This sphere is all about individual development, confidence, management of life, happiness, and satisfaction. It is about what makes you uniquely you, such as who you are as a person, your identity as a man or a woman, and your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. It is the sphere where your feelings about living the life you want lie.
Issues in the Self sphere can involve anything from low selfesteem to anxiety to anger management issues. Procrastination and poor organization may be examined. Traditional yoga poses helped people understand themselves more and was especially effective at getting to the root of the problems and providing an approach that helped people identify their issues, express their feelings, and manage their thoughts. Traditional yoga poses, however, usually won’t help you solve your problems and work toward goals throughout life. It might help you identify your negative behaviors, such as addictions and bad habits, but rarely offers effective strategies for managing these issues.
For cultural and other reasons, many people lack social confidence and believe that they are not equal to others. They sometimes are even delayed in their development because of the cultural messages they have received that they are “S ess than” others. They need to increase confidence, foster normal development, and decrease shame, energizing themselves to design the life they want to live.
Yoga poses does not usually offer people a road map for achieving these types of goals and measuring outcomes. Yoga, on the other hand, does address the Self sphere while also targeting life goals in all spheres while working toward greater resilience, momentum, and general optimized life performance.
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Doug wrestled with low self-esteem his entire life. As a highly successful attorney specializing in real estate issues, he enjoyed a satisfying and financially rewarding career. Married with three kids, Doug also had a rich family life. On the surface, it would seem that he should feel proud of himself and his success in personal and professional endeavors. Doug couldn’t even point to a traumatic upbringing as the source of his low self-esteem, having been raised in a loving, supportive environment. Nonetheless, Doug felt incompetent and overextended, even in his law prac-tice he thought he had done a good job of faking it and that any day people would see him as the fraud he really was. He doubted his skills as a husband and especially as a parent; his adolescent daughter’s issues completely befuddled him.
Working with a coach, Doug began to discover that his low self-esteem was mainly expressed in the Self sphere. However, it was clearly related to his perceived lack of ability in other spheres as well. Working with a coach, Doug discovered that a lot of his self-esteem problems were rooted in the Body and Spirit spheres. Doug had been overweight all his life, and he was convinced that people viewed him as overindulgent, sloppy, and undisciplined because of his weight. Similarly, he complained of feeling empty inside. Doug felt no part of any religion, and he confided in his coach that sometimes he felt like a mercenary or a free agent that he went about his life as if he were just going through the motions. Doug’s coach helped him articulate these Body and Spirit sphere issues as well as his goals for optimizing them. One goal was to lose weight, and the coach referred Doug to an excellent weight loss clinic Doug lost forty pounds over the next fifteen months. In addition, the coach created a plan that allowed Doug to explore various spiritual and religious possibilities. After examining multiple faiths, Doug eventually became a Buddhist. Achieving these two goals gave Doug’s life a new sense of meaning and purpose. He not only felt more confident at work, he also brought a wisdom and patience to parenting that he previously lacked.