Tracey’s Bottom Line was ‘ I am a failure She grew up in an achievement – oriented family , who sent her to a highly competitive school where acadmic success was paramount. Tracey was intelligent , but relentless oressure stopped her from performing at her best. She compensated by working extras hard , and this became her Rule. ‘ I must always perform 110 per cent or I will surely fail.’ So long as she could obey the Rule, she felt more or lessOkay about herself.
But if for some reason she could not obey it-she was ill , or exhausted , or simply had too much on her plate – then she was in trouble . Sticking to her Rule was not optional – she had to do it , no matter what : if not, it just proved she was right : she really was a failure.
WHAT KEEPS LOW SELF-ESTEEM GOING?
Let’s turn now to how the Bottom Line is activated and explore the vicious circle that keeps it alive. We will follow Tracey’s story to illustrate how it works.
Activation of the Bottom Line
Two kinds of situations activate the Bottom Line
1- Situation where your Rules for living might be broken . In this case , what happens next will have an uncertain , anxious flavour.
2-Situation where you think the Rules definitely have been broken . In this case , what happens next will have a low, depressing feel to it.
1- Situation where the Rules might be broken .
One day Tracey faced a major challenge . She had to give an important presentation at work , in front of a new client and her line manager. She was afraid that she would make a mess of it, in front of everybody. It had not happened yet, but it might . Everything that might go wrong raced through her mind- predictions ,’ what ifs’, and’supposings’. She saw in her mind ‘s eye an image of herself, stammering, red in the face, every-one-staring with disapproval.
Not surprisingly, Tracey’s oredictions sparked off anxiety . Her heart was pounding , her mouth dry , her mind in a whirl. This prompted even more predictions .
What could she do to stop her predictions from coming true?
I will complete in article 3 soon.
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