So how are you? Does everything work for you? Does life live up to your expectations?
How you answer these questions depends, among other things, on your self-esteem; how you feel about yourself; your skills and levels of self-confidence; in short, your self-esteem. If you feel that your self-esteem is low, read on because this article is exactly what you are looking for and will definitely help you on the path to a more positive future.
How you think and feel about yourself affects all areas of your life and, more importantly, affects your behavior and performance. If everything works well for you, then happy days! If, on the other hand, life is not going as well as you would like, you may want to assess your current life position and examine the conditioned elements that can hold you back from the happiness, success, and life you deserve.
Dr. Thomas A Harris was a practicing psychiatrist and author of the best-selling book, I’m okay – you’re okay, based on the theory of transaction analysis, developed by Dr. Eric Berne. In his book, Harris identified four life positions and suggested that most people live their lives in, I’m not okay – you’re okay position, leading to dysfunctional responses to others and life conditions.
I will not bother you with an in-depth analysis of psychology, but I will introduce you to the four dominant life positions identified by Harris. This will help you focus and consider your own life position; it helps you plan a path to greater happiness and greater success.
In his book, Harris identifies ‘OK Corral’, in the form of a grid that identifies the four life positions. I have described the life positions below and identified the dominant characteristics and characteristics of each, which allows you to make an assessment of your own situation. There is no right or wrong in any position; they are simply descriptive and reveal associated properties.
I’m not okay – you’re okay
Harris describes this as a submissive position associated with low self-esteem. People in this life position are often attracted to professions where they can surround themselves with others who have more problems than they have. They are likely to show “people appealing” qualities and are happy to receive recognition for this. Those in this position are likely to take the blame for the lack of success for others under their responsibility. They are likely to put the needs of others above their own and may be too accommodating. Usually, they may not pay attention to their own personal development and avoid personal challenges.
I’m not okay – you’re not okay
This is a passive / aggressive position; it recognizes the submissive element in the former position and is associated with low self-esteem. It contains an atmosphere of negative judgment of others. Those who hold this position in life are likely to feel a sense of hopelessness about life in general and may be hypocritical about others around them. This can be a position that is problematic for those who have managerial or work management roles, as they often have negative opinions about work colleagues and their ability to develop. They can usually use a negative tone when communicating with those who report to them. They may have the opinion that it is everyone else who has the problem and not them.
I’m okay – you’re not okay
Those in this position of life are usually judgmental and aggressive towards others. They can also show similar characteristics to those in the first two life positions. They are likely to avoid taking on new responsibilities and can be guiding in their attitude towards others, especially those who report to them in a workplace situation. They are likely to form negative opinions about their bosses and bosses and may suffer from anxiety. They often lack self-confidence and may be predisposed to depressive states.
I’m okay – you’re okay
This is described as the ideal position to be in. People who hold this life position exhibit high degrees of emotional intelligence. They are generally healthy confident, familiar and comfortable in their own skin. They show a high level of self-awareness and have a high respect for themselves and others. They are most likely to be non-judgmental and accept others for who they are. They show strong leadership qualities and believe in the ability of others to succeed. It is an enlightened life position and the most likely leads to greater personal happiness.
To repeat, there is no right or wrong life position to have, but referring to OK Corral can be helpful in assessing your own emotional circumstances and your levels of self-esteem. In reality, you may not fit into any life position, and may show some or all of the characteristics of a life position contextually. That said, you might find it easy to agree I’m okay – you’re okay position seems to be the healthiest place to be and the one that is most likely to create greater personal happiness.
What happens next is entirely a matter of personal choice – only you can decide to make the changes required to adopt a more powerful life position. You may think that change is not possible for you, but this is just a misguided, habitual thought pattern. Change is always possible and it’s never too late – all it takes is a mindshift, like shifting to a higher gear as you drive; once you know how to do it it will be easy. In the first place, I would recommend getting a copy of Harris’ book, which will generate a greater understanding of the principles discussed here.
To your success – the choice is yours …