How can I raise my self-esteem?

I have very low self-esteem. I am pretty sure, though, that I’m a great person because that’s what people keep telling me. I can recognize that I have a warped self-view because I don’t believe I am beautiful, but everyone tells me that I am. I really am quite good at life, but I get easily bogged down (and somewhat socially crippled) by self-doubt. How can I stop negative thought patterns from wiping out everything I’ve learned about me being great? Negative concepts about myself are just so robust and overpowering.

How do you change an arrogant person?

Yes, you can change someone.

Seems I disagree with most people. A refreshing change where most people believe it is morally wrong to want to get someone to be a better person. Can you get an arrogant person to change?

Yes, you can change people. Yep, I said it. You can change people. And people are changing people all the time. It is called leverage, pressure, finding their current motivation, etc. etc.

Sales people use it all the time. The media does it as well. Everyone is changing things all the time. People discuss, learn, grow, adapt constantly.

How many times have you changed your mind today? What influenced you – just you? Or were there any external motivations used by others? Was the media involved in any way online or offline?

Did you turn on the radio and instantly like the song playing and felt better? There are trillions of dollars spent every year, millions of jobs where people spend all day – every day – planning in exquisite detail about how to change things to their own advantage. They are called politicians, lawyers, corporations, and even Reddit, Quora, and others.

This also applies to motivation. Can you motivate someone? Yes, see above.

Everybody begins the desire to change once the proper form of benefit is shown to them. Everybody begins to desire to change once they see a better way of getting what they really want. An arrogant person (generically speaking) wants to be right and known for being right. But what is wrong with being admired, appreciated, respected, and revered if the person keeps their ego in check about it. People love compliments. Once an arrogant person sees this better way of getting admiration and appreciation they want to change.

People often say change yourself first. I agree and add this – Change yourself first so you can change others for the better. Or rather, learn the skills of leadership, self improvement, and how to offer a better way to people.

But can people really change? Most think no. I disagree again (respectfully). I have just given an example about how sales, marketing, and motivation combined with psychology and personal development can produce the desire to change.

And, here, we all know my favorite method for change – Gutap, of course.

What you can sit with, you can move beyond

It is counter-intuitive for some to think that being with a feeling (feeling it) makes it easier to change, or work with.  And rightly so.  Many people that don’t have a lot of experience sitting with their own feelings frequently find themselves completely triggered by them, or numb to them- in which case they work their way out in self destructive ways creating problems.

Many people try to get away from their uncomfortable feelings, afraid that letting themselves feel the feeling means it will never go away, or that it will take over – which actually can happen.

Being afraid of being/sitting/feeling incompetent as an example:

  • Some people are very uncomfortable feeling incompetent.  They feel stupid and will do anything to avoid feeling this, including not trying new things, blaming others to the extremes (as a distraction from their own true feelings) and possibly shaming them, beating themselves up for not getting things right the first time (perhaps letting the feeling control them rather than feeling and sitting with it).   Many can relate to not being comfortable when they look at their own incompetent moments and the fears and negative triggers that may come up.
  • When a person gets good at just acknowledging their own incompetence without condemning themselves, the easier it is to grow their skills.  Once we get to the point of just starting to do something well we are no longer incompetent.  Yet, the degree we are comfortable with the sense of feeling incompetent the faster getting to the mastery stage will go.  No one starts out doing things perfectly, ever, and being ok with not being good at first, can also allow for fun and creativity. This is the exploration, development, and mastery of life that everyone is after.


I remember when I was learning to cross-county ski. I signed up for something like a series of twelve sessions or something and off I went. I was the only individual in the class. Everybody else had the benefit of having brought a friend. As we started our first practice exercise I kicked in several different skills learned from personal development training and other places like the Inner Game of Skiing. It wasn’t anything super fancy or ego controlling or even sophisticated really. I like to start with simply getting into the present moment and returning to it as often as I can when I realize I am out of it. It isn’t black or white, there are a lot of degrees of how much going on here. I like to use a simple breathing exercise or, rather, I simply feel my breathing to relax. I think that’s one of the key things is that I’m not “completely” in the zone just always moving more into the zone. I simply do something to move more into zone when I notice I can. It took many years of practice to get decent at this. And the zone is also separate from skill level in cross-country skiing. I can get into the flow to one degree or another quite easily. But that doesn’t make me great at sports it just helps me to thoroughly enjoy them. And by enjoy I mean to finish a ski run feeling better than when I started or achieving the runner’s high, things like that.

