Today I’m going to talk a little about self-esteem, or as some people call it, self-worth.
Of course, if you want to get technical, you could argue that self-esteem is how you FEEL about yourself, whereas self-worth is a judgement of your value.
As I see it, these are 2 ways of looking at the same thing, because those who give themselves little value generally feel poorly about themselves, and those who feel good about themselves usually see themselves as valuable.
In any event, those with low self-esteem tend to put everyone else first, and practically refuse to consider their own needs.
And this leads to failure in both business and social situations, because no one respects them, nor do they want to spend any significant time with them.
It naturally follows that if you want to succeed, you want to have the highest self-esteem possible.
This doesn’t mean that you have to become a self-centered, arrogant !@#$%^&* to get ahead in life. It’s completely possible, and indeed a great idea, to serve others, but from a position of strength rather than weakness.
The stronger you are as an individual, the more eager others will be to have you as a friend or business partner.
Developing strong self-esteem is simple, but not easy.
The first step is to take a realistic inventory of what you can offer in both business and personal relationships.
- Are you a good listener?
- Do people find you humorous?
- Can you explain complex things in simple terms?
- Are you trustworthy?
- Do you live with integrity and honor?
- Do you have a knack for diffusing tense situations?
- Are you good with details?
- Do you work quickly and efficiently?
- Do you have an artistic flair that others like?
- How often do you get compliments on your work?
- What else do you get compliments on?
Make sure to consider things we often take for granted, such as your ability to see, hear, touch, taste, smell, walk, talk, learn, dress yourself, feed yourself, and so on.
Just think of how much more difficult it would be to succeed if you didn’t have these abilities, or how much you would pay to regain one of them if they were lost.
As you go through this process, you will undoubtedly find aspects of yourself that are valuable in and of themselves.
You may also find some aspects that could use some improvement.
Now, there are 2 ways to proceed.
The first is to remind yourself of those aspects of yourself that are valuable, and to keep repeating this until your inner mind accepts the fact that you are a valuable person.
This is often done with affirmations, such as:
- I am a good person.
- I am a valuable person.
- I am gifted in some way.
- I have a purpose in life.
- I fulfill a vital function in the world.
- Every person is born equally worthy of having a good life.
as well as affirmations about your unique talents, such as:
- I am a good listener.
- I am good with details.
- I have an artistic flair.
- I am trustworthy.
- I live with integrity and honor.
- I have a good sense of humor.
The more you speak and hear affirmations about your value as a person, the more your self-esteem grows.
The second way to proceed from your personal inventory is to notice which traits may need some improvement.
If you haven’t always been honest with people, or if the work you do is subpar, then you may want to focus on developing the habit of honesty, or work to improve the quality of your work.
When you make such improvements, then you’ll have more evidence proving that you are a valuable person, and will naturally have greater self-esteem.
And when this happens, it shows through your personality, causing others to respond in a more positive manner, which in turn helps you reach higher levels of success.