Excerpted from "I Am" tape by Dr. Emmett Miller, the "Father of the Relaxation Tape" --he was apparently the first to create these-- back in the 1970s.
Relaxation/imagery on one side of the tape; this is from the 'heart to heart talk with Dr. Miller" on the other side..on self esteem. From his talk:
"....But what is self esteem, and where does it come from?
To esteem is to have respect for, to trust, and to have confidence in.
Our level of self esteem is a measure of how valuable we feel as human beings. It is a measure of how much we respect ourselves, and of how much confidence we have in ourselves.
Self esteem is not simply [about] believing people when they tell you that you're a good person or that you've done a good job or that you're attractive.
It's *more* than simply being aware that you're a good performer, that you can act effectively, or that you are efficient at reaching the goals that you set for yourself.
True self esteem is a quality that can come only from within.
Jack Canfield..a fellow member of the California Task Force on Self Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility, likens the essential part of a human being to a many-faceted diamond: it is beautiful and pure by its very nature.
But the experiences we have all had in our lives, have surrounded this diamond with a coating of manure, which he calls, the False Negative.
This layer is made up of all the doubts we have about ourselves -- our fears that we are not enough, our belief that we are not attractive, worthwhile, and so forth.
Not realizing that we are a diamond underneath -- and feeling ashamed of the manure that we have come to believe we really are, we try to hide.
We do this by painting a thin coating of nail polish on top of the manure. This is the False Positive -- the mask we wear.
This is what we want everyone else to see.
We want them to believe that we are good -- so we put on a phony 'good' mask, not realizing the deep irony of the situation -- that within, at the very center of ourselves, is something far more beautiful and pure than any mask we could ever create.
..And it takes a lot of work to keep this Mask up. Like any other lie, we have to keep creating further lies, to support the earlier ones, leading to a constant state of inner anxiety.
Not only that, [but] after a certain period of time, we may even begin to believe that the nail polish is, in fact, who we are. It's no wonder so many people end up living such empty lives.
To develop self esteem, then, you have to go beyond the mask you have created, and the imperfect, unworthy person you imagine yourself to be. True self esteem must be based on an honest experience and appraisal of, yourself. This is an important point to remember. Self Esteem is the result of an experience -- it is not merely an intellectual activity [...]
(I've been enjoying his tapes since 1994..tapes are at http://drmiller.com/products/index.html)