Self-Esteem and Happiness by Prof. Sam Nassif, Ph.D., PCC

Have you ever wondered how self-esteem works and what is the “right level of self-esteem”? And how to achieve it?

What is the relationship between self-esteem and Emotional Intelligence and how it impacts on our work, on relations and on life? How to improve self-esteem for bettering our life and happiness?

And finally, how can Emotional Intelligence and Self-Esteem be related to well-being and happiness?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and control my own feelings, perceive the feelings of others, so that I can guide my thoughts and actions to reach well-being at work and in life.

Emotional Intelligence consists in 15 elements which when combined will crystallize to result into optimism and well-being.

There is also a high relationship between Emotional Intelligence and leadership. We first receive the emotions and then react. Emotional Intelligence helps us to think before reacting and reach better control of our impulses. Thus, behaving calmly and rationally in difficult situations is a leadership characteristic. Emotional stability is rarely mentioned in business textbooks, yet it’s a more crucial factor for leader’s success than any other subject.

The higher you move up the ladder, the more Emotional Intelligence becomes important.

Contrary to Cognitive Intelligence (the I.Q.) which is INNATE, each element of the E.I. can be improved. When one element is improved it affects other elements. For example when Empathy is improved it has a positive impact on Interpersonal Relationships, Flexibility  and Optimism, consequently the global E.I. score is improved.

Some major characteristics of leadership, such as self-regard, Empathy, Impulse control, and assertiveness can be improved by the E.I. techniques. Noting that the self-regard component is no different from the self-esteem which is the subject of this reflection.

A very large survey was undertaken on IVEY League undergraduate students. Some forty thousands students were asked to rank 10 items by order of importance from 1 to 10. They were asked if they lacked or wanted more of each of the 10 items. The items were: money, love, power, friendship, self-esteem, health, security, (self-expression, intellectual fulfillment and spiritual fulfillment).

The result was that Self-Esteem came out as “Important” or “Very Important” for 73% of the students! Can we imagine that these students who were sensible and intelligent people, not to say brilliant minds, yet wanted more self-esteem!

The survey was repeated 4 years later and the results were 80% in favor of self-esteem.

A similar recent research was conducted at the Ohio State University asking students to rank their preferences – but here images were given instead of Text only – money (paycheck), A marvelous love night with your dream companion, Invitation to a delicious dinner including your favorite foods, visit to your best friend, self-esteem building experience, etc.

Again, self- esteem came first for 80 % of the people. Professor Bushman who lead the research concluded that “College students love sex, they love to eat — any place there is free food, they are there, they love seeing friends, and yet they love self-esteem more.”

So how to solve the PROBLEM of 80% of the population? Especially when we know that self-esteem affect many leadership components, such as Self Regard; Assertiveness; Empathy; Impulse control; Interpersonal Relationships; Optimism and Well Being.

Self-esteem is very important and plays a big role in our life.

Negative emotions are observed with low self-esteem: anger, envy, jealousy, pessimism, regret, greed, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, uncertainty, and fear from failure. These emotions affect our thoughts, and actions, hence our entire life!

On the opposite side, high self-esteem has a positive impact on emotions and result in: joy, peace, optimism, serenity, kindness, benevolence, empathy, self- confidence, generosity, compassion, courage, and risk-taking. Having low self-esteem is a terrible thing because it can affect every part of our life.

The actual problem is that most of the techniques to help improving self-esteem are time consuming and impose a great discipline. These techniques can be summarized as follows:

  • Auto-suggestion;
  • Meditation;
  • Visualization;
  • Hypnosis and self-hypnosis;
  • Combating negative dialogue
  • Unmasking the impostor syndrome
  • Combating cognitive distortions;
  • Unmasking the internal negative dialogue;
  • Creating compassion for yourself;
  • Creating internal worth;
  • Re-programming new core beliefs;
  • Improving your communication skills;
  • Teaching parents how to help their children;
  • Modeling self-esteem.

The major problem with all these techniques is that they require a high level of discipline and a substantial amount of time. It may require half an hour each day during several months

It is for this reason that the Rapid Improvement Self-Esteem Method (RISE Method) was created. It is a method which is easy to learn, simple to apply and that requires only a few minutes a day with results in three months.

