04 Oct Self-Esteem Part 2
Click here for Self-Esteem Part 1
The challenge with improving self-esteem is that who and what was around you in your earlier years heavily influences it. As an adult, it is much harder to change your self-esteem because everything is either validating what you already believe about yourself or you are rejecting the things that don’t agree with what you believe to be true. If you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself believing you are who others think you are not who you think you are. And some may need to pause right now and really consider which one of those statements is true for you.
Please don’t confuse low self-esteem with humility. Low self-esteem rules our thinking and actions by trying to scrape up everything we can for ourselves…opportunity, resources, love. Remember what I said about scarcity? Humility is about using what we have to help others…considering others before ourselves. There is a big difference. Low self-esteem is me-focused; humility is other-focused.
Raising your self-esteem has to be intentional. It means being honest with yourself – honest about your strengths and your weaknesses. Being honest about the times you believe you are who others think you are. Being honest about believing that “this is as good as it gets” in certain areas of your life. It also means being honest about the greatness that is in you. You don’t have to “peak” in your life. You can choose everyday to enter the process of becoming your best self. Everyday is an opportunity to unleash more of your potential. Everyday is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to give to others.
Let’s get to the practical stuff. Here are the seven steps to building self-esteem. First, recognize that you are valuable and unique just the way you are. That may sound like a cliche, but it is incredibly true. Believing you are special and unique means you know that bringing your best self to meetings, gatherings, and relationships will have a different impact than anyone else can have. Believe that bringing your best self to every situation means that everyone…including you…benefits.
Second, reject the idea you are in competition with others. There is always going to be a scoreboard, a competitor, or a team you are competing against. You are only in competition with your own best self. From a purely self-esteem perspective, there is no reason to compete with anyone else. This step is not about ignoring or denying the competition built into our work and lives. Its about changing the mindset you have regarding the competition. It is about more than winning; it is about discovering what is possible from within yourself. We have so much potential that needs to be unleashed, and it is only unleashed when we commit to being our best versus being the best.
We have a tendency to link our previous actions and decisions, especially our bad ones, to our self-worth. That’s why the third step for building healthy and strong self-esteem is to recognize that your self-worth is innate. Failure is not final. Forgive yourself and move on. Forgive others and move on. Being angry or resentful shrinks your self-esteem, while forgiveness allows you to grow and move beyond the past. And, while you are helping yourself realize this, help others recognize the they are more than their actions and decisions and that failing in a relationship, task, or job does not mean they are a failure.
In part 3 I’ll talk about the next 2 steps to building self-esteem. Live Inspired!