The biggest feeling I had getting in the way of being in the flow when I was learning was feeling stupid (and awkward was second). I simply embraced the feeling to learn what I was supposed to from it. I got into it just the way it was, no more – no less. And as I did I practiced Zen – no mind. That empty space stuff. Now that I think about it I don’t think I really achieved no mind while I was skiing. And I’ve only ever fully hit that place a couple of times in life and then only for a few seconds.

Then, once I was practicing being in the moment, I began the translation process from intellectual instruction received to emotional physical experience. For example, the instructor said, “Look up when you’re skiing. It’s easier to ski. You fumble less.” So I’m feeling this experience of looking up without telling myself to look up (along with stupid and awkward). And it works. Looking out ahead works far better than micromanaging foot placement by staring at my feet. I feel good. And I feel good that I feel good without engaging the ego. If the ego comes in I give it an exercise that’s helpful to what I’m doing similar to bounce hit from Inner Game of Tennis. It really wasn’t that hard once I got the hang of it. Just feel, let the mind go.

“Holy crap?” you say. That’s far more thinking that is going to knock you right out of the flow. How do you do that? Simple, you read, study, practice, keep adding, watch for anything and everything that becomes a problem, deal with it, and above all – revert back to feeling action instead of telling yourself what to do. There is literally ten times more in the book The Inner Game of Golf that I haven’t done than what I’ve actually practiced. Just picking out the first chapters and getting started drops me into the flow far more often now than ever before.

Back to my cross-country skiing lesson: Well, I started looking around. I wanted to see how others were doing. How was I doing managing my state compared to others? No judgment, just checking. I was curious and seriously wanted to measure myself. And I almost fell down laughing. People can be so cutesy when they are obviously trying so hard to look good instead of learning. Ego was out of control. I did some compassion and forgiveness work and went back to my own learning. Dropped “feeling pleased with myself” then reverted to a more sincere achievement to produce my confidence and I was back in the flow.

Now here’s the incredible part if that wasn’t enough. By the end of the class both the instructor and his assistant both separately complemented me that I was a natural and had picked cross-country skiing up quite well. (I’m still a novice and not winning any races or anything.) They just were noticing a fluidity and mentioned that. And the important part here was I am not a sports person. I am a bit of a geek – stiff and awkward. Not ever really all that great at sports. Their compliment seemed genuine and was not solicited. I didn’t take the class to impress them. Just hangin out, doin my thing. One instructor was also able to notice a particular action I was taking (pausing at the end of each stroke for just a second) and I was also able to take that instruction inside and feel to adjust for that. Nothing amazing here just a whole ton of years of practice to get to this point. The bliss of being in the flow isn’t too tough to achieve anymore. It’s now more of degrees of achievement. And I haven’t got anywhere close to being completely, fully so far into the zone that my body rejuvenates itself faster than I take action. No one has ever done that. I hope it is possible but I don’t know if I have enough time left in life to get there. Just appreciating enjoying life.

So this business of success of which the placebo effect is always a part is only seriously complicated at first. Then it only takes about forty-five seconds to get there. Two years to learn golf swing – then only about 45 seconds to hit a decent shot off the first tee most of the time. Two years to 45 seconds. It’s like that with pretty much all sports. About six months to two years to learn a difficult skate board trick then executed in about 45 seconds.

How to instantly return to the present moment.
Do what it takes to be successful and you are successful every single time.

Do you feel like doing it?

Trust is a feeling. Interesting that it is mentioned last as the thing to do.

Meaning you can change what you feel like doing.

