never have believed possible!

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Poor self-esteem can show in all different ways.

The class clown… - generally of low self-esteem - Acting up and disrupting others

The mama’s little helper - generally needs to help to feel needed and valuable The enabler - the one always helping others out of their own follies instead of putting the responsibility back on the person they are enabling. It is called

“Tough Love” when you decide to quit enabling someone.

Strong signs of low self-esteem can manifest in the following behavior patterns:

“Persons with low self-esteem:

Consider themselves lost, unworthy of being cared for.

Are poor risk takers.

Operate out of a fear of rejection.

Are typically unassertive in their behavior with others.

Are fearful of conflict with others.

Are hungry for the approval of others.

Are poor problem solvers.

Are fraught with irrational beliefs and have a tendency to think irrationally.

Are susceptible to all kinds of fears.

Have a tendency to become emotionally stuck and immobilized.

Have a poor "track record" in school or on the job; conversely, they sometimes over compensate and become over-achievers.

Are unable to affirm or to reinforce themselves positively.

Are unable to make an honest assessment of their strengths, qualities, and good points; they find it difficult to accept compliments or recognition from others.

Have poorly defined self-identities with a tendency to be chameleons in order to fit in with others.

Are insecure, anxious, and nervous when they are with others.

Often become overcome with anger about their status in life and are likely to have chronic hostility or chronic depression.

Are easily overcome with despair and depression when they experience a setback or loss in their lives.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Have a tendency to overreact and become de-energized by resentment, anger, and the desire for revenge against those whom they believe have not fully accepted them.

Fulfill roles in their families of origin that are counter-productive and maladaptive. These roles carry over into their adult lives.

Are vulnerable to mental health problems and have a propensity to use addictive behavior to medicate their hurt and pain. Such addictive behavior can include alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex, shopping, smoking, workaholism, or the search for excitement, truth, wisdom, and a guru with an easy guide to the achievement of happiness.

Signs of Healthy Adult Self-Esteem:

Adults with healthy self–esteem hold themselves as:

worthy to be loved and to love others; worthy to be cared for and to care for others; worthy to be nurtured and to nurture others; worthy to be touched and supported and to touch and support others; worthy to be listened to and to listen to others; worthy to be recognized and to recognize others; worthy to be encouraged and to encourage others; worthy to be reinforced as "good'' people and to recognize others as "good'' people.

People with a healthy self–esteem have a productive personality; they have achieved success to the best of their ability in school, work, and society. They are capable of being creative, imaginative problem solvers and risk takers. They are optimistic in their approach to life and the attainment of their personal goals.

People with healthy self–esteem are leaders and skillful in dealing with people.

They are neither too independent nor too dependent on others. They have the ability to size up a relationship and adjust to the demands of the interaction.

Adults with high self–esteem have healthy self–concepts and self–image. Their perception of themselves is in synchrony with the picture they project to others.

They are able to state clearly who they are, what their future potential is, and to what they are committed in life. They are able to declare what they deserve to receive in their lifetime. They have a sense of deservedness, which allows them to reap good things in life.

People with high self–esteem are able to accept the responsibility for and consequences of their actions. They do not resort to shifting the blame or using Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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others as scapegoats for actions that have resulted in a negative outcome. They are altruistic. They have a legitimate concern for the welfare of others. They are not self–centered or egotistical in their outlook on life. They do not take on the responsibility for others in an over-responsible way. They help others accept the responsibility for their own actions. They are, however, always ready to help anyone who legitimately needs assistance or guidance.

Adults with high self–esteem have healthy coping skills. They are able to handle the stresses in their lives in a productive way. They are able to put the problems, concerns, issues, and conflicts that come their way into perspective. They are able to keep their lives in perspective without becoming too idealistic or too morose. They have a good sense of humor and are able to keep a balance of work and fun in their lives.

Adults with healthy self–esteem look to the future with excitement, a sense of adventure and optimism. They recognize their potential for success and visualize their success in the future. They have dreams, aspirations, and hopes for the future. They are goal–oriented with a sense of balance in working toward their goals. They know from where they have come, where they are now, and where they are going.

Healthy adult self–esteem is supported in the family, peer group, workplace, and community. To sustain healthy self–esteem adults need to receive nurturing from the people in their environment, including:

Unconditional warmth, love, and caring: to realize that other people recognize them as deserving to be nurtured, reinforced, rewarded, and bonded to. The environment transmits messages of warmth, loving, and caring by physical touch, meeting the survival needs of food, clothing and shelter, and providing a sense of stability and order in life.

