Secret Love-Creation Skill #1: Emotional Self-endorsement
Few people know how to emotionally endorse themselves. Can you imagine being able to create good feelings with the same ease that you “naturally” feel angry, guilty, ashamed or depressed? You can! ... if you learn how to endorse yourself emotionally and practice doing so. Self-endorsement is the secret of love-creation.
During our tender, malleable years, we lack the equipment to emotionally endorse ourselves. Survival requires “others” to provide the nurturance and love we need. Our educational system not only fails to teach us to direct love energy to ourselves, it tells us we are self-centered, egotistical, and wrong to do so. Approval, recognition, love, and support from others are worth working for. But when we learn to take responsibility for our own emotional MDRs, what we get from others becomes a bonus, rather than a necessity. When you’re less needy, it is easier to be a lover than a love “junkie.”
Good feelings stir us to continued action. Immediate satisfaction is critical to sustain the work, patience, and practice required to attain the rewards of virtually every important skill. Knowing we are doing something worthwhile is intellectual endorsement; its satisfaction is weaker than emotional joy. Emotional endorsement is the immediate satisfaction that allows us to enjoy the work we do now in order to sustain greater satisfaction later.
Here’s wonderful news. We are already well practiced in emotionally directing love energy. We stomp our feet and yell with abandon at sports events, applaud and cheer a musical performance, know how to get that baby to smile and the dog to shake its behind and wag its tail. We even express our enthusiastic approval to food: “Wow!” to that chocolate ice cream sundae. The skill is there! We simply need to direct emotional endorsement to our self.
Caroline’s story shows us how this can work. Caroline is an intelligent attractive young woman well informed about physical fitness and nutrition. She obtained at least the minimum daily requirement (MDR) of her physical needs, such as vitamins and exercise, but was starving from lack of emotional MDRs. When she experienced a putdown, she would dwell on her shortcomings, beat on her self and get depressed – in short, she would trap herself in a cycle of misery.
When people praised her or otherwise showed their approval, she felt good about herself and remained in a cheerful frame of mind. She seemed unable to cope with critical comments, however, whether or not the criticisms were valid. She reacted to criticism by blaming others and herself, leading to a depression that was often incapacitating, causing her to stay in bed with a headache, queasiness, insomnia, lack of energy, on and on.
Caroline sought help to break this cycle. She learned that our mind has a minimal daily requirement (MDR) for emotional needs just as our body requires physical nutrition. She was skeptical at first when told it was her responsibility to provide her own MDR of emotional well-being, that she could stop her depressions and feel good every day. However, she made a list of her positive qualities and all that she could be grateful for. As she was advised, she began substituting positive statements for the negative ones … what she had attained, had now, and might yet attain instead of what she had lost, didn’t have now, or might never attain. When she looked in the mirror, she told herself “I’m lovable. I’m a hot sketch” and laughed, instead of the putdowns you can imagine she had been telling herself.
One day she counted the approvals she got from others: “Two. If I depended on others for my self-worth, I’d be depressed most of the time!” Caroline mentally added up the pullups she gave herself each day and just ignored the putdowns. She began with10 that soon grew with practice to 20-30. Within a month the endorsements became automatic and effortless. She consistently had good day after good day. She began to sing in the shower, walk proud, and remind herself she was somebody. She let go of the blaming, self-pity, and “what if” worrying. She used the energy from her newer way of thinking to develop an attitude of gratitude.
This is Caroline’s favorite pick-me-up fantasy: “I picture myself marching down Main Street, the VIP in a parade. A brass band playing The Most Beautiful Girl in the World marches behind me. Two young women dressed in colorful costumes walk in front carrying a banner that stretches across the street. The banner reads, ‘Hurrah for Caroline!’ and I wave to say, ‘Yep, that’s me.’” With this visualization, Caroline quickly returns to reality with her energy restored, ready to take on the world.
Just as we don’t know the exact number of vitamins, minerals, exercise, and other requirements we need to enjoy optimum physical health, we don’t know the exact number of MDRs we need to satisfy our emotional well-being. As we increasingly create our emotional MDRs, however, we’ll sustain our well-being more confidently. You’ll discover the number of MDRs you need to give you “fuel” to carry you through the day. Start with ten pullups and increase the amount up to twenty, thirty, or more. You’ll know that you have created sufficient MDRs when you’re able to maintain your well-being on a consistent basis, and face life’s challenges both energetically and enthusiastically.
Take time each day to provide for both your physical and your emotional well-being. After you exercise, or while you’re eating breakfast, take a few moments to consider your emotional MDRs. You can give yourself MDRs anytime and anyplace, but if you become accustomed to doing so at certain times, you will form the habit quickly. Make a short, positive statement to yourself; “Atta girl!/Atta boy!” Or use detailed imagery to create a self-endorsement fantasy, like Caroline’s brass band.
Would you like to turbo-charge learning emotional self-endorsement skills? It’s simple. Apply “secondary endorsement.” Secondary endorsement is endorsing yourself each time you engage in the very worthy act of emotionally endorsing yourself!
Like forging through a jungle, unless it’s regularly maintained, the path will soon be overgrown until not even a trace remains. Neglecting your emotional needs causes self-putdowns to re-appear and soon overpower the new habits. Secondary endorsement is the maintenance that keeps the path of self-endorsement clear.
Behavior that is rewarded is repeated! With practice, secondary endorsement will become automatic and effortless. Give yourself credit each time you endorse yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that secondary endorsement will rapidly build mental muscles that you will be proud to own.
“Hurrah! Congratulations to me for endorsing myself. That’s worthy of a special bonus. I deserve to endorse myself for endorsing myself.”
“Pull-ups,” i.e. self-endorsements, serve you better than putdowns. When you endorse yourself for endorsing yourself, you pull yourself up and keep yourself up. As you recognize that you’re endorsing yourself, enthusiastically call forth images such as blinking lights, musical accolades, and cheers as your signal to automatically trigger the secondary endorsement you deserve for endorsing yourself.
As you begin to feel consistently good about yourself, you’ll notice that people will enjoy being with you and seek out your company. The friends and popularity everyone desires are far more likely to develop when you no longer need others to reassure you. And you can add your new, upbeat attitude to your list of emotional MDRs.
Here is a special bonus. As you create the MDR of loving-my-self pullups, you will attain the hightest expression of unconditional love: forgiveness. Forgiveness = for + giving. The hardest form of love is forgiving one who has or is perceived to have done harm to us. Remember the most powerful words ever spoken: “Forgive them; they know not what they do.” Begin with self-forgiveness.