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          Welcome to today’s insight!  Stren #16 explains the multiple benefits that place self-endorsement among the most important of all the skills that we require to survive and thrive in today’s world.  You will appreciate the series of self-endorsement techniques that follow and will eagerly add them to your collection of wisdoms.

          Here is the simple explanation of why self-endorsement skills are essential for our well-being.  Instinct and tradition hardwire their preferred problem-solving action pathways in the older part of our brain where emotion resides.  We create common sense solutions to today’s problems applying new knowledge and wisdom using the last to mature intelligent cerebral cortex portion of our brain, what I label our “freedom organ.”  Emotion usually trumps intellect, so self-endorsement is our freedom organ’s powerful means to add sufficient emotion to intelligence to override the established action pathways of instinct and tradition.  Now be impressed as we consider the beneficial power of self-endorsement, the opposite of the more common habit of engaging in self-putdowns.       

          All of us are born helpless and totally dependent on others to survive and thrive.  As would be expected, we quickly learn to seek the approval of those “others” who are the source of our well-being.  Until we teach ourselves sufficient self-endorsement skills to make ourselves emotionally whole, we will continue to depend on others to sustain our well-being.  And of course, if others are the source of what good we experience, whatever frustration we experience must also be attributed to them as well.  Blaming others is indicative of immaturity. Blaming is a common ingredient of self-serving dictators who remain stuck in the immature belief that someone or something other than themselves is the source of their distress and must be punished.  Blaming others, which leads to harmful aggression, is our most primitive and prevalent automatic response to frustration.  The greatest instances of today’s problems, both global and local, are the outcome of our innate and early-acquired blaming pattern.  Blaming becomes habit through repetition during our decades of dependency.  Self-endorsement is our opportunity to make a quantum leap towards self-mastery, to become our own person.  Self-endorsement skills are the means by which we assume responsibility to make our life’s experience joyous and meaningful.  Our skill in self-endorsement serves as a marvelous role model that benefits our loved ones.  Self-endorsement is the antidote for the more common nonproductive self-putdown skills we learn.   

          Sadly, a common way our society teaches us to divert our anger and aggression towards others is by redirecting it to ourselves.  This process is called “guilt.”  Guilt is directing harmful aggression to our self instead of towards others; what I call “blaming in” instead of “blaming out.”  Guilt is a unique human quality we learn from expert teachers.  Blaming others and blaming ourselves rarely lead to lasting constructive outcomes.  Blaming most commonly results in physical confrontation, resentment, stress disease, depression, apathy, and a host of other maladies.