Another way to put is what professional athletes do. It is called warming up. Then you feel like doing something bigger. The warm up is preceded by your vision, where you look to in your mind. What do you see? What would you like to see? There, you changed it.

You are never going to feel like doing it.

Well, if you don’t learn to get your feelings in support of what you are doing then you will eventually burn out, get bored, or just quit because it sucks. You are just forcing yourself to do what you need to and that always has a time limit on its effectiveness. Learn to align your feelings with what you need to do and then you can keep going because you do feel like doing it.

Learn to feel like doing it and you practically there.


Now the weird part. Sometimes it is perfectly ok to force yourself to do what you need too. It is called will power.

Will power is only the forerunner to self-discipline

Will power is a wonderful short term use of the ego.

Ever notice how ego maniacs tend to run out of steam? It is not just because of the enormous amount of energy it takes to sustain sheer force of will. It is also because will power is only designed to be used short term.

Think of your biceps and your neck muscles. Ever wonder why you can’t hold up your hand for more than a few minutes at a time without your arm getting exhausted? While your neck holds your head up all day long without much of a problem. The difference is in the TYPE of muscle you are using. Your biceps are designed for short term heavy lifting while your neck can’t really do fifteen push-ups very well.

There is a trade off to get the best of both worlds. Will power is your biceps and self-discipline is your neck. In other words – when was the last time you had a work out for your neck muscles? Not very often I bet! But will power? That gets it every day.

The point is what to use for what – don’t depend on will power long term. Or beat yourself up when will power does not cut it to get out of bed early day after day after day.


Confuse them at your peril.




Getting things done

Seeking productivity?

Here is a classic.

Yep, everyday wake up and do the most important thing first not the most pressing. It is tempting to get sucked into a world of what is urgent and pressing. Panic drives people to action (maybe even paralysis if too much). Get out in front of your life by heading things off.

What is the single greatest thing you need to do right now?

If you need to warm up the of course that works too then do the single greatest thing possible.

Watch how your life changes.

What is more important to success: Intelligence or reliability?

What is more important to success:

intelligence or reliability?

Of course, both are necessary but if you could only
have one in yourself or a partner, which would you take?


Intelligence is more important than reliability because if nothing was leading all the reliability in the world would have no place to go. Sounds weird, right? Because reliability is the ability to be counted upon – which means nothing without someone to count on you. What good is being reliable if there is no one smart enough to give you something to rely upon.


Intelligence is a leader.

Reliability is a follower.


If everyone is a follower then we go nowhere but if everyone is a leader then we are alpha’s among alphas.


Another example is creativity as a form of intelligence. Creative people are often known for being erratic, eccentric, unpredictable, blunt, critical, and condescending but when they produce – WATCH OUT! Because the world changes in incredible ways. Would I want to be neighbors with Leonard DaVinci, Picasso , or Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, etc)? Probably not. Only without this intelligence what need would there be for reliability. It is possible to manage the craziness of intelligence to obtain invention or products to turn over to reliable people. It just isn’t easy so people turn to reliable but then they don’t have any new results.


Creativity (a form of intelligence) comes before even the need of reliability. All current reliability is following great intelligence that came before it.


Be intelligent first, then reliable. Both are needed.




These hypothetical questions are sometimes seen as being redundant academic exercises with no practical application in the real world.


Here is a practical application: People with the proper priorities become successful and stay that way. Knowing the priority of intelligence over reliability gives you an edge. Now go use it well, meaning, be smart first and then follow through with reliability.


Here are just two examples from several different categories of managing the creative individual Jayne:



Make her productive quickly

Show her the simplest, quickest, most practical way to get results



Provide opportunities to work independently

Allow her to direct the efforts of others



Use brief, direct statements, focusing on achievements, results, and leadership abilities

Use concise, accurate, specific statements (preferably in private) about her competence, use of logic,

efficiency, and precision



Focus on obstacles to achieving results and how to eliminate them

Present needed changes in terms of impact on results and consequences



Tends to take a practical, results-oriented approach, preferring simple, easy-to-implement, immediate solutions

May need to be directed toward considering the long-term consequences



Tell her what result you need and by when; let her determine how to get it done

Specify clearly the limits of authority and available resources, allowing autonomy within those limits



Be firm and direct, specifying the desired result as well as current level of performance

Direct the discussion to what she is going to do to eliminate the gap in performance



Tends to be a quick decision-maker

May need coaching on taking time to gather sufficient information and considering possible consequences before making decisions

Skills teaching, yes, but not without healing

Which part of mindset do you really want to learn about?

