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Can we really help our self-esteem grow with practical psychology tactics?

Mentor Sharoney is leading a new “mind” magazine and believes the answer is YES!

By Dyan J Scott

My childhood friend’s wife translated for me the next paragraph from an Israeli magazine- portal dated May, 2019. I thought it would make for a shorter explanation as to why I agreed to do this interview:

“’She’s a magician and psychologist, no, she’s like your genius priest that knows what you need to do and knows the perfect words to make you realize it yourself, yes, that’s probably a better description, text this number, don’t call. Her assistant will schedule it for you, he said. ‘You can mention my name, to her, not to anyone else, of course,’ he said with a distinct tone. ‘He’, is an ‘A-list’ celebrity you all know and have heard of. I consider this man a genius creator, a man that can make you believe it all with the way he creates his crafts. He moved from LA to Tel Aviv, and I guess when he wanted a life coach, his entourage had to make sure they would be top notch. He is so known and respected that when I texted Sharoney’s assistant, I could not have believed I was using his name as a reference. I could feel my fingers sweating while texting it.

But then it became even more weird.

Her assistant replied, ‘I am sorry, he is not our client, but I will schedule
you. She can talk to you this week, Monday 11:30 p.m. or next week, Friday 1 a.m., that’s all I have left for January.’

‘Hold on, when I spoke with X, he said I could mention his name as a reference
and that will get me in with a fast appointment. Maybe you can find a more suitable
hour for me?

‘I am really sorry, Mr. X, is a highly respected Y,’ she answered quickly.
‘But he is not our student. Anyway, these are the options I have available for her.
Should I schedule it for you?’”

Preparing for this interview, I read many articles and watched a few of Mentor Sharoney’s TV appearances, but this article reminded me of a story that may be an urban legend.

The story tells of a well-known rich couple in London who drove their five-year-old Rolls-Royce to their countryside vacation house. When the car broke down, the driver called the company’s service line and they, with no questions, in less than 30 minutes, sent a service car to pick up the couple, even though it was already 8 p.m. The Rolls-Royce service people also took the five-year-old car and brought it back the next morning when everything was perfect again. The couple were impressed, there was no bill sent. A few years later, the man, who was a known businessman, was interview and asked to give an example of how businesses fail or accelerate to the top. He brought up the car story, he said that he thought that he knew what greatness looked like, but Rolls-Royce showed him a whole new level.
The day after, the reporter called Rolls-Royce to get a response to add to the article, but the response was: “We are happy Mr. so-and-so loves Rolls-Royce and appreciates us, but we have no knowledge of something like that ever happening. You see, this just could not have happened.”

I don’t understand,” said the reporter, “what do you mean it could not have happened?”
“Well, it’s impossible, sir, because Rolls-Royces never break down. If there is nothing else, have a good day, sir.” She hung up. And that’s the Rolls-Royce story.

I could not help but think about this story. I guess that Sharoney gets her celebrity clients’ admiration not only because she is a good (or great?) mentor, but also because she isn’t bragging about them like others might and she keeps her mouth shut.

Sharoney travels for her clients, or “students,” as she likes to refer to them. She speaks English, Italian and Hebrew and mentors people in all three languages, though mostly in English these days.

She is a German-Israeli who lived in Rome, Milan (Italy), Tel Aviv (Israel) and in the last few years, has lived in the U.S, travelling to and from Vegas, Florida and Atlanta. In her own words, “I am very, very lucky to be able to live and serve people in the amazing USA.” When I asked her why she would say “serve,” she replies that her business is one thing, and that service is what you give people because you have abilities that can benefit more than one person, and that’s what makes her proud.

The few people who agreed to give me some background information were former students of hers, one of whom is a famous Italian singer, in her late 40s.

“It was about five years ago, I had it all, fame, money and a loving family and friends, but I was depressed, I was about to go to see a psychiatrist and ask for anti-depression pills and then, about a day before my appointment, a friend of mine asked if I would come to a small dinner party he was having. I refused politely. He said, ‘I really think you should come, there is someone you need to meet.’ I went, Sharoney was there with her significant other and they seemed to be having lots of fun. I did not know who she was, I was just standing there talking to someone I knew and two minutes later, she stepped forward and just took my hand and said, ‘Andiamo cara, dobbiamo parlare,’ which means ‘let’s go, we need to talk.’ I thought Marco mentioned something, but later on, I found out she did not even know who I was, she just felt I needed to talk. I was away from the media for a while and she had no idea who I was, but she recognized who I was ‘inside’ in seconds.”

“She said: ‘Dove’ sei andato?’ (‘where did you go?’) And I wasn’t sure what she meant. She added, ‘adesso,’ which means ‘now.’

It was a powerful moment. Such a simple question, but I got it.