We really get into action by doing it. This is the basis of Good Actions: It is by giving that we receive. When we receive we feel good and we are happy.

The name Good Actions has been chosen on purpose because it defines not only a behavior but also getting into Action. This is very important because it is only by getting into ACTION that self-development can take place.

The process is as follows: Good actions create feelings and affective states that influence our memory. Our beliefs become our thoughts, our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our values, and our values become our destiny.

What happens when you do a Good Action? The normal result is that you “feel good”, and this is precisely this feeling that I would like to see being repeated many times a day until you really feel it and become proud of yourself. The more you do it, the more you feel good inside yourself.
The more you use the new software, the more it erases the old software which said: “I am no good”. The more you do Good Actions, the more you “feel good” and the more your brain receives the message : “I am good enough”, “I like myself”! It is by repeating the behavior that you can act upon your Emotional Intelligence and “print” the feeling in your brain.  It is like you are downloading a new software which replaces the old one in your mind.
This process is like magic because very powerful and efficient. Many people have never thought that by doing Good Actions they can increase their Self-Esteem and self-confidence and gain in happiness?

Goodness opens the heart and through the heart we can reach kindness, calmness and openness. By doing a Good Action we receive powerful emotions and happiness. By giving, we reach deeper understanding and feel love. Doing good actions will bring us more than we can ever imagine and will build a high level of self-esteem.

By doing the RISE Method, we need to do it with some discipline, which is summarized under the 3P : PURPOSE– PERSEVERANCE – PROGRESS.

The PURPOSE means to focus on the Method, by reading the book, understanding and applying.

PERSEVERANCE means to be regular and to continue with determination.

And finally, the PROGRESS is to note your daily Progress on the App including your PROGRESS for the Last 10 days. Once you have accomplished this for three months, you can measure your self-esteem level after 6 months and see the improvements.

The improvements are happening in your life, in your work, in your relationships and on yourself. The impact is related to epigenetics, neuroscience and quantum mechanics.

The RISE Method may appear as a simple technique, yet it is a most powerful technique because images go into the brain and The “feeling good” has an extraordinary and magical effect on the brain and it is generating new circuits in our brain.

Very briefly one can say that Neuroscience and Epigenetics are advanced discoveries of the past 5 years! We have 100 Billion neurons in our brain. Self-Esteem and self-confidence are intimately linked to a neurotransmitter called SEROTONIN. A lack of Serotonin leads to depression. Research shows that Social relationship increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. For instance, the Relaxation Response causes an increase of Alpha Waves.

There is a formidable experiment conducted at Harvard medical School that shows “what you believe you get”.

The quantum mechanics started by getting interested in the Matter, then they found out that there were things they could not understand. They started to dig and fell into the Energy. They found out that Energy and Matter were two different aspects of the same element just like vapor and water. Then they realized that thoughts affected the Matter, just like the thoughts acting on a glass of water provoke the water to cristallize and that these cristallizations were different when negative or destructive thoughts were directed on the glass of water. This phenomenon was called the HADO effect and discovered by Professor Masaru Emoto in 1999. He postulates that, ‘since all phenomena are resonating energy, by changing the vibration we can change the substance’; and our ability to be happy no matter what and no matter when depends entirely on what’s going on in our heart.

Permit me to present part of the findings of Dr Masaru Emoto, chief of the Hado institute in Tokyo: he demonstrates probably the most convincing and startling effects that human consciousness can have on physical reality. Dr Emoto has discovered an effect on water that was given the name the ‘Hado’ effect. He describes it as follows, quote: ‘Hado is the intrinsic vibration pattern at the atomic level in all matter, the smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness’. He wrote a book that was issued in 1999 called ‘The Message from Water’ that has sold millions of copies already around the globe and has been translated in many languages. He’s lecturing and holding seminars around the world and also conducts live experiments where he demonstrates the ‘Hado’ effect of water.

