Dianne J. Shaver, M.A., Destiny Coach entrepreneurmindworld.com/destiny-coach.html
IDEAS AND PEOPLE TO INSPIRE YOU, GIVE YOU NEW INSIGHTS AND SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY.
SUCCESS & INSPIRATION TUESDAY 5/17/16
Does advertising define you? How much do ads on TV, print, videos, audioa set the standards by which you measure yourself? It is so pervasive that it affects everyone because it plays on our inner doubts about ourself. Even those who think they are above it are reacting to the impossible set of rules about who we should be, how we should look, what we should accomplish. And, enough is NEVER enough!
What about when things aren't going well? Your bank account is not where you want it or need it to be? Someone you like has said something that made you feel bad? Your project that you spent so much time on did not pan out? The love of your life, of the moment, broke up with you? You gained weight? How do you measure up to the yardstick that says what we are supposed to be?
We are trained to view ourselves through other people's eyes. Using a standard set by who knows who. If we match up with that standard we're ok. If we don't then we are failures Do you realize all advertising is based on those standards? You need something they are selling so you will be slimmer, more beautiful, richer, sexier because right now you are not enough of any of those things. There is always something newer, better, bigger that you need in order to be okay. You need the car that is the car of the moment. You need to spend your hard earned dollars on shoes that cost hundreds. Botox is calling you. The latest in cosmetics, clothing, phones, computers, TVs, games, clubs, restaurants are things you have to have to be "with it" "cool" or whatever the latest form of coolness is. We all buy into it. What if we let ourselves be okay just the way we are? What if we didn't worry so much about how we look and sound? What if we just valued the essence of who we are? What if we were okay when we didn't have much money? What if that 10 pounds didn't decide how we felt about ourself? What if our car is old? What if our business tanks? What if we are without a significant other? Does the having of any of those things really define who we are?
If we can love and approve of ourself in the worst of times then we've got it made. When we love and support ourself the Universe responds and things begin to go our way. Not because we are meeting a standard but because we are truly in the flow of our own life and that's really what it's all about. Comparison kills our self-esteem. Please remember that the next time you are tempted to meet an impossible standard put there by no one you know based on unrealistic expectations that are designed to make you feel bad about yourself. You are unique and here on purpose. Who you are is needed here because of the combination of attributes that make up who you are. Let go of the yardstick. You are beyond measure and are valuable just as you are.
By Whose Standard Do We Measure Ourselves? By Helen Turnbull, PhD Micro-messages hurt. Conscious and unconscious messages and images bombard our senses every day and inform us what to expect of ourselves and others. For example, what image pops up when you want to hire a plumber, an electrician, or a Building Contractor? Which gender and/or culture do you expect to show up with the tools of their trade or profession and which ones cause you to question their competence? Which gender comes to mind when you think about part-time workers and which culture does you think of as “bad drivers”? Micro-messages and mind-bugs stick to us like Velcro and seep into our psyche like a mind virus. They sit there, dormant, waiting to be activated in our judgment of others. What value attribution do we place on other people based on these deeply rooted mind bugs? A few days ago I called one of the airlines I use regularly to book a flight. Their system recognizes my phone number and the operator immediately knows who is calling. A woman in a very clear voice answered the phone and said, “Good afternoon Dr. Turnbull, how can I help you, sir?” Needless to say, she was somewhat chagrined when a woman’s voice laughed at the other end of the line. What is not always understood is just how easily these internalized messages inform the negative judgments we make about ourselves. They create a myriad of ways to convince us that we don’t quite measure up. We know what people think about us. We know what they think about our social identity groups and we internalize these messages, both positive and negative. If, for example, you are Asian, you know that you are expected to be good at math. If you are overweight or under-weight, you know that society has labeled you as unhealthy; if you are a smoker you know what non-smokers think about you. Claude Steele, in “Whistling Vivaldi” refers to this phenomenon as “identity contingencies.” We all like to believe that we are autonomous individuals, and yet Steele’s research demonstrates that these identity contingencies detract from our performance in our careers and in life. The amount of brain energy that is allocated to managing ourselves around this level of “noise” can impair a broad range of human functioning. We tell ourselves that we don’t quite measure up. So, we assimilate to fit in. We adjust our style to be accepted. We change what we were going to say to keep people comfortable. In the process we may feel like a fraud, feel excluded or, at the very least, feel we do not have full membership at the table. Are you using your measuring tape, or someone else’s? For example, I was recently invited to a meeting with someone who is perennially convinced that no one really wants her around. There were eight of us at the table, and she was the last to arrive. The chair that was left for her was at the end of the table. She immediately looked perturbed and announced to the group, “I feel excluded!” Now, it is hard to know how to respond to that, especially when there is more than one end to the table and we were all seated at the same table. Nothing we would have said would have convinced her otherwise—not even the reality that she had been invited in the first place. Sadly, she looks for evidence to confirm that she is not welcome. Based on that mind-set, she frequently finds it. Personal development and self-improvement are contingent on having a strong self-image and yet, in the face of these identity contingencies we are apt to suffer from the “spotlight effect” and be far too hard on ourselves. We may tend to lean towards the negative; see patterns where there are none; and buy into a socially constructed story about people, events, and situations that may not be true but confirms our bias. We naturally look to confirm what we already know. Just like my friend at the meeting table, we may not be seeing what is right in front of our eyes.