Do you struggle with a lack of ‘self-esteem’? (Tweet this!)
If so, you’re in good company!
There have been many times in my life when I have felt less than worthy and certainly inadequate in both my professional and personal life. In fact, there have been several occasions in my past when a pervasion of low self-esteem has led to what could be perceived as a ‘bad choice’ (although, in all honesty, I do believe that it is possible to see some good in every situation!)
Actually, I no longer really believe in ‘bad choices’ anymore. And its the belief side of this that exemplifies why these so-called ‘bad choices’ won’t be perceived negatively. More on this later on…
So what is ‘self-esteem’?
Self-esteem is basically your core-beliefs about you as a person i.e. how you see yourself. It is not how others perceive you (although beliefs about how others see you as to how you are actually seen can be a huge influence on how your self-esteem develops.) Like all mental and emotional states, these all seem to be the result of mind-programming sustained over a number of years as a result of exposure to a number of factors – that is if, like me, you tend to be convinced by the cognitive behaviour group of psychological theorists.
Actually, if you want to see a good definition of what self-esteem is, look no further than the excellent ‘Skills You Need‘ website link below for more detail:
One good point this article makes is that self-esteem doesn’t really have anything to do with capabilities or skill. Its all about what is in the mind. And, as with all these things, it is generally possible to change what is in the mind in order to improve self-esteem.
Changing your self-esteem state isn’t all that difficult. If you check out the article above again and read through it, you’ll notice that it lists a whole range of actions you can take to improve self-esteem. One of the key actions is to watch what the article calls your ‘internal dialogue’. In other words, you should be careful how you speak to yourself!
For instance, if you happen to keep saying things to yourself along the lines of ‘I’m not able to do this’ or ‘I’m not worthy enough’ , then the obvious result is going to be that you won’t be – simply because your subconscious mind believes this narrative and makes it a reality. The way to turn this round is to change the dialogue and make your dialogue more positive. This is actually a lot more simple than you might think. It might just be a matter of changing the operant verb: instead of saying ‘I can’t do’ something, why not say ‘I can do it’? Repeat the new version enough times to yourself (whereby the verb is framed in the positive as opposed to the negative) and the sub-conscious mind will soon create new beliefs around this statement. These beliefs should be powerful enough to boost your self-esteem to new levels of achievement.
Of course, this sort of thing is often easier said than done and needs a little bit of hard work and dedication. The problem of low self-esteem is very often linked to the ‘inner critic’. If you have one of these (and most people do!), then this can be very real inhibitor to progress that can accententuate the negative internal dialogue. (You can read more about the dreaded ‘inner critic‘ and how to combat it here.)
Try this also!
There is another strategy you can adopt, especially when past events affect your self-image. As I mentioned above – in my lifetime I’ve encountered very low self-esteem which has led me to what I believed were bad choices. However, despite acknowledging that some choices were bad, I now look back and reframe these decisions in a different light. I do this by reminding myself of a line I read a while ago. It went along the lines of ‘Whenever you are prevented from experiencing something good, just remember you are being directed to something better.’ (I can’t find where the original quote, I saw it on Facebook. So this is a near as dammit to the spirit of the original as I can get it!)
I like this idea, because its a great way of viewing those bad choices that you supposedly made as actually redirecting you to something better in life. That’s how I now view my life choices. I can’t change them, and maybe I don’t want to – simply because something better is on the way! This, to me, is a great way of giving your self-esteem a gentle nudge in the right direction – ultimately, towards success.
Check out the Skills You Need article again on Self-Esteem and follow the tips mentioned in the section entitled ‘Quick Tips to Help Improve Self-Esteem‘ . Don’t expect instantaneous results, of course. However, if you keep plugging at it you will succeed in good time.
What do you think of this article? I’d love to hear your feedback. Maybe you have an experience you’d like to share? Feel free to add a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.