THE DIRECT ACTION PROGRAM
THE THIRD STEP
(Excerpted from L. S. Barksdale, Building Sound Self-Esteem)
The purpose of this Direct Action Program is to:
1. Consciously generate positive feelings of self-esteem that will replace or cancel out old feelings of inferiority and inadequacy that have been accumulating at a non-conscious level since your earliest childhood;
2. Provide a new life style that generates, nourishes and maintains sound self-esteem, and that will thus make you a far happier, more effective and tranquil individual.
This action program is of vital importance. In fact, it is absolutely essential for building really sound self-esteem, for it is our selfdirected constructive actions rather than our intellectual concepts, no matter how sound, that produce the positive feeling reactions required to cancel out and replace our accumulated feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and lack of worth.
In fact, if we did not have a realistic perception of how and why we behave as we do, we could still achieve a significant measure of self-esteem simply by conscientiously conforming to the following "action statements."
The most positive and direct esteem-building endeavor we can possibly undertake is to assume full responsibility for our lives, and to deliberately direct our every nonroutine thought and action, i.e., take full charge of our life and affairs, and act accordingly.
It is ironic to recognize that we actually are in charge of our own lives and affairs even now, for we cannot possibly escape the consequences of our actions. Owing, however, to our limited awareness, most of us fail by "default," by merely reacting and drifting into whatever is easiest, most attractive, readily available.
Laying out an intelligent course of action and then conscientiously following it will pay rich rewards in augmenting our self-esteem. Such self-discipline, however, can be successfully exercised only by perceiving potential benefits that will outweigh the cost involved in following such a program. We cannot actively take charge of our lives if we do not realize the benefits that would accrue from such action.
We cannot deliberately feel warm and friendly (or loving) toward ourselves like we would turn on a water faucet. We can, however, achieve this objective by not doing the things that keep us from feeling that way. Specifically, we can alert ourselves to our critical belittling and condemnatory attitudes, and conscientiously stop being so harsh and demanding with ourselves.
The following action statements are to be used in three ways:
1. First and foremost, they are to be acted out at every opportunity, during every day of your life. You will experience a surge of self-esteem every time you convert one from a desired action into an actuality. And, the more difficult the specific action is to accomplish, the greater your gain in self-esteem;
2. They are to be used as affirmations to reinforce and support the desired action in a manner similar to the one you used in affirming The Realities Of Existence;
3. They are to be used in evaluating your progress in converting a given action into a way of life. They also indicate the areas in which you need to do the most work.
1. Choose the statement or group of statements you feel are most needed for your own growth in self-esteem. This is best done by an initial scoring of all twenty-five statements. Then, starting with the top of the list, work with each low-score statement or group of statements, as you prefer. When you can honestly score yourself a "3" or a strong "2," you are ready to proceed with the next statement or group, as the case may be.
2. Affirm your selected statement to bolster the desired action. It is usually more practical to affirm more than one statement at a time. Since they are short and direct, it is likely that you can effectively affirm five to ten statements in any one session.
a. Before each affirmation session, earnestly and expectantly state to yourself, "I seek sound self-esteem."
b. Vividly imagine exactly how you would feel if actually acting in the stated manner. Feel the victorious surge of self-esteem generated by such action. As far as possible
bring all your senses into the act.
c. Mentally rejoice in your sense of victorious accomplishment derived from taking active charge of your own life.
d. Seize every opportunity to affirm the statement or statements on which you are currently working. Affirm any time and every time you can manage, with or without
benefit of the full procedure. Every affirmation will help appreciably in accomplishing the desired action.
e. Occasionally review all statements to fix them in your awareness better, and to ascertain where your attention and efforts are most needed.
f. Work out your own affirmation schedule, whatever is best for you personally. Actually, as you become more familiar with the program, you will be surprised at how many odd times during the day you can effectively affirm these statements. You do not need a special place or time. The main thing is to maintain your awareness of them and their importance, and to put them into action at every available opportunity.
Be happy and grateful for even the slightest evidence of improvement in your sense of self-worth. This is fully justified and of crucial importance to your success. It is progress that counts, any progress. Above all, do not be harsh and demanding with yourself.
Remember, building sound self-esteem is a three-step program, and each step is vitally important to your success. Changing your life style by making these statements the foundation of your personal and interpersonal behavior is absolutely crucial to nourishing and maintaining sound self-esteem.
CAUTION: This Direct Action Program is not merely an "exercise" in building esteem. It must actually become a "way of life" if you want to enjoy the rich rewards of sound self-esteem! Conformance with every statement is vital to a healthy sense of self-worth.
Take this test every week, not so much for scoring but for awareness and inputting it into your mind.
Next: Read in the PDF copy, page 57, forward: Further Thoughts On Self-Esteem.
Until they are spontaneous and automatic.
Do not shortchange yourself on this.
[It was hugely powerful for me, perhaps the most important thing to learn in my life - and I've read 1,000s of books and done many, many seminars and workshops, so that statement of importance could be worthwhile heeding.]