Your self-esteem and your self-control: what is the connection?

duality-wordpicPeople, all people are puzzled and disturbed by their dual nature. You love and hate, drip with envy, at times taken over by desire… while you consider yourself sane, and nice, and compassionate and goal-driven.

It is natural to be dual in nature, and it is natural to be puzzled about it, be disturbed about it. If you pay attention, this is the main reason humans invented religion… to make sense of this duality.

The drive to suppress one side of this duality, to declare it bad, or a sin is part of human nature. Human nature is to strive for simple, obvious, and clear… to strive for certainty. A sense of control or a sense that you can control your world.

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  • Labeling things gives us the illusion of control. Name it and claim it…
  • Don’t look at a thing… and it won’t bother you.
  • Just look at the positive… and the negative will disappear.
  • Chakras… the heart is good… the liver is bad… people different from us are bad.
  • god and the devil… heaven and hell, ego and heart… good and bad, virtue and sin…

This is called bias.

If you look and read and study, you’ll see that humans have always had biases… cognitive biases.



All biases are duality… giving preference or more weight to one way than to another.

All biases are run by the automatic brain… the non-thinking brain, the gene-predetermined brain.

You can fight all you want against duality, duality is built in and it’s not going anywhere.

YYSo called “smart” or “spiritual” people talk a good talk against duality… considering their behavior non-dual… but what a crock of crap!

Non-duality is a duality itself.

But bias, cognitive biases make you stupid. Or dumb… if you prefer that word.

So how do you escape being stupid? Should you suppress your cognitive biases?

Suppressing or dismissing has been the tool high-earning spiritual teachers recommend. And to show how well it works, they appear non-judgmental, and ethereal… saintly.

But the opposite of being stupid, predictably allowing the automatic brain to win, the prejudice to win, is not suppressing it. The opposite is to use the thinking, evaluating, constructive, structured brain. The thinking brain can take you out of the predictability of being an effect… stupid, duped, a victim, the result of the automatic brain-made decisions, and a instead become a cause… This is at the kernel of human being behavior.

America1Our brain, our thinking, our decision making mechanism haven’t evolved much since the early humans that got off the trees…

We have evolved modes and methods of thinking that are done by the higher functioning brain, but most of our lives are decided by the automatic brain that was already fully running the show hundreds of thousands years ago.

The world is evolving, the level of complexity is evolving, but the thinking tools we have are not used automatically. It will always take intention to use the thinking tools… “instinct”, the unthinking decision making mechanism will always take priority…

And no one seems to make it obvious to people, to all people, that the biggest battle of life is fought between our ears…

The battle between the unthinking and the thinking brain.

When you watch yourself for any length of time, the brain activity you can observe has no connection to the conscious mind… it is an automatic process, much like the spinning of the hard drive in your computer… seemingly doing something… treading water maybe?

And if you watch yourself, you don’t like to be forced to do conscious thinking at all…

  1. Primarily because you’ve never learned, never acquired tools to think,
  2. secondarily because you don’t want to be responsible for your intellectual capacities, or the lack of them,
  3. you don’t want to do the work… because it’s hard
  4. you don’t trust yourself, or your thinking.

cat-dualityThat leaves you with a predictable life: the gene driven brain, the whisper of tens of thousands of generations is running your life… in a world that would need you to use your thinking brain… and a world that creates your desires that cannot be fulfilled by the unthinking brain running the show.

So, believe me, duality is real, and it won’t disappear any time soon. Maybe ever…

What may happen is that instead of all the biases that run your life… Bias means ellipsis… your life may become more like a circle… and at some point the balance of power leans toward, biased to decisions made by the higher brain… that will be the day.

Warning: understanding the biases, knowing of the biases don’t protect you from those biases… in fact understanding is one of the cognitive biases… now that you understand, you know and you are safe… it says.

It’s a cognitive bias… understanding has little if anything to do with your behavior.

The unthinking brain is the you, the small you, and the Thinking Brain can give power to the YOU, the higher you.

I read, and muscle tested something last night.

It said that

self-esteem can’t be high if your sense of control over life is low.

self-control-dog You have been trying to tweak self-esteem… which is a symptom, and at least partially your sense of control is causing it to be high or low.

self-control-definitionWe know that with high self-esteem you’ll take more risks, you’ll be more willing to do things that cause your life to light up and be fulfilling.

So if you want to increase your self-esteem, increase your sense of control.

self-respect-is-the-fruit-of-discipline-the-sense-of-dignity-grows-with-the-ability-to-say-no-to-oneselfThe only thing you can truly control is yourself. Your behavior, your attention, where you look for guidance.

self-control-thinkTo start increasing your sense of control, start paying attention to which brain is giving you instructions and good ideas, first. Just pay attention first.

See if a thought, if an idea was consciously thought out, or just popped into your mind.

Once you are good at it, start replacing the unconscious, automatic thoughts with conscious thinking.

selfcontrolDon’t act on every thought, every impulse. Ask questions. Is this ego speaking? Ego is all genes… My hunch is that even what you call “the heart speaking” is genes…

Soul doesn’t speak nicely. Soul is like a child ready for a tantrum if you don’t do its bidding.

This pondering should be your first success at controlling yourself and your behavior.

94b9c071a1fb27fd56745a9dd745d8ebI’ll be posting more exercises where you can practice gaining control over yourself… and thus increase your self-esteem and the quality of your life.

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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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