Focusing on the skills teaching of personal development produces direct income. If you teach sales skills then someone can earn money by doing sales. The real problem is in healing. What do you do if someone lacks the motivation, interest, or has blocks around doing sales? That is where being able to change our beliefs comes into play. Everyone in the personal development arena also promises they can help you through this but they simply can’t explain very well how they do it. If they can’t explain it how are they doing it with their clients then? Look at the success rates.

Look for someone who can explain this well. I explain it in detail greater than anyone else around. (If I am bragging or sound egotistical, do you really care if I can deliver?) I’ve posted it here on warrior and it is on my website (with video client testimonials).

Money or love? You can’t have both.

So why should we ever give up or quit?

I think everyone should quit smoking.

Or more specifically, always quit the moment you realize you are not going to get what you truly want.


For example we often see the example that people who pursue money and power do not get love. The love and acceptance being what they really want but are constantly trying to fill that void in their lives with money and power. No amount of money can buy love (sure, you can rent the hell out of it) but it is still not love.


Should they quit making money then?


No, they just need to make a shift in getting their needs met.


But if they don’t have such a huge drive to make money anymore from their own lack of love then won’t they at least have a drop in their motivation in making money.


Yep. Which is part of what scares the crap out of people that are power hungry and make a lot of money. They will make less money. And now the truly scary part. If they do make a true shift in getting their needs met then will they be happy and satisfied just making less money? The answer –




This is the main reason why creative people do not get help. For two weeks after therapy they are not creative anymore. And this should scare the crap out of you.


Unless you do one more thing. Anybody know what that is?


Secrets to setting priorities to achieving any goal

When do you keep at it and when do you shift gears?

This is how long to keep at it before you start wasting your time:

If you know it is going to work then stay at it until it does. If you don’t know if it is going to work then what are wasting your time on?

A bit of a surprising response coming from me (of all people) – I must say. We could both name things for hours and hours that people worked on when they had no idea if it was going to work or not. Scientific and medical research just to name two. Inventors work their whole lives building and working on things without anything more than a hope that they might discover how something might work. Imagine if Edison only worked on things he knew for sure were going to work?


Only Edison (and all the rest) only worked on what they KNEW was going to work. Edison was a driver, hard worker, and pushed every day. He KNEW he was going to develop the best light bulb even when he didn’t know how. See the subtle difference?

Drive seems to be one of the best ways to achieve success. People that push to results like Edison achieve success. They know it will work (whatever they do) because they MAKE it work.

Now this was a case of asking a poor question to begin with. I must respectfully suggest asking a better question, “How do I keep interest and passion in doing the hard work to achieve success?”

Or, “How do I enjoy work?”.

See how you get better answers?



For those professionals who work too hard

Why do you work so hard?

By asking the question, “Why am I such a hard worker?” your mind begins to answer it. Just to ask the question is to lose because your mind starts telling you all the reasons why you are a hard worker. This will bring understanding about how you work but as Jung criticized Freud, “Thanks, Freud, now we know WHY we are so screwed up BUT WE ARE STILL SCREWED UP!” It is the insight we are after but often the wrong question just beats ourselves up.

In school we were taught that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Why was this? Because it turns out that there are stupid questions after all.

A slightly better question is, “What can I do about being over worked?” This way your mind will come up with things you can do about it based on what you believe your options are.

If you don’t like the answer then ask better questions and learn more about what to do.

Contact Toby

Toby Jensen, Master Life Coach
Park City, UT
(801) 484 - 3484

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