[Excerpt from Michael Speaks: Transforming Chief Features]
SELF-DEPRECATION and ARROGANCE are attachments to how one defines one's self.
Self-Deprecation is the fear of NOT BEING ENOUGH, while Arrogance is the fear of BEING TOO MUCH.
Self-deprecation fears not being seen clearly, while Arrogance fears being seen too clearly.
Self-deprecation finds its scraps of self-esteem in being first to the punch for cutting himself or herself down. This is Self-deprecation's way of protecting the self from being invisible or feeling invisible or incompetent. The defense here is that if the individual can call out or showcase his or her own flaws first, then it is a way to show that he or she is on board with what they presume you will undoubtedly see, or are seeing already.
It is the only way they know how to be seen: through the lens of failures, flaws, insecurities, and doubts.
Arrogance, on the other hand, tries to protect its self-esteem by creating as protective a veneer as possible, hiding his or her insecurities behind a persona of false-confidence, offense, and defense. Since there is very little self-esteem here, it must be protected at all costs, often by deflecting through pointing out someone else's flaws or incompetence.
It is the only way they know how to keep any sense of self-esteem, by pretending that it exists in greater quantities than it does.
Self-deprecation points out its own flaws, and Arrogance points out yours.
The 7 Angles of Behavior for help in transforming Self-deprecation might be:
1. YOU ARE NOT IN TROUBLE
For those who struggle with Self-deprecation, there can often be a haunting sense of constantly being on the verge of being caught, being called out, humiliated, made to be an example, or "in trouble." Even when there is nothing to warrant such concerns.
And even more so when there is such a need for concern.
Allow for failure, for being incompetent, and build on your experiences so that you can learn, or make choices to pursue other directions. If your only concern is whether you will be in trouble, or not, then you will never truly be your best.
2. YOUR BEST MAY NOT BE THE BEST
There are going to be times when you do not meet the expectations of others, or yourself. And the very best that you can do may not be the best that someone else can do. That is a fact of existence. Embrace this and allow kindness as a process in your improvement, or as a part of your freedom to pursue your strengths.
3. CLEAN YOUR CONSCIENCE
That is not a typo. We speak to the necessity for those in Self-deprecation to CLEAN their conscience. By this we mean that the individual take time to note just how much clutter is in the mind that is from the past, buried like shallow graves, gathered there like a cemetery of failures and flaws, ready to be dug up at a moment's notice. It is important that those in Self-deprecation regularly look at these experiences as a PART of who they are, and not defining who they are.
CLEAN your conscience of these metaphorical graves and begin to make room for life, for living things to grow there. Let the failures of the past act as fertilizer, if you will, rather than preserved as some sort of trophy that makes up for competence.
4. CLEAN YOUR ENVIRONMENT
In addition to the clutter of the mind, those in Self-deprecation can fall into clutter of their space, reflecting the building debris of flaws, failures, failed expectations, etc.
For those with Self-deprecation, there can be a high tolerance for clutter, and this can be reflective of the tolerance for the the clutter in the mind, heart, and body.
A regular effort to clean, organize, and experience one's space helps to clean, organize, and experience one's self.
Attention to personal hygiene is important here, too. Those in Self-deprecation may not "smell" as a result of lacking personal hygiene, but they may very well skip on certain routines of care for the body that would help them to transform the sense of invisibility and inadequacy into self-nurturing and personal attentiveness.
5. CARE FOR YOURSELF
Do not presume that someone else needs to, or should, or could do this for you.
Care for yourself in as many ways you can in a day. Give yourself good food, good entertainment, good bathing, good hygiene, kindness, patience, etc.
6. STOP APOLOGIZING/EXCUSING
As long as you constantly apologize for yourself, you are not being responsible for yourself.
As long as you are making excuses, you are not being responsible.
Apologies and excuses are deflection from responsibility.
We are not speaking here in terms of the social courtesy of acknowledging grief, or acknowledging a slight, but apology and excuses as a buffer to protect from the ownership of response.
7. OWN YOURSELF
By this we mean that you freely acknowledge your behaviors, your failures, your flaws, but respond to them through ownership, not as a way to deflect from further responsibility.
When you apologize or offer excuses, you are reacting. You are not owning. When you own yourself, you can respond as opposed to react, and this is key to responsibility.
AN ASIDE: Keep in mind that the Chief Features will not just show up as behaviors in yourself, but as behaviors you endure or attract in others, as well.