She talked to me for a few minutes. She asked me questions that I might have heard before but the context she used was different. It was like she had the code. I woke up the next morning and called her and asked her to do a coaching session over lunch. She said she was already in Fiumicino (main airport in Rome), she suggested we do a session over the phone once she lands in the US. I asked her, ‘what do I need to do to make you stay a few more days?’
I needed her desperately, I could have offered money, but I also knew it would not be honorable, but I couldn’t let her go, either. You see, that morning when I called her, that was the first night I slept for nine hours straight in a while. There were 20 scary seconds of complete quiet and then she asked me, ‘Allora, tell me, what is bigger than our meeting? What can we make happen that will make our meeting a sidekick?’ I did not know what a sidekick was, it’s an American expression. Sharoney tried to translate to Italian but I did not get it. I said ‘lascia stare, grazie,’ which basically means ‘forget it.’

Then I hung up and three minutes later, called her again because I realized what she was asking me. ‘I don’t know why I thought about it, but I did. Sharoney, listen, they asked me to do a fundraising event for sick kids at the local hospital, but I can’t, I am on a break now, I’m not doing any shows, but if you help me, maybe I can,’ I told her.

There was silence again on the line and then she said, ‘Text me the nicest Sicilian restaurant you know, I’ll see you there in two hours.’ I could not believe it, but she came.

She stayed in Rome for five more nights, she brought me back. Literally, all of me. I did that children’s hospital event and three more fundraising events after. And ever since then, I make sure to talk to her at least once a month and meet every time she’s in Italy. I actually met her Christmas of 2019, we only had phone coaching after because of the pandemic. Anyway, I have much to do, it’s already night here you know, I hope that helps your article, Ciao, Ciao.”

Sharoney is sophisticated, smart, sharp as a knife but she keeps her words so simple it is easy to connect with her. She will make you laugh, she will push and shove you, she might even bully you for a second – but you will thank her later.

Self-esteem is her favorite subject, although she did not start there, her first best seller (2005) was actually a book for men about how to communicate better with women. Only part of it was about self-esteem, but that was the key, she said in a TV interview on Israeli channel 10 last summer. Five years later, her second bestseller (eight times) was published and that one got much more in-depth on the topic of self-esteem.

Here’s a passage from “Why Her and Not You” that was recently translated to English:

You will not raise your self-esteem significantly if you do not address your integrity first. If pressing “3rd FL” on the elevator control board gets you to the basement, will you trust that elevator again?

Integrity is first and foremost about congruency, i.e. the fundamental correlation between what say and what you do. If you say you believe in certain values, but when due day arrives, you act in the complete opposite way, then your self-esteem headquarters will “penalize” you for not even respecting your own words.

I came to know about Mentor Sharoney from an article in the Houston Chronical, published May 2020. Sharoney was calling other coaches and psychologists to join her and volunteer their time to help the elderly community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

She was explaining how hard it is for the elderly community to survive this challenging time with no connection to others, and how important it is for people to reach out, professionals in particular. “Don’t just say ‘we’re in it together’ – it has to be more about action than anything,” she was quoted as saying in that article.

Sharoney is also a former columnist for the Cosmopolitan Israel with multiple TV appearances. Recently, she established “The Mind,” and is its chief content editor.

When I received the “The Mind” press release mentioning her name along with a copy of “Mind Facing Magazine,” aka, “The Mind,” I was curious. What is she up to now? It said: “The Mind” is a practical psychology magazine. It’s all about practicality. Understanding it, making it work. Fundamental tools to build your self-esteem. Self-esteem, low or very high, can be a source of many problems, and not just to the individual.”

Sharoney, what did you mean by that?

“I mean that low self-esteem is as bad as being vain and full of yourself, it is the worst you can have in any society. People think that it’s two different things, the vain type of people have the notion that they are the ‘most unbelievable thing,’ which actually makes them do nothing or do stupid things because they simply don’t consider anything or anyone and, on the other end, you have the group that doesn’t feel themselves to be worth anything, which is as bad since it makes them feel exempt from even TRYING, since they are convinced they will either fail or will interfere with other people’s plans. Sometimes those people just sit and wait for others to do everything for them since they are not able to take any responsibility.

Both have devastating results, but it’s not just damaging to the individual themself, it is damaging to society. Both groups are ‘using society’ for their needs, both are victimizing themselves to activate others. Make no mistake, it is manipulation whether it’s meant to force you to accept, forgive and help someone who simply ‘can’t do,’ or when it’s meant to make you accept that you must understand and do things for someone who carries a heavy burden on themselves. The vain ones are easier to spot, they use people all the time, that includes the narcissist type, they are self-absorbed, have no real interest in other people unless it serves them or their glorification somehow, while hurting those around them with no feelings of guilt whatsoever.

People perceive them as people of ‘high self-esteem,’ but, in reality, they hate themselves. They end up lonely and frustrated because they do not know how to create a real relationship.

While many find it hard to believe, people on the low self-esteem end also hurt their surroundings. They tend to have trouble saying ‘no’ not just because they are trying hard to be liked but also because they don’t feel they deserve to be treated fairly, and then, as a result, they might punish others around them for their misery. Some say it supposedly the only way left to elevate themselves. For example, a low self-esteem man who was hammered at work was not able to say ‘no’ to the load he was given unjustly, and he returns home and ‘punishes’ his wife or kids with verbal or physical abuse, all because he is consumed with anger over his own inability to stand up to his peers or boss.