Acceptance for who they are: to recognize that other people see them as worthy individuals who have a unique set of personality characteristics, skills, abilities, and competencies making them special. Acceptance helps individuals recognize that differences among and between people are okay. This encourages the development of a sense of personal mastery and autonomy. Acceptance enables people to develop relationships with others, yet maintain healthy boundaries of individuality within themselves.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Good communication: being listened to and responded to in a healthy way so that healthy problem solving is possible. Appropriate giving and receiving of feedback is encouraged and rewarded. Communicating at a "feelings'' level is a mode of operation for these people, allowing them to be in touch with their emotions in a productive manner.

For any environment to support the development of healthy adult self–esteem, it must contain:

Recognition and acceptance of people for who they are. To base such recognition and acceptance on the condition that they must first conform to a prescribed standard of behavior or conduct, is unhealthy. Unconditional recognition and acceptance given in the form of support allows individuals to reach their ultimate potential.

Clearly defined and enforced limits known to individuals with no hidden tricks or manipulation. Limits set the structure for the lives of individuals, allowing clear benchmarks of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Limits enable individuals to recognize their responsibilities and to chart their course of behavior in a rational way.

Respect and latitude for individual action within the defined limits of the environment. This encourages individuals to use their creativity, ingenuity, and imagination to be productive within the established structure. Restrictions that suppress individuality can lead to a narrow focus, with people becoming stunted and handicapped in the use of their personal skills, abilities, and resources.

Established freedom within the structure. This enables individuals to develop a sense of personal autonomy. If they are too tied down and inhibited, they could become resentful and eventually rebellious against the prescribed structures in their environment. Being given the freedom of self–expression within the established rules and norms allows individuals to explore their potential to its fullest; thus there is a greater possibility of becoming successful, healthy achievers. “

The above in italics was taken from an exceptional website and I am giving them full recognition for such a wonderful site on learning about self-esteem and what you can do about low self-esteem and how you can nurture your children to Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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make sure they don’t have low self-esteem. It was added to this book with permission from James J. Messina, Ph.D. and Constance M. Messina, Ph.D. I could see no reason to tell about the low and high self-esteem in my own words, when it was written so beautifully already.

This remarkable website can be found at: http://www.coping.org It has a lot of information on all kinds of self-esteem issues.

Then we come to this one:

Impossible High Standards of Excellence.

Maybe your standard of excellence was put way up on the scale, and no one can live up to what you expect of yourself - not even you. This also can make a person miserable. Are you one with such a high standard of excellence that you are unhappy because you can’t find anyone who has your standards, or that you are so exhausted trying to keep your standard up, that you can’t relax at all?

Relax, you are not alone, there are many people who have very High Standards of Excellence, and even accept that others are not up to their standards, yet still push themselves beyond what is “normal.”

My mother-in-law, years ago came over from England. I knew she was coming, so I made sure the house was ready and that spare room had clean sheets and fresh smelling towels, and that she had everything that she would need to be comfortable.

I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning and found her vacuuming under my couch cushions.

This surprised me, but did not upset me. I figured she had time on her hands and did not like to sit still, or she was being helpful. Personally, if someone wants to come to my house and clean under things and behind things, it is fine with me.

But, truthfully, I think she had a higher standard of excellence on house cleaning than I did, and therefore, she was bringing my house up to her standards.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Let’s talk some more on Standard of Excellence just to give you some ideas of how vast of a subject this is:

Do you belch at the table? How are your table manners?

Is it acceptable to pass gas in front of your spouse or your children?

Do you put your feet on the furniture?

What do your shoes look like?

Would you lie for your friend, when you did not approve of what your friend did.

If you saw a watch at a restaurant, would you take it or turn it in?

Would you cheat on your spouse, and if you did, would you confess?

Would you have sex with a stranger?

Do you try to be places on time, or let it slide?

Are you a good host/hostess?

Are you warm and friendly to your company?

If you are male, do you open the door for women or stand up when they walk into the room. Do you take your hat off when inside a building?

Are you a snob, and too good to be with the lower class in your eyes?

Do you choose friends that have the same or close to the same values?

Do you smoke? If you do, do you throw your butts on the ground?

Do you litter?

Do you pick things up when you see them on the ground?

Do you pay back money that you borrow in a timely manner?

Were you raised to be prejudice and have you changed?

Do you make snap judgments and then seldom change them?

Are you loyal to your friends?

Do you hang out with people who cannot help you financially?

If you are female, do you wait until the door is opened for you?

Do you work at your relationships or just give up easily?

Are you worth what you are being paid at your job?

Are you worth more, but don’t ask for a raise?

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Do you visit people and lift up their couch cushions? ☺

Would you hire you?

