Deepen our sense of awe for our own existence

Rogers first developed the concept of unconditional positive regard for his psychotherapy clients in the fifties.

It’s defined as the basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what they say or do.

The encouraging part is, we don’t have to pay two hundred dollars an hour to benefit from this experience. Each of us can deepen our sense of awe for our own existence. We can learn to relate to ourselves not from place of narcissism, but from a place of compassion.

One tactic is not over identifying with an individual success or failure. Setting boundaries on our tendency to allow single events to define us, either positively or negatively.

Cloud, the preeminent educator on the topic of boundaries, recommends the following question:

What outcomes or individuals have had the power to make you begin to feel so bad about one event or outcome, that you feel like everything is going south?

We all have our own version of this. Personally, mine always centered around mechanical or manual labor. Building, adjusting or operating simple machines. Especially when others are watching. That gives me the sweats, flushes my skin and results in me calling myself and incompetent and pathetic schmuck. What’s yours?

But this is the moment is where the unconditional positive regard comes into play. Before, during and after the event, we breathe deeply and remind ourselves of a few fundamental truths.

You can execute simple tasks calmly and competently.

This recent experience does not limit who you are and what you can become.

Your level of skill is not fixed and unchangeable until the end of time.

Because your value is solid, it doesn’t rise and fall in lockstep with your latest result. 

Do you see yourself as a worthwhile being even when you are not behaving notably competent?


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