In reality, both people on both ends are ‘blind’ to the truth, they are blind to reality.

Healthy, strong self-esteem is about awareness with respect. Unfortunately, when you don’t have this specific combination, you are either being pushed, humiliated and made to feel unworthy by others, or, OR, on the other end, you are feeling that you deserve it all and might be very angry about not receiving it. Both are terrible for our society. They both create misery.”

The magazine is full of articles about self-esteem, Zoom calls done with psychologists and other professionals and an “Ask Sharoney” column, as one would expect.

Isn’t a magazine an outdated thing?

“Somewhat. But you get to keep it.”

Who is funding this magazine?

“People from all over the world, like you and me. There is a donation barcode and everyone can be a part if they like it. I don’t want it to become a tool for any commercial agenda, so keeping it published with ads or donations will make it about the content.”

Is one of your celebrity students also helping fund it? I asked her, hoping that she might give some insight to those interesting people.

“I don’t have celebrity students, I have friends and students, that’s it.”

Can you give a few “quick fixes” to your self-esteem?

“There really are no quick fixes, but I’ll give you a thing or two to pay attention to that will significantly elevate your self-esteem if you do them every day.

The first step is to eliminate people who treat you with no respect, that includes anything that you count as disrespect, like being late to meetings, calling you back with no regards to your time or not being considerate or tender with their words or tone.”

What about people who are not normally around you? Like the ones you meet once in a while, like the receptionist the other day at the doctor’s office where I got my vaccine, she was very disrespectful with her tone and words.

“Well, saying something about it is always an option and even doing just that, by itself, can eliminate the feeling of low self-esteem that most people are left with when they ignore bad behavior, or you can simply change your attitude accordingly.”

Say you were courteous and friendly, asking the receptionist politely for information but she was rude and disrespectful, talking while she’s walking away, and so forth. Then what?

“So, if that’s her attitude, just stop smiling and be as brief as you can. I know it sounds like ‘hitting back,’ but it really isn’t because the simple change in your attitude is very obvious and it comes as a response to the other person’s attitude, so one benefit is that they know they were perceived in a certain way, which YOU did not approve of.

But the most important benefit is that it lets what I like to call “your self-esteem headquarter” know that you are not allowing it to go unattended, you have reacted to it and that’s bettering your self-esteem immediately.

I know there are many therapist and coaches who are against that, and while I might agree that many times it is best not to respond to ‘bad’ with ’bad,’ I believe that in many cases, not reacting damages your self-esteem much more. I would prefer you say, “It seems that this type of demeanor doesn’t fit the service I expected to receive in this kind of restaurant / doctor’s office and then just leave. ‘Taking it in,’ standing there with a stupid smile like nothing happened, that’s like eating stones and telling yourself it’s ok.

Another way of defusing it while still addressing it is saying something like, “You know, when I come into a place, with my huge funny smile, I always get smiley faces and very attentive service, so I guess either I failed to brush my teeth today or maybe something or someone really ruined this day for you. “

Now, believe it or not, 80 percent of the people I mentor prefer to defuse bad service situations with humor, and I am all for it, as you can tell, but it should not leave behind the most important element and that is – and you need to practice – ’I deserve better.’ Reacting is just one way to say, ’I see it, I don’t approve, I deserve better.’

Ok, I get that, but do you always walk away from any establishment that has a receptionist with bad attitude? Also, it’s a lot of work to always think about what the right thing to do is every time. And how many times do you actually need to do it to elevate your self-esteem?

”The idea is to train your brain to think differently, then it comes naturally to you. You don’t need to think about it. When you have high self-esteem, you don’t drive your brain crazy with things like that, it gets to be a part of who you are. You go from a “wannabe” to just a “be.”

We can train our brain to react or not react to anything we want. It’s just a matter of importance. If you trained yourself that it’s ok to deal with people with bad behavior, then yes, you will endure that. The only problem is that it is constantly lowering your self-esteem.”

Can you provide another tool to elevate your self-esteem?

“Find three to five things that are difficult for you to do and do them regardless, daily. Discipline is one of the best fertilizers for self-esteem.”

But if those things are difficult to do, how do I keep doing them daily?

“The short answer – you need to dig deeper to see why you’re NOT doing them.

I mean, we all do things that others perceive as “hard,” but we don’t feel it’s too difficult for us, right?

So, it’s not about hard or not, it’s about what you labeled as “hard” or as “easy.” It’s a different lesson,” she says, laughing, “but you just gave me an idea for another article for ‘The Mind’.”

How can you get The Mind if you’re not in TX, GA, NV or FL?

“Just email us and we will send you a digital copy.”

OK, one last question, do you think everyone has some self-esteem issues?

“We all have our moments. We might be exposed or somehow find ourselves in a situation that triggers a feeling of low self-esteem. Once in a while, I have those moments too. Generally speaking, I would say the difference between a healthy self-esteem and a unhealthy one are these two basics — the first is how far off balance you get at those times and the second one is how fast you bounce back to normal from those extreme moments.”

I think that’s a very valid point.

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