Dr. Masaru Emoto has performed a series of experiments in which he proves that our thoughts and feelings affect our physical reality. Water was his subject of study and he started out studying the shape of water ice crystals. He used all sorts of water from all different places all over the world and studied how they would form ice crystals. He noticed that water from heavy polluted rivers doesn’t crystallize at all and that clean mineral spring water produces beautiful ice crystals when being frozen. So far so good, it is a result that may be expected. However to his amazement he discovered that the crystallization of the water molecules was somehow related to his mood !? He started experiments in which he used clean tap water and sent all kinds of human emotional thoughts and feelings to the water samples before freezing them. To his astonishment the water reacted to his intentions. When negative thoughts and feelings were used, no beautiful ice crystals were formed, they were either chaotic in form or did not crystallize at all. However when he sent loving thoughts and feelings to the water before freezing it, the most beautiful and regular highly organized crystals formed. In following experiments he put stickers on the bottles of water and labelled them with words like ‘Love, God’ and ‘Hate and Devil’ and again the ice crystals reflected the intention of the words put onto them. It is amazing to see the difference! Next he experimented with all kinds of music to test the effect. Music is a natural expressing of vibrations and it was no longer a surprise that the vibrations of lovely classical music versus aggressive angry hard rock music were also reflected in the ice crystals.

We already knew the PLACEBO effect: we are cured by believing that the medical treatment is going to heal us. Professor Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School conducted research on two groups of Pregnant Women. Their nausea was cured by IPECCA which is a vomiting product. Despite the fact that it is a vomiting product it cured the women’s nausea!

Our inconscient directs us in 99% of the cases. It is for this reason that we need to create a new program that will come above the old program and erase it so that the circuits of our brain will function along the new modes. We need to erase the wrong memory from our brain.

What I need is to feel good. We are not separated from others, and I cannot be happy when I see around me sufferings and unhappy others.

President Reagan once said :” we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”.

Creating a meaning in your life by helping others results in “feeling good” which is the basis of the rock on which the RISE Method is constructed.  When reinforcing the feeling it reprogram the neurons circuits to strengthen the confidence in yourself.

The passionate heart that finds joy and meaning in connecting with others gives you strength and energy and consequently you can trust more yourself to handle life challenges. This also goes with creating meaning in life. All research is pointing out that helping others, caring and giving will create hormones for feeling good which in turn will transform your life. This is indeed the relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Self-Esteem and happiness!

If we look at the EPIGENETICS, which is the discovery of the past 5 years, we learn extraordinary matters. As an example if we take two TWINS and we separated them to live in two different families in very different conditions, they will become and will behave differently. Consequently, what we are is a complex interaction between our genes and our behavior.

We have 50 000 billion cells which compose our tissues and organs; Each cell contains the genetic material. If we could stretch out the DNA it could measure about 2 meters and if we could put end to end all the DNA contained in the Chromosomes it would represent 130 times the distance from earth to the sun.

Every time we learn something new, we are strengthening our brain. Just like physical exercise strengthens our various muscles. The more we exercise specific areas in the brain, the stronger and more connected those areas will become. Epigenetics is the layer that comes above the classical genetics. We cannot change the genes, that is impossible; but the epigenetic is the possibility to modulate the expression of our genes by our behavior.

Through our behavior we can secrete and produce in our body enzymes and proteins which can control the functioning of our life.

The first consequence is that we become responsible towards our body, the environment and the society around us.

There are 5 keys which influence the Epigenetics:

1 – Nutrition

2 – Moderate exercise

3 – stress management

4 – the pleasure of feeling good

5 – the family and social network

The tip of the iceberg is genomics, the bottom of the iceberg is epigenetics. It is 15% versus 85% in favor of the Epigenetics.

We cannot change the genes, but we can act upon the genes through our behavior.

Our brain gets modified continuously.

The feeling good helps to produce Serotonin, Dopamine, Tryptophane, endorphins and Oxytocyns which are the hormones of happiness.

There still remains one difficulty: most of the people who have problems do not know that these problems originate from a low Self-esteem.

It is for this reason that you can take a free test to Measure your Self-Esteem and know where you stand. This free test is fully anonymous. It is the result of years of research in psychology and social behavior. It has been designed, following thorough studies, to reflect the most veracious results. Additionally, and importantly the test has demonstrated its validity, effectiveness and reliability.

Start now by building your self-esteem and self-confidence; Do not postpone a major decision to change your life to the happier. Visit www.riseselfesteem.com

Self-esteem Test : www.riseselfesteem.com/test

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