In the earlier chapter on Positive Self Image belief, I explained that this part of the subconscious is not influenced by rational argument.
If you feel unworthy, no amount of logical, reasoned argument on my part will persuade you otherwise. If this is so, how can we then start to reduce your Negative Self Image? How can we change a NSI into a Positive Self Image and thereby unlock the potential to enjoy life to the full? This change can only happen when you believe that you deserve to enjoy life to the full.
The answer is that you must use the same tools to form your POSITIVE self-image as were used to form your NEGATIVE self image. These tools are FEELING, EMOTION and IMAGINATION, (not reason, logic and rationalisation).
The techniques which I will give you in this chapter may cause problems for some people. Because we are a 'rational' society, we are used to solving all problems with logical, mental processes and we distrust our own feelings and emotions. Men, particularly, are encouraged to treat all emotions with extreme suspicion; women are luckier in this respect.
We think that feelings and emotions are nuisances to be suppressed - wiped out all together if possible. This ludicrous viewpoint has much unhappiness to answer for; the sooner we re-integrate the emotional side of our nature, the happier (and safer) the world will be.
Be that as it may, the ONLY way to tackle your NSI is through the use of these three tools, (feeling, emotion and imagination).
After all, that is how it was formed in the first place. It was not the CONTENT of what was said to you as a child which reduced your Positive Self Image, but the EMOTIONAL TONE of the exchange.
If your sport's master said kindly to you: "You're not very good at sport, are you Jones?" then your Positive Self Image would be unlikely to suffer; however, if the same thing was said with dripping sarcasm and loathing, your Positive Self Image would hear the 'hidden message' concealed, (thinly), in the EMOTIONAL TONE. The message your Positive Self Image hears is: "I hate you Jones, you're useless at everything." This has the effect of lowering the level of your Positive Self Image.
It is for this very reason that you cannot increase your Positive Self Image by intellectualisation. It is useless for someone to say to you (or for you to say to yourself), "You're a really worthwhile person," because the CONTENT (although true) will not touch your Positive Self Image.
Well, for example, a friend could boost your Positive Self Image by giving you a warm hug, WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. Your Positive Self Image would also be boosted if you met a friend in the street and they gave you a broad smile and said, "I was really hoping to meet you today, it's really great to see you!" Note that the actual words are totally unimportant, it is the EMOTIONAL CONTENT which will boost your Positive Self Image, the FEELING that they really are glad to see you. If the same words are said insincerely, your Positive Self Image (which ignores the words anyway), will detect the sham and be reduced because it will hear the 'secret message': "Oh it's you, I really didn't want to meet you, but I suppose I'd better put a brave face on it by pretending to be really pleased to see you."
Think of this part of your subconscious as a filter which rejects words and accepts feelings and emotions.
POSITIVE feelings and emotions directed towards you INCREASE
your Positive Self Image, whilst NEGATIVE emotions and feelings directed towards
you DECREASE your Positive Self Image.
Here, then is the secret of increasing your Positive Self Image. You must increase the amount of POSITIVE feelings and emotions directed towards you and decrease, (preferably eliminate), NEGATIVE feelings and emotions.