By | Published On: April 26, 2010 |

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

For years I’ve wanted to travel the speaker circuit presenting on Self esteem, but felt a reticence given the natural sensitivity people have to being told their self esteem might need a boost! I gave my first workshop on this subject in several years to a group of Executives within ACE last Friday and found it a great experience.

Our memory is made of two predominant sections; the shorter conscious part (which doesn’t hold much), and the larger sub-conscious that is said to hold every experience we’ve ever known. As we cannot access this much information the conscious part of the brain uses a filter called the ARAS system or Ascending Reticular Activating System to help us. This filter ‘selects’ information that we tag as relevant, intense or significant. Therefore negative events are particularly well stored in the long term memory because they fit all 3 of these criteria. So too do positive events but we are less used to emphasising these.

If we therefore spend a lot of time thinking about our weaknesses the ARAS system strives to search for every example of when we have used that weakness from the long term memory, thereby embedding that doubt or fear and damaging our self esteem. It can’t help it; it’s doing what we tell it! So always emphasise your strengths at the forefront of your mind; visit significant events with a positive viewpoint related to what you benefited from not what you didn’t, and you have a major tool in your kit bag for enhancing your success!