SELF-ESTEEM TOOLS FOR RECOVERY by Lindsey Halt and Leigh Cohn. Gurze Books, 1990


    Increasing your self-esteem is both the means to recovery (changing) and it is the goal. No matter what kind of problem you have or change you are dealing with, increasing your self-esteem will assist you in the process of living life more fully --- without artificial stimuli, coping mechanisms, and habitual behavior!

    Increasing your self-esteem will help you find guidance, acceptance, confidence, and love inside of yourelf, now and always!

    This book contains 20 self-esteem "tools" or ideas to practice. Each tool develops one main idea and is complete by itself. Every tool or idea includes an exercise which invites your active participation.

    Each tool has a title that condenses that tool into a statement which you can repeat over and over in your mind to help you remember its main idea!

    This book has a personal tone that speaks directly to those "in recovery" or those who are changing a behavior, although anyone can gain insight and understanding of the validity of the tools or ideas.

    Assumption: we are all worthy, but our problems prevent us from knowing this fact. The most important part of recovery or changing anything in your life is recognizing and enhancing your own inherent worth!

1) What's your problem?! (p3-62)

    There are as many "problems" as there are people --- more in fact! And there are many combinations of negative thoughts and behaviors. You may define your own "problem" with many depressing labels or be a generally unhappy person.

    But, the fundamental fact is that you are NOT your problem! Realizing this fact will separate it from you. Your problem is NOT who you are! Your "problem" is what you have used to protect your physical and emotional well-being. It is like a veil that camoflauges who you REALLY are! In contrast, you are REALLY an innately worthwile source of awareness, knowledge, creativity, love, and joy!

    However, if you practice INCREASING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM based on the assumption (faith, belief, trust) that this is who YOU REALLY ARE, then your "problem" will disappear!

    Your "problem" is uniquely yours. Whatever the particulars of your problem, it is the result of your unique heredity and life experiences. This includes your beliefs, values, thinking patterns, fears, loves, etc.

    When is a problem a "problem?" How can you tell when something really needs to be changed? A "problem" is any behavior or activity on your part that produces a pathological relationship with any mood-altering experience that has life-damaging consequences. The key terms in that definition come from John Bradshaw's book, Bradshaw on the Family.

    In other words, if you consistently depend on a particular experience to feel good or avoid feeling bad, and your growth and happiness is hindered as a result, then you have a "problem!" In fact, you can even compound your "problem" by layering problems on top of your problems!

    The challenge of recovery from a problem --- or changing any behavior --- is to understand your problem or problems and to do something about it or them. Practicing increasing your self-esteem is one of the most effective catalysts for accomplishing this goal. This is because when you can feel your own goodness, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to love rather than harm yourself!

    In this way, increasing your self-esteem is the means to your recovery or the changing of any of your behaviors -- and simultaneously --- it is the goal! Both in the present moment and in the long run, increasing your self-esteem can lead to increasing your happiness, peace, and the discovery of an innately worthwhile source of love that dwells within you!

    If you have always relied on specific feelings and behaviors for years and years, you may not believe that there could be something else to solve your problems. However, there is something! It is the POWER OF KNOWING who you really are, LOVING who you really are, and SEEING that same essence in others and loving them well!

    The way to quit living your problems is to actively increase your self-esteem on a daily basis with the "tools" or "ideas" and exercises in this book.

    1st Exercise = What's your problem? (p11)

2) Your problem has served you well (p12-17)

    2nd Exercise = How has your problem served you? (p17)

3) It takes courage to heal (p18-22)

    3rd Exercise = Encourage bravery! (p21-22)

4) Our secrets keep us separate (p23-27)

    4th Exercise = You are not the only one with problems! (p27)

5) It's your recovery (p28-33)

    5th Exercise = Examine your "shoulds" (p32-33)

6) Recovery begins when you are ready! (p94-40)

    6th Exercise = What makes you think you are ready for recovery (changing)? (p39)

7) Recovery is an on-going process! (p40-44

    7th Exercise = Affirm your recovery (change) process! (p44)

8) Whatever you do matters (p45-49)

    8th Exercise = Think (focus on) one thought of love all day (p49)

9) Who are you? (p50-54)

    9th Exercise = Take a personal inventory (p53-54)

10) Know where you are going and how to get there (p85-60)

    10th Exercise = Goal setting! (p60)

11) You have to add something if you are taking something away! (p60-65)

    11th Exercise = You need a few "favorite things" (p65)

12) Do NOT be afraid of mistakes! (p66-71)

    12th Exercise = Rethinking "mistakes" (p70-71)

13) Acceptance transcends control (p72-81)

      [1] Situation A = a problem that cannot be controlled (p76)

        Option 1 = Resistance (p76)

        Option 2 = Acceptance (p77)

      [2] Situation B = a problem that can be controlled (p77)

        Option 1 = Change (p78)

        Option 2 = Resistance (p78-79)

        Option 3 = Acceptance (p79)

    13th Exercise = Differentiate between what you can and cannot control (p80-81)

14) Feelings --- are we having fun yet? (p82-88)

      [1] Feelings exist!

      [2] Feelings are a mixed bag!

      [3] Feelings are legitimate!

      [4] Feelings tell you something!

      [5] Feelings have power!

      [6] Feelings can mask other feelings!

      [7] Feelings pass --- if you do not resist them!

      [8] Your feelings do NOT reflect your worth!

    14th Exercise = Identify and express your feelings! (p88)

15) Think and speak positively (p89-94)

    15th Exercise = Change your mind (p94)

16) Face the truth about your family (p95-102)

    16th Exercise = Remember the past to change your feelings (p101-102)

17) Be aware of the media's message (p103-109)

    17th Exercise = Ten things-to-do to take power! (p108-109)

18) Keep good company (p110-113)

    18th Exercise = Consider the company you keep (p113)

19) Practice loving or increasing your self-esteem! (p114-119)

    19th Exercise = Practice love = increase your own self-esteem! (p118-119)

20) Expect miracles (p120-123)

    20th Exercise = Wish upon a star! (p123)

NOTES (p124-125)

ABOUT THE AUTHORS --- Hall and Cohn are a married couple who first wrote a booklet about the binge-purge syndrome and then a book, Eat Without Fear which later became the paperback book Eating Without Fear (p126-127)

Go to: Change Issue at Work
Go to: Creativity Issue at Work
Go to: Feelings Issue at Work
Go to: Leadership Control Essay
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