Do you plop when you sit?

If you want to be successful, are you dressing as a successful person dresses?

As you can see, I could fill up a whole book with questions. You need to create your own Standard of Excellence then evaluate what you can accept and what you no longer will accept. Go ahead, write that list, then prioritize what is the most important and make those changes.

Have we talked about what “normal” really is?

It’s the value that is put on because of common usage of something. If you live in a society where you are not allowed to vote, then voting is not normal. If you live in a society where you have been raised that you can vote, then voting is normal.

If you live in a society where cannibals reside, guess what? That’s right, cannibalism is normal.

The society that we grow up in becomes what we perceive to be “normal.”

If you live in the South in the United States it is normal to have a southern accent. Most of the children have a southern accent, and the teachers and the colleges all have their “normal” way of speaking for the area in which they were raised.

If you live in England it is “normal” to have a society with an English accent.

As children, our perception can only take in our immediate surroundings, as we grow we learn more, and we absorb more, however, when we are small, normal is what we can perceive. If people eat worms, fried worms, worms sautéed to a delicate texture, or eat grasshoppers, it could be considered a delicacy, while another society may get their tummy to turn over at that thought of eating snakes, ants, and cockroaches. It’s all in how we are raised and what we were taught and have accepted as normal.

Children learn what to eat from their parents. I remember a girlfriend of mine.

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She was feeding her baby daughter canned baby style green peas.

While she fed the baby, she grimaced and tried to get the baby to eat the peas.

It was very funny to see. This baby would not eat those peas, and I thought if someone tried to put food in my mouth and was making gagging faces, I don’t think I would want to eat it either. Have you had your fried worms today?

Again, it is all in how we perceive things as we grow.

Now take a few moments and write down some qualities and things that you would like to change that will improve the quality of your life and the way that you feel about yourself?

This will now bring us to Ethics and Your Road to Happiness.

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Chapter 5 What is Happiness?

“People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

What is happiness?

Happiness is setting a goal and working toward that goal and reaching that goal.

Once the goal is reached, you have a momentary win, and that is huge happiness, however, if you don’t set another goal, then you have nothing to keep you in that state of happiness for very long.

Your goals can be many small ones, or one large one, but once reached, then your happy state will not continue. Mankind does not live on only one accomplishment in life. Set goals; work toward goals; reach goals. Life is good!

Another part of being truly happy is Ethics.

Are Your Ethics In?

When you live by rules that can influence others, and those rules are of high quality, then that is the first step toward your own happiness.

One main and universal rule is "Do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you." It was mentioned earlier in this book, on the subject of friendship.

Now it is back again. Only, this time it is being used for the values of life.

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It's a great guideline for what you would want toward your own happiness. If you don't want to be stolen from, you don't steal. If you don't want to be lied to, then don't lie.

It's a simple system, really.

Take for example, a parent who tells their 12-year-old child, "Now, remember to tell them that you are 11, so we don't have to pay full price for you to”..…go to the movies, have dinner priced by age, or get on a bus.

What does this teach the child? Does it teach him/her honesty?

It is little things like that where we step outside our own values, without really realizing what kind of damage it can be doing, and worse, what kind of message we are telling our children.

It's okay to lie when it saves us money? It's okay to lie to get us out of trouble?

So, we have to watch what we do and say to put a great example to others. In this way, your own happiness can be fulfilled, while you are in essence teaching by the way you live, how others can be happy, too.

It is well known that the happiest people are those that have: A belief system

A family

Are married

Have a fulfilling job

Sleep at night and get up with enough sleep

Have a routine

Get exercise and eat healthy.

You may not have all of the above, and it does not mean you can’t have happiness, just because you don’t. Those are standard “norms.”

There are all kinds of ways to have happiness:

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Helping people brings happiness, - for those you help and for yourself. How do you feel after helping someone?

Take for example, when someone stops and asks you for directions and you tell them how to get there. Don't you feel good after that exchange?

When you live up to your own ethics, values, Standard of Excellence, and do the best you can, and you show by example who and what you stand for, your road to happiness will not depend on what fork in the road to choose in life, for you have taken the fork that will work for anyone who cares to set their own standards, then proceeds to live by them.

Gratitude

One thing many people forget is to be grateful for what they have.

No matter what mental state you are on, you have things to be grateful for.

I already know one thing that you can be grateful for.

You can read. Be grateful that you can read and have the right to read.

If someone is reading this book for you, then be grateful that you have someone who will read for you.

Sometimes, we keep pushing and wishing for things and we totally forget to be grateful for what we have.

