The metaphor of poker. Why self-esteem allows you to risk more in life?
Many times we have heard the importance of self-esteem for the welfare of people. The other day listening to an audio-book "Jack Canfield," I found me a very interesting metaphor.
Jack Canfield explains how it affects us or not having self-esteem before facing a situation through the metaphor of two players of poker. If a poker table have a player who has 10 cards and a player with 100 chips, which player is more likely to take chances 5 chips in one move ?. Surely we agree will be the player with the most chips.
In absolute terms the play is the same for both players: both bet 5 chips. However, in relative terms the stakes are much larger for the player who has fewer chips because 50% of what is playing, while the other player would play only 5%. Since the possible loss is smaller, it is much easier than the risk is assumed.
I was struck by the metaphor, because it explains very well how we feel when on occasion our self-esteem is low. In those moments we have almost chips. We do not want to risk losing the few that remain, so we stood. We played defensively with fear.
On the contrary when we are jubilant, with full confidence, it is much easier to dare to do things, risk our necks, we know we have a situation that allows us to face the possible loss.
There is another effect also dangerous that I would add to what he says Canfield. It is when the lack of self-esteem makes us try something but do not we try with all our strength. We tried in a limited way and somewhat cowardly, not to risk that low self-esteem left. We delude ourselves into believing that we do not want something we do want to protect us from possible disappointment of failure. It is the intent or capon castrated. (Yes, it may seem a silly name. Now try to forget)
Besides there are two things that effect on self-esteem that are different from the metaphor of Canfield. One good thing and a bad one. First the bad news.
The vicious circle
There is something even worse self-esteem that is not reflected in this metaphor. In poker being equal skill of the players, the chance to win or lose an amount is the same.
However in the case of self-esteem, when we took a chance to do anything, let's get out the possibility of gaining self-esteem is greater than the possibility that lose.
That is imagine you have to make a public presentation, introduce you to some people, or sell a product to a customer. In most such cases, if things do not go as expected, no loss, no gain only one occurs. Whereupon the defensive position, not to risk it is much more costly in life than a card table.
If we risk most likely to win self-esteem. And we can win the return to risk, and win again. It is the upward spiral of self-esteem.
The do not take risks or attempt a castrated makes us unable to gain self-esteem. And we did not win does not have it and therefore do not take risks. That is the vicious circle of self-esteem.
Now the good news. There's something about the reality of self-esteem that is positive and that is not included in the metaphor. And we can only create tabs with our mentalizing.
When things go well everything is simple and need not psych. But what about when things go wrong ?. That's when we need to realize that we must create tabs "artificially".
To create chips "artificially", ie when no successes to support our self-esteem is necessary to resort to methods like affirmations and visualization. That is an artificial way to imagine the success that unfortunately do not have at that time and that reinforces our image of ourselves.
Have you ever felt the downward spiral or the upward spiral of self-esteem? I'd love to know your opinion.