Start a list of what you are grateful for, and add to it, whenever you get a chance, when you find yourself falling toward depression or any kind of negativity, read your list, and see if you can add more to it.

Put that list on your refrigerator, or bedroom mirror, so that you can constantly be reminded of the things in your life that you are grateful for.

When you are grateful for things, it keeps your mind on having a positive attitude about life.

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Chapter 6 Your Mood and Colors

Did you know that the colors that surround you can influence your mood?

Did you know that a orange or a red room can stimulate your appetite and that a blue plate will make you eat less? Many restaurants use reds and orange in their interior.

Orange can also create laughter. It is a good color for a room where you would entertain your guests.

Did you know that yellow is bright and cheerful, but if you have a whole room painted bright yellow, you can start feeling angry?

Red can stimulate. It is also a color of power. A woman giving a speech wearing red, demands respect. It is also the color associated with lust.

Greens and Blues are soothing colors. If you have a board meeting and you want more creativity, you might consider painting the room with invigorating colors.

Blues and greens make for soothing quiet times.

Pink can soothe, however, pink can inhibit aggressiveness. If you are planning on your daughter becoming a lawyer, maybe you might want to give her a different color. Maybe light lavender would be a refreshing change.

Black, which is not a color, shows authority and independence.

White, which is also not a color, reminds people of innocence and can be refreshing.

Purple is the color of mystery and intrigue and is comforting.

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Look around your house and see what colors your rooms are. Do you think you need to paint a hall? Or how about the kitchen?

Years ago, when I was in the Real Estate business I was told if you want to sell a house, paint the kitchen orange. The mindset on that philosophy was, if the woman liked the house, and then walked into the kitchen to see an orange kitchen that she would immediately think , “If this house was mine, I would paint that kitchen.” Which would start the process of making the house hers, just so she could change the color of the kitchen.

That goes back to just how our minds can work. A thought placed into our heads, and the reaction to that thought.

Try a dash of color and see how it can change your mood.

Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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Chapter 7 Your Health and Exercise

One of the best things you can do for yourself is take care of your health.

In order to use the wonderful mind you were given, you need to make sure it gets oxygen. You need to make sure that you get enough sleep, and that your body gets fed properly with the proper nutrients.

You need plenty of water, and you need to move that body.

It is very difficult to get all of your nutrition from the food you get in the store nowadays. Much of the fresh produce has been stored for days before you get to purchase it. Supplement a healthy diet with vitamins.

When you are not eating properly and when you are not getting enough fresh air and getting some exercise for your body, you are not being the best that you can be. It’s hard not to get snappish at others when you are tired. It’s harder to control your temper when you are starving yourself.

When your brain is not getting fresh air, it is hard to stay focused on your goals and the changes, that by now, I am sure you are thinking a lot about.

Your brain needs omega3. Fish is brain food. If you are a vegetarian, then you probably know that you can get omega3 by eating walnuts.

If you don’t exercise, start doing some. I don’t care if you walk 5 feet more past your mailbox every day, or decide that you will walk four aisles extra in the grocery store. Do something and do more each day, until you are bursting with energy.

Stretch first thing in the morning. Get those kinks out and limber up.

Step outside and inhale and exhale. Fill those lungs then let the air out.

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Get a glass of water and drink it. Get some protein in the morning. It will help you from having low blood sugar toward lunch.

Do it for you!

Park your car further from the store.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have 15 flights, don’t let that stop you. Take the elevator to the 10th floor then walk up those stairs.

If you can’t do that many, don’t worry about it; do what you can. And, do it every chance you can.

If you are handicapped, you can still do something extra. Bend a little further, stretch a little higher.

Take up a sport that you might be able to do. If you can’t do things like bowling, or tennis - then swim. If you can’t swim, then wade. Take up weight lifting, your instructor will show you what you need to know about lifting weights, and you may just start out without any weights at all as you use your own weight on your body, until you can add weights. You can do something extra each day and build yourself up for more.

Join a health club if you can. If you don’t like to be alone, find a walking partner.

Change your house around a little, so that maybe if you have goodies that they are on a very high shelf so that you have to reach a little higher to get to them.

Cut down on hydrogenated fats. Cut down on red meats and add more fish to your diet instead. When you get fresh air, plenty of water, good nutrition, enough sleep and exercise you will be able to focus longer for learning and concentrating on your goals. It is amazing what small changes can do for you.

So start right now.

Stand up, or reach up or twist in your chair. Each day do a little more. You can do it - you just have to know how important it is.

You don’t need to spend money either on exercise. You can use pop bottles with water in them to use for weights. You can find an old rope. You can draw Copyright © 2003